Memphis snapped a three-game losing streak with a convincing victory in Detroit. The Grizzlies' defense was consistent throughout the game, limiting the Pistons to 86 points.
Marc Gasol tied his career high in points with 38 and led his team to the winners’ circle again. Chandler Parsons returned to the starting lineup after missing nearly five weeks with a bruise on his left knee.
Marc Gasol: A++
38 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in 37 minutes (+8)
What an incredible display by Marc Gasol! After coach David Fizdale criticized the lack of team leadership (with a nod to Gasol, the man he named team captain), Marc responded in style. He tied his career high in points with 38 on a 14 for 17 shooting effort from the field. The Spaniard showed his full offensive arsenal, connecting on triples and fadeaways. He dominated Andre Drummond on both ends of the floor.
Gasol's shot chart. A masterful shooting performance. pic.twitter.com/Ax3KbAwhQe— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) December 22, 2016
Andrew Harrison: B+
9 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists in 26 minutes (+13)
The rookie point guard had a solid game last night. He did not look to shoot the ball but facilitated instead. He distributed the ball smartly and made the offense look smooth. Harrison contributed to the overall Grizzlies' defensive effort and was also pure from the free throw line with a 6 for 6 performance.
JaMychal Green: B
10 points, 9 rebounds in 27 minutes (+0)
Green dared to shoot the ball more against the Pistons. He knocked down two triples and continues to work the glass effectively.
James Ennis: B
5 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals in 17 minutes (+22)
What a great pick-up James Ennis was! He will certainly be a reliable bench player this season. His energy fits extremelly well with the Grit and Grind model. He also runs the fastbreak well and showed his perimeter shooting skills with a triple.
Mike Conley: B-
9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in 23 minutes (+1)
Conley is still working his way back to being his old self. He is still not as aggressive as he used to be and relied on outside shooting. He went 3 for 7 from downtown. In the second night of a back-to-back, his minutes were limited.
Tony Allen: C+
6 points in 28 minutes (-6)
Allen did not make much of an offensive impact this time but he slowed down Caldwell-Pope who only had 8 points.
Vince Carter: C
5 points in 16 minutes (+16)
With Ennis and Parsons back and Daniels's solid performances in December, Carter has seen his minutes reduced. He had a triple last night and continues to be a reliable option off the bench.
Troy Daniels: C-
6 points in 16 minutes (-9)
Fizdale continues to run plays for Daniels. He was not that accurate last night with 2 out of 8 tries from downtown.
Chandler Parsons: C-
2 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in 15 minutes (+3)
After an 18-game absence, Parsons came back from injury. He is under a minutes restriction and did not shoot the ball much. During his time on the court, he looked rusty and unassertive. It will take some time until the Grizzlies' wingman is back in shape.
Zach Randolph: C-
6 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in 19 minutes (+9)
Randolph is struggling to find an offensive rhythm lately. He was 3 for 13 from the floor. In any case, he always finds a way to contribute and remains a go-to option when the offense is stagnant.
Jarell Martin: D
2 points in 10 minutes (+4)
Martin had a rough night. He was in foul trouble throughout the game and did not find any kind of rhythm.
David Fizdale: B+
Fizdale challenged his team after a three-game losing streak by criticizing the lack of leadership. Whether that was some sort of a psychological game or not, Marc Gasol delivered a great performance. He made sure Big Spain was getting to his favorite spots also in the fourth quarter, and the center put on an offensive clinic.
Overall, the defensive plan worked out and the triples were falling (40 percent from downtown) which is always a recipe for success in Memphis basketball. The Grizzlies forced 17 Pistons turnovers and limited them to 36 percent shooting.