The Grizzlies took on the Pelicans tonight in this second meeting between divisional opponents, with Memphis having won the first meeting on opening night, 103-91. While this started out like so many others had with Memphis allowing 38 points in the 1st quarter, the Grizz then took control of the game for the next 2 1⁄2 quarters. They were able to hang on for the win 105-102 despite a fourth quarter comeback led by DeMarcus Cousins.
The stars shone bright tonight in Memphis, as Marc Gasol, Tyreke Evans and JaMychal Green all scored 20 or more points to lead the Grizzlies. Lets see how they and the rest of the team graded out in this latest Report Card.
Tyreke Evans: A
What more can we say about Evans. He has been absolutely electric all season and that was on full display tonight. The offense ran through him all night long and whenever he entered the game he gave Memphis the lift they needed to pull out a gutsy win. Evans scored 28 points, including the game-icing free throws for the Grizz in the fourth. He played in full Reke-fashion: he drove into the paint, he made three-pointers, he earned trips to the charity stripe where he made six of seven attempts. As rumors continue to swirl that Memphis is looking to deal Evans for a first round pick, he turned in a fantastic performance and it has been a genuine pleasure to watch him ball out this season.
JaMychal Green: A
Green also earned an A for his efforts tonight, as he recorded his 3rd double-double of the season with 20 points and a team-high 14 rebounds in a Zach Randolph-like performance. Green earned most of his stats working down low, often earning second-chance opportunities via his six offensive rebounds. The other area of Green’s game that impressed even more was his defense. Green earned a reputation as someone who could and would guard anyone on the floor and he was tasked with stopping Boogie Cousins tonight and he did a fantastic job.
He shut Cousins down after Boogie had a big first quarter feasting on Gasol, Deyonta Davis and Brandan Wright. He held Cousins scoreless in the third and continually frustrated him throughout the game. It was the type of performance Memphis needed and fans hope to see more of.
Marc Gasol: A
Like I said earlier, the stars shone bright tonight and that included Big Spain, especially offensively. Gasol started out 5 of 5 from the field before finishing with 21 points, 7 assists and 10 rebounds on 6 of 8 shooting. Gasol was able to break out of his recent fourth quarter slump and even made perhaps the play of the game, swiping the ball away from Cousins with less than 7 seconds left and the Grizz up 103-102. which led to Evans’ free throws that sealed the game.
Marc displayed patience throughout the contest, he didn’t try to force his shots, took advantage of the plays his teammates made for him and came through in the clutch when Memphis was fighting for the win. It was a classic Gasol performance and here’s hoping to more like this one over the course of the season.
Andrew Harrison: B
Harrison shouldn’t be bummed that he’s the only guy in this report card that doesn’t get an A. He had a good, not great game. He wasn’t very efficient from the field, shooting just 3 of 11, but he got to the free throw line and drilled a huge three in the fourth to help stave off a Pelicans comeback.
Drew’s biggest play of the game was this block, which was reminiscent of his chase-down swat in last year’s playoffs against the Spurs.
easy two points? YOU THOUGHT. pic.twitter.com/5gaMLNyvrg— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) January 11, 2018
Harrison played smart basketball as well as good defense on Jrue Holiday, who he continually hounded throughout the night and kept him from finding any sort of rhythm. Harrison has continued to step up alongside Evans in Mike Conley’s absence and it is very enjoyable to see him making the most of his opportunity.
Also, the Grizz the mascot gets an A for this because I thought it was hilarious. Take that, Pelicans.