Mike Conley: 30 min, 18 p, 7 a, 3 r, 0 to, 1 s, +4
Steady as she goes for Mike in this one. The floor general facilitated a clean game on his end, dishing out seven assists and never turning the ball over. Captain clutch also hit key shots and made crucial plays to put the game away down the stretch. One more thing: he’s hitting those running floaters in the lane again. Watch out.
Andrew Harrison: 26 min, 5 p, 2 a, 2 r, 1 to, -5
Harrison pulls down a strong C+ in his performance against Utah. He wasn’t a world-ender, but he gave a solid performance and allowed Mike to rest for stretches of the game, giving our starter energy to close out the win.
Baldwin may have the higher ceiling, but Harrison plays with more confidence, and knows where to be and how to close out on defense despite his inferior athleticism. One play with Andrew sticks out: a sequence of great ball movement that finds an open Harrison in the corner, and may I say he looked a little Steph-esque on his quick-pop release when sinking that three.
James Ennis: 22 min, 0 p, 3 r, 1 a, +3
Ennis got into early foul trouble, and failed to make much of an imprint on this game. He’s been terrific on defense, and an injection of energy on offense, but was a non-factor this go.
JaMychal Green: 27 min, 8 p, 6 r, 2 b, -5
JaMychal had an alright game, but I’d like to see him do better. He’s one of our most lethal 3-pt assassins from the corner, and failed to attempt a single shot from behind the arc in this one. Still, his versatility on defense, and ability to guard and switch on the pick-and-roll has proven valuable at the start and especially the end of games.
Marc Gasol: 32 min, 22 p, 5 r, 6 to, 1s, +1
2016 may be a nightmare year for many, but I never want to wake up from this beautiful reality where Marc takes threes with confidence. Furthermore, he started the game with a Hakeem-like turn-around, and made several other dream-shaking plays on his way to 22 points.
One thing to look out for is Marc’s turnover rate. He coughed up the rock six times against the Jazz, and ball security will be crucial if he continues to set the league’s pace in post-ups. Let’s see if Fizdale continues to pound the ball into the post for stretches of time with Marc isolations going forward, and if there’s a better way for those moving off the ball to get open.
Vince Carter: 31 min, 20 p, 7 r, 2 a, 1 s, +8
What an absolute treat. Growing up, Vince Carter was my favorite player after Michael Jordan, and we are all truly blessed to witness his level of play with the Grizzlies this season.
Vince is shooting lights-out from deep lately, connecting on 6 threes and shooting 54.5% from beyond the arc in this game. He’s also picking up slack as a secondary ball-handler, getting the ball up the court, and making savvy veteran plays on defense (like well-timed double-teams and no-jump blocks).
Zach Randolph: 22 min, 18 p, 10 r, +7
ZBo’s been making the most of his limited minutes, and continues to anchor the bench and wreak devastation upon the league’s backup forwards and centers.
Randolph nearly grabbed a 20-10 game in 22 minutes against the Jazz, and employed more vintage bully-ball than three-point shooting in his win in Utah. ZBo also benefited on defense playing beside the rim-protecting Deyonta Davis.
Jarell Martin: 10 min, 0p, 1 r, -1
The hope was Jarell could mask ZBo’s languid pick-and-roll coverage and space the floor as both a rim-protector and shooter. While he’s been able to hold down his position on defense, and surprise us with his three-point shooting, Martin unfortunately cannot overcome the hit posed to the defense by having Zach on the floor.
Martin had a forgettable game against Utah, and less minutes may be in store after Deyonta Davis’ success playing alongside Randolph.
Chandler Parsons: 23 min, 9 p, 4 r, 1 a, -2
Parsons got more playing time early in the game than expected due to Ennis’ foul trouble, and didn’t move the needle as much as I’d like. He’s facilitating the offense well for the most part, and connects on his attempts around the rim with eye-melting success, but still struggles shooting the ball and especially from deep.
Looking at his lift on jumpers, it’s clear that Parsons’ knee isn’t 100%, but he seems to be trending in the right direction. Time and patience—we don’t want to rush our X-factor back prematurely.
Deyonta Davis: 13 min, 2 p, 3r, 1s, +9
Deyonta put up a nice stat line in limited minutes, and proved his value as a rim-protector playing alongside ZBo. Zach’s lack of speed leaves the Grizzlies vulnerable to pick-and-roll attacks, but Davis’ length, quickness, and shot-blocking patches that up nicely.
I look forward to more minutes from the big fella, and an increase in offensive production as he settles in with his teammates on the attack.
Head Coach David Fizdale
David Fizdale navigated injuries and foul trouble on the way to his first win on the road as the Grizzlies head coach. Hey may not produce golden eggs from each of his young players and rookies every game, but he always seems to produce at least one.
The win in Utah gave us our best sample yet of paring Deyonta Davis and Zach Randolph, and I hope he continues to give the big rookie from Michigan State more playing time.