The Grizzlies are 1-0! They’re on pace for a perfect season, and, more importantly, they currently hold a better record than the Warriors, who, excluding the preseason, have now lost four straight. Are the Grizzlies the league’s true Super Team? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I’ve got some grades (and a few Vines) from last night’s game.
Mike Conley: A
The $153 million man played big in his return to the regular season court. In Fizdale’s offense, which featured him off the ball quite a bit, Conley posted a team-high 24 points. He got into some foul trouble (no thanks to the refereeing, if I’m being honest), which drops him from an A+, but the clutch shots that he came up with are enough to earn him an A.
Andrew Harrison: D+
In Tony Allen’s absence, Harrison got the start at shooting guard, and he had a rough night. He shot poorly from the field, and looked slow out on the court. Harrison led the Grizzlies in minutes played with 38, and piled up 4 assists to go along with 3 turnovers. He mitigated that a little with okay defense and decent effort, but it was not the greatest of nights for the Kentucky product.
James Ennis: A-
Ennis spent the night showing everyone in the Forum exactly why the coaching staff was so excited about him during training camp. He hustled everywhere, collecting 6 rebounds, and scored 15 points on just 8 shots, which included going 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Green earned this grade in the waning minutes for two things he did. First, he had an amazing putback over KAT on a missed Harrison free throw. Then, he did this to KAT:
JaMychal Green with the crucial block on KAT https://t.co/vvgWi91S43— grizzlam (@grizzlam) October 27, 2016
Green still needs to work on not fouling. In other news, water is wet.
Marc Gasol: B+
Gasol certainly had his hands full with KAT down in the post. Gasol shot just 7-of-17, and had a couple of brain farts on the floor, one of which earned him a technical foul.
They could've hit Marc w/ that earlier. Let it slide. Dumb play.— Chase Lucas (@deepfriedcouch) October 27, 2016
He still played well, and hit some clutch shots, but Marc can do better, which is why he earns a B+ instead of an A. He also only took three 3-pointers, which is below his reported quota of 4. (I’m grading on a curve, so Marc gets held to a higher standard, dagnabbit!) Also, I’d like to see what kind of minutes Marc gets in a game that isn’t so close. Thirty-two is okay, but let’s see if we can get that a little lower.
Wade Baldwin: A+
Baldwin’s offseason was notable mostly for his rough shooting stretch, which may have been caused in part or in whole by an adjustment to his mechanics (h/t to Peter Edmiston and the Locked On Grizzlies podcast for that tidbit). Baldwin shot better Wednesday, going 3-of-8 from the field and 1-of-2 from three. More importantly, he looked the part. He was explosive, and had active hands. To go along with his 7 points, Baldwin had 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks with just 1 turnover.
Wade... Blockwin? I'm not afraid to tell it like it is https://t.co/VzPH6iwksJ— grizzlam (@grizzlam) October 27, 2016
Number 17 overall pick, baby!
Looks like Wade Baldwin IV is the first player ever with at least 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks in their first career game pic.twitter.com/2Ay8l9G4RZ— Fastbreak Breakfast (@fastbreakbreak) October 27, 2016
Zach Randolph: A-
Z-Bo had the sort of night that people imagined for him when the 6MOY comments were thrown out. Randolph was able to eat in the post, and put up 19 and 11 off the bench in 24 minutes. Also, this move:
Vince Carter: B
Carter played 28 minutes but didn’t contribute much in the box score. Carter’s biggest play was late in the game, using his massive wingspan to haul in a rebound off a missed free throw.
Deyonta Davis: B
Davis, who missed almost all of the offseason due to plantar fasciitis, managed to pick up a handful of minutes at the end of the first half. In that time he managed to pull down a pair of rebounds and block a shot. Two fouls in five minutes isn’t great, but for the limited time he played, he managed to flash some qualities that may make him a steal for the Grizzlies.
1. I love Deyonta'a potential. KAT didn't overwhelm him and he has that weird knack for knowing where the ball is coming off the rim.— Jonah Jordan (@_JonahJordan) October 27, 2016