This was never truly out of hand for the Grizz, as they won the crucial position match-ups and did not allow themselves to take what would have been a pretty bad loss on their home floor.
Despite the Suns’ struggles this season, this game did feature a match-up between two excellent point guards in Mike Conley and Eric Bledsoe. Conley earned his money on this night, clearly winning this game within the game.
Conley Dominates Bledsoe
Bledsoe is an ultra-athletic, effective point guard, but he looked totally outclassed on this night.
Conley thoroughly controlled the former Kentucky stand-out, holding him to 16 points on only 3-of-15 shooting. Bledsoe also only tallied three assists on the night and came into the game averaging 21.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 6.2 assists.
This was a vintage Conley performance. He lead the team with 23 points and was super efficient, shooting 7-of-10 from the field. He also dished out five assists and two steals.
Conley’s controlling of Bledsoe kept this game civilized from a tempo standpoint and he was able to lead an offense that had, for the most part, a very good day.
Incredibly Efficient Offense (and Defense)
This was an absolutely dominant team performance from the Grizzlies.
Memphis was clicking on all cylinders, especially on offense. They shot 49% from the floor and 58% from three, showcasing a great variety of weapons on offense en route to putting up 110 points.
While the Grizzlies were led by Conley, they had several players step up and perform well. For Marc Gasol, it was just another day at the office. He put up 19 points, seven boards, and three assists, all while shooting 55% from the field.
But one very promising sign for Memphis was the play-making of Chandler Parsons. Though he took a brutal below the belt shot during the game, Parsons displayed his creative skills on the wing and racked up seven dimes. He scored only eight points, but the big free-agent acquisition set up his teammates well and took a step in right direction.
In addition to Conley and Gasol, Memphis had four other players tally double-digit points in a balanced attack. JaMychal Green played his role perfectly in this game. He registered a double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and also four assists. Tony Allen also played very well. He played very solid defense and added 10 points and seven rebounds.
The guard duo of Toney Douglas (14 points) and Troy Daniels (11 points) came off of the bench to provide an excellent scoring punch, a potentially dangerous sign for other Western Conference playoff teams.
The Phoenix offense was rendered very ineffective in this contest. The lottery-bound squad from the desert shot a dismal 33% from the field and 22% from three. This was a vintage smothering defensive performance from the Grizzlies, but it was coupled with an electric offensive performance. This was a good night for Memphis.
While this was a brilliant performance from the Grizzlies, it should be taken with a grain of salt. The Suns are not very good.
But the next task is not an easy one for Memphis.
The Golden State Warriors come to town on Friday night and Memphis will need another great offensive showing to pull out a win there. But the Grizzlies have been terrific against the NBA’s elite this season, notably erasing a huge deficit to defeat the Warriors in overtime on the road earlier this season.
This should be a fun game, as most Warriors games are. A win would mean seven of eight for the Grizzlies and a world of momentum as the All-Star break approaches. It will be a good one.