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Report Card: Memphis vs Orlando

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The short-handed Grizzlies rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth to eventually get the win

NBA: Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

This was another game that looked like was going to fall in the Grizzlies' loss column. But it did not. Spurred by Tony Allen's energy and aggressiveness late in the fourth quarter, Memphis came back from a 14-point deficit to beat Orlando.

Defense made the difference down the stretch for Memphis, which held Orlando to only nine points in the last six minutes. With the win, the Grizzlies snapped a two-game losing streak.

Conley, Parsons, Ennis, Randolph, Carter, and Wright all sat out once again and the Grizzlies played with a team riddled with rookies and inexperienced players. Memphis is trying to do its best while waiting for the absent ones to come back.

Tony Allen: A+

9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals in 27 minutes (+11)

His stat line does not look too great but Memphis would not have won this one if it was not for Tony Allen. He checked back into the game with 6:12 left in the fourth quarter with his team down by 14. The Grindfather immediately made an impact with three steals and a couple of layups. He also shut down Jeff Green, who had 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Above everything, his defensive effort energized his teammates and the building. It was another classic Grit and Grind performance by the number 9.

Marc Gasol: A

25 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 blocks in 32 minutes (+8)

Gasol struggled at times offensively against Biyombo and with the pick-and-roll defense but showed up when his team needed him the most. Together with Tony Allen, he came up big down the stretch on both ends of the floor. He scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter including the two winning free throws. He also had a season-high five blocks and a crazy assist for a Troy Williams's dunk!

Troy Daniels: A

19 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist in 28 minutes (+5)

Having so many key players down allows for the development of bench players. In this respect, Troy Daniels has stepped up in the last couple of games and shown what he can do for the Grizzlies. He scored incredibly tough jumpers, including three out of five from downtown. He had 16 points in the first three quarters and is finally giving signs of life after a rough start of the season.

Andrew Harrison: B+

11 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 turnovers in 29 minutes (+5)

Harrison continues to confuse me. He combines extremely childish mistakes with decent offensive moves and defensive sequences. Sometimes I think he is not NBA ready and that the Grizzlies need to sign a veteran point guard. Some other times I am impressed by his poise. He was clutch last night during the Grizzlies' comeback with a made jumper after a crossover dribble and a Tony Parker-like spin move which led to a layup.

JaMychal Green: B

8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists in 27 minutes (+3)

Green did not have his best night. It may have to do with the fact that it was a back-to-back game or that Serge Ibaka was defending him. However, he scored a three pointer with 47 seconds left into the game to keep Memphis's hopes alive.

Wade Baldwin: B

8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists in 18 minutes (-4)

Baldwin had some decent minutes yesterday. He hit three mid-range jumpers and had no turnovers. Orlando probably scouted him well and allowed him to shoot rather than driving explosively to the hole. If he can make that shot consistently, he will certainly be a threat for his opponents. He is Memphis’ more athletic point guard and arguably has a higher ceiling than Harrison, but so far Fizdale trusts the latter more.

Jarell Martin: C

6 points, 10 rebounds in 27 minutes (-6)

Martin is quickly becoming a rebounding specialist. He averaged nearly nine a game during the three games this week. His shooting performance was not great, though. He was 2 of 11 from the field with a few unsuccessful drives to the basket.

Deyonta Davis: C-

4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block in 14 minutes (-4)

Davis had a tough night against Nikola Vucevic, who came off the bench and contributed 18 points. The rookie also collected four fouls in only 14 minutes. In any case, it was a good experience for the Grizzlies promising center against a team that plays big like Orlando.

Troy Williams: D

5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist in 35 minutes (-13)

Williams started off well with a made three and a couple of steals. From that point onward, everything went south for him. He was one of six from the perimeter and two for thirteen overall. He also allowed Jeff Green to get hot during the first minutes of the fourth quarter when the former Grizzly scored 12 points. He also had three turnovers.

Coach David Fizdale: B+

If Fizdale had given up the game with six minutes left and never gotten Tony Allen back on the floor, this would have surely been a loss for the Grizzlies. With the team down 14, the Grizzlies' coach put the Grindfather on Jeff Green who was on fire in the fourth quarter with 12 quick points. The size difference did not stop Allen who denied Green several times and led the Grizzlies' comeback.

Fizdale managed to keep the rebounding battle even against the Magic, one of the best teams in the league in that facet. However, Memphis certainly looked stagnant during a big part of the second half. Fizdale also never found an answer to stop Evan Fournier, who had 28 points. In addition, Marc Gasol has not logged fewer than 30 minutes in the last four games and that is not good news. Obviously Fizdale is doing what he can to maintain the Grizzlies afloat with a roster dwindled with injuries.

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