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Report Card: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Grading out the individual performances in last night's 128-119 win over Kobe and the Lakers.




Mike Conley: 29 min, 24 p, 8 a, 6 r, 1 s, +14

As good as Iron Mike has looked in a long while. He tore up the Lakers' over-matched backcourt, putting his prolific backside to good use (#buttalytics, copyright 2016 Andrew Ford) to get to the hoop and create.



P.J. Hairston: 23 min, 17 p, 2 r, 2 a, 1 s, +18

Where did that come from? This might just be what we're going to get from Hairston: feast (last night) or famine (his first two games). If he can string together more performances like this, though? Watch out. But don't count on it. He might be the new Jeff Green -- immensely talented and infuriatingly inconsistent.



Matt Barnes: 37 min, 25 p, 8 r, 2 a, 1 s, 1 b, +5

Not much to say here other than bravo, Mr. Barnes. Great game.



JaMychal Green: 25 min, 12 p, 9 r, 1 s, +15

Another solid outing and *near* double-double from the preferred brand of J.Green for Grizzlies fans everywhere. His energy and tenacity clearly influence his teammates on the floor, a milder version of the "Tony Allen Effect" on defense. This is why his +/- numbers are consistently very good when he gets enough minutes.



Zach Randolph: 29 min, 14 p, 9 r, 3 a, 1 s, +25

A so-so performance from the illustrious Zachary Randolph, Esq. Didn't have to do too much with the Grizzlies guards going to town. Still hit some of his trademark stepback jumpers and schooled his Laker counterpart and comparable, Julius Randle, on NBA post play.



Lance Stephenson: 23 min, 8 p, 4 r, 1 a, -11

Meh. In his first game as a Grizzly in FedEx Forum, Stephenson showed flashes of potential and maddening decision making. Don't expect that to change. Born Ready gonna Born Ready.



Brandan Wright: 22 min, 15 p, 6 r,  1 a, 2 b, -3

Now THAT'S better, Brandan! After looking gimpy in Toronto, Wright quite literally bounced back to life last night. He had one particularly encouraging possession in the third quarter, grabbing a few of his own Z-bounds and putting them back up and, eventually, in. Wouldn't be surprised to see him inserted into the starting line up soon if he strings together more performances like this.



Vince Carter: 21 min, 9 p, 2 a, 1 r, 1 s, 1 b, +9

Vince continues to benefit from the Eternal Youth Elixir he must have discovered in last week's Dungeons & Dragons session at the retirement home. Surpassed the Round Mound of Rebound himself last night to move to 24th on the all-time scoring list.



Mario Chalmers: 18 min, 4 p, 6 a, 1 r, -7

Didn't really notice Super Mario much in this match up, which was fine. Other guys stepped up and he did a nice job facilitating in the minutes he got, finishing with 6 dimes. Good that in games when he isn't feeling it offensively, Chalmers doesn't press and rather tries to involve his teammates.



Chris Andersen: 8 min, 0 p, 1 a, -7

Poor Birdman just looks old out there. Which makes sense, because he is old. Thank goodness he isn't being asked to do all that much. Anyone have Hamed Haddadi's number?

KIDDING. Kind of.



Head Coach Dave Joerger

Beating the Lakers is kind of like breaking the curve in a remedial class, but Joerger still deserves credit for continuing to integrate all these new pieces together in a way that allows them to be creative while also encouraging cohesive play.



Kobe Bryant: 29 min, 13 p, 1 r, 2 a, 1 s, -7

Last night was indicative of how Kobe is stunting the growth of the Lakers' young players. He stalls the offense and they all defer to him rather than actually moving the ball and playing together. Nonetheless, he had some cool moments with fellow AARP member Vince Carter during the game.



The Grindhouse Crowd, aka Faker Fan Convention Center

Ugh. Yes, I know it was a sellout on a weeknight. Yes, I know it got loud at times. Problem is that it was loud for the wrong reasons. The number of Kobe jerseys and chants was disgusting. I thought there might be a few thousand Fakers there, but it was closer to 1/3 of the crowd. Glad we won't have to see that again until... well, probably when LeBron retires.