In a game where they led by as many as 18 and nearly let it slip away, the Memphis Grizzlies found a way to hold their ground and pull of a victory over the New York Knicks. On a night where Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, Brandan Wright, and Marc Gasol were all out for Memphis, it was the young Grizzlies (led by Tyreke Evans) who got the job done. Memphis has now won consecutive games for the first time since October 26th-28th.
A few quick takeaways from this nice win, made nicer by the fact that another bad team in the Atlanta Hawks also lost.
- Tyreke Evans, man. If Memphis wasn’t so bad, there would be a real strong argument to try to get this guy in the All-Star Game. He didn’t have his best shooting night (9-21 shooting overall, 2-7 from three) but he facilitated offense all night long, be it by extended periods of ball movement or on lobs at the rim for guys like Deyonta Davis. Evans was vital to Memphis’ offensive production, and once he is eventually traded it will be horrifyingly fascinating to watch this team on that end of the floor.
- The young bigs of the Grizzlies had themselves a night. Jarell Martin (17 points and 6 rebounds) led the way, but the trio of Martin, Ivan Rabb, and Deyonta Davis finished a combined 16-25 from the floor and helped Memphis push the pace throughout the game. The length and athleticism were evident from the jump, and while no one would say the Grizzlies are better off without Marc Gasol there is no denying the different style of play clicked tonight.
- Dillon Brooks continues to impress with his confidence. He is still finding himself as an NBA player, and is still outside of his ideal role on a good team as a solid reserve. But he is fun to watch as he grows, and his confidence is steadfast which will pay off in the long run for him. 17 points, 3 made shots from beyond the arc, a team best +13 on the night...can’t ask for much more from a 2nd round pick.
The Memphis Grizzlies were far more efficient from three (35.7%) than the Knicks (25.7%) and that played a massive role in the outcome of this game, considering Kristaps Porzingis (6 blocks!) was a force around the rim.
Memphis is back in action on Friday when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to FedExForum. It will be Zach Randolph’s first game back in Memphis since he left the Grizzlies in free agency.