It was a full team effort from the Baby Grizz in this one.
Memphis had to face the New York Knicks Wednesday night without pretty much half their roster- Marc Gasol, Brandan Wright, and Chandler Parsons (and of course Mike Conley). However, the Grizzlies pulled out a promising win 105-99 and won back-to-back games first time in a while.
Memphis called on the bench to help out as all Grizzlies scored in the game. Of course, led by Tyreke Evans and his 23-6-10 night. The game ended on a hilarious flop by Dillon Brooks to get Courtney Lee all fired up to boil over into a technical in a 3-point game. This helped the Grizzlies not blow the lead they had built for most of the game.
The Grizzlies outshot the Knicks 45.1% -42.7% from the field (35.7% -25.9% from three) but were outrebounded 44-45. The three-point shooting disparity helped the Grizzlies in this one. With Marc Gasol out, JaMychal Green came up huge in this contest. His performance along with the Reke Freak was enough to put the Grizzlies over the top. (For those keeping track of draft picks, the good news is the Hawks won too)
Now, to team grades.
Tyreke Evans- A+
This grade may be because I have not put together a report card in awhile, but wow I still can not get over Tyreke Evans putting up these numbers game after game. Wednesday, he had yet another double-double and a near triple-double. As said earlier, he had 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 assists. He took over major ball handling duties in most of his 34 minutes on the floor.
The passing was once again on point, looking up on dribble drives creating room for Green and Deyonta Davis to work down low. He snags rebounds and was able to run with this younger team around him. Seeing his face light up when he looked up and saw Ron Baker across from him was a delight. It really will be something once he is traded. This team will not another way to create on offense. Wednesday was yet another great, all-around night for Tyreke.
Andrew Harrison- C
Not much to say about Andrew Harrison as he sees the start, but does not do much with it. He played 23 minutes tonight and only scored 3 points on 1-5 shooting. He was a little banged up in this one, so he gave up minutes to Mario Chalmers. We just need to think about as to why I started this post with Tyreke Evans. Once Evans is traded, it will be Harrison and Chalmers as the lead offense for this team. Yikes.
Dillon Brooks- A
Chris Paul and James Harden would have been proud of Dillon Brooks effort tonight. The rookie had the flop down the stretch to rile up Courtney Lee before he kept talking to get the technical foul with 18 seconds left. It was a vet move by a young player.
On top of that, he had an impressive night himself. Brooks scored 17 points and snagged 5 rebounds in this one. He looked great for the first night in a long while as he finds his way in this league. Solid progression.
JaMychal Green- B+
As mentioned in the intro, the paint was clear for JaMychal to create on his own not battling for room with Marc. He spread the floor taking 5 threes, hitting 3 of them. Green ended the night with 18 points and 13 rebounds. This is the games that prove he is worth his new contract.
As he had a tough matchup with Kristaps Porzingis, he split his attention on the offensive side of things equaling him on the stat sheet.
Deyonta Davis- B
Not the worst night for Deyonta. In his first career start in the NBA, he had a good game rolling off of screens, being athletic around the basket. He had 8 points and 4 rebounds on 4-6 shooting. It was mostly a Deyonta Davis type of scoring night with most of them coming around the rim.
Either way, it was a tough matchup against Enes Kanter, who had a big start to the game against Davis. As the game went along, Davis bettered his defense and improved. This is all the Grizzlies can ask for from him in a big spotlight filling in for Gasol.
No Parsons or Wright again in this one meant once again the team was going to have to dig deep for points off the bench. Luckily, Jarell Martin was ready to find his offensive rhythm again and contribute 17 points and 6 rebounds in 31 minutes. He was playing pesky defense most of his time on the court and showed his potential if he can tap it consistently. Martin’s play of the night came when he took Kristaps to the spin zone on a drive to the bucket.
The other positive were Ivan Rabb having a 4-4 shooting night in a small amount of minutes and Wayne Selden still getting his feet under him even as he had an off night shooting.
Now, the Grizzlies move on to Friday night in Zach Randolph’s return to Memphis. It will be an emotional night of memories for the two parties as he gets to play in the Grindhouse once again. Look for him to come ready to reunite with the Memphis faithful.