The Grizzlies held on against the 76ers. Memphis did everything they could to lose this game down the stretch, but a Joel Embiid missed free throw and a questionable shot from Robert Covington was enough to keep the Grizzlies on top in this one, 105-101. This was the 8th straight win over Philadelphia for Memphis.
It was another full team performance, with the bench contributing 45 points. We got to see some of the new faces getting some good minutes such as Myke Henry and Ivan Rabb for the Grizzlies. With a plethora of injuries, these guys had to step up and be a force in any kind of winning game plan.
Memphis took advantage of a sloppy game from Philly as they committed 24 turnovers Monday night. This translated into a whopping 39 points off turnovers, which was the story of how the Grizzlies clawed back into it.
The Grizzlies were outrebounded and were outshot by the Sixers from the field and from three. Honestly, the Grizzlies had no business being in this one. However, they did take advantage of all the fouls called in a game between the two most fouling teams in the league. Only stat to really explain the game is that the Grizzlies outscored the Sixers 20-1 in points off turnovers in the 4th quarter. It was a strange night in the Forum, but a nice night for a Grizzlies comeback win. (For those keeping track of draft picks, good news is the Hawks and Mavericks won too)
Now, to team grades.
Tyreke Evans- B+
This may be the first time in a long time that Tyreke has not been the high scorer in either of two straight games. It is not meaning he is fading out, but only that others are looking good certain nights. In this one, he had 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists. His offense was subdued until the team needed it to spark the fourth quarter run the Grizzlies went on to get back into the game.
Tyreke Evans in isolation is what the offense used over and over in the late stages of this game. Once the team switches on a pick, it is normally ball game for this defender. He rose up and over Embiid multiple times throughout the night after he switched at the top of the key. It is the beauty of Evans’s game that makes him so dynamic.
Andrew Harrison- C+
Again, not much to say about Andrew Harrison as his shoulder let him start again Monday night. He played 23 minutes and only scored 4 points on 2-7 shooting. Harrison ended the night with the worst +/- on the team at -9. I believe that +/-‘s need to be relied on cautiously when looking at a stat sheet, but it does let you know the overall impact of their game. Night after night, everyone is hoping he’ll make a jump of any kind to give the Memphis faithful hope, but it just does not seem to happen. Maybe he can figure out something soon.
Dillon Brooks- B
Brooks struggled to get anything going in this one as he finished the game with 7 points on a bad 2-7 shooting night. He may have been off because of the attention he gave to defending Ben Simmons as he found himself up against most of the night. Simmons only had 6 points and 7 assists, so his impact on the game was minimal because of Brooks. It was an impressive night defensively for the Rook.
Jarell Martin- A-
With JaMychal Green hurt, this opened the door for Jarell Martin to get big minutes from the top of the game. He looked great against the 76ers in a tough matchup with Embiid “trolling” around in the paint. Martin played 32 minutes and had 12 points, but the real impact he brought was on the offensive glass. Jarell had 6 offensive rebounds which proved to be crucial time and time again. In a night where the Grizzlies lost the battle on the glass 48-32, these offensive boards were very important to restart the shot clock or tip-ins around the glass.
Martin gives another gear that we sometimes do not see from others out on the court. He brings an athletic edge to the lineup which brings the defensive flare on occasions. Monday night was a good opportunity for Martin to build on some solid nights off the bench. He did that and may have raised his trade value up just a tad for future inquiries.
Marc Gasol- A
As mentioned, it was tough down in the paint with a force like Joel Embiid. Embiid finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds which is not the best to give up, but it could have been a lot worse. Marc battled with him down there drawing him out as much as he could by knocking down three 3’s. Gasol had 19 points and 6 rebounds, but the spacing Gasol created was most important for Evans, Selden, and even Chalmers to drive the paint when they needed. Excellent all-around game for Marc in a win.
This one was a fun one for the Grizzlies bench Monday night. Mario Chalmers led the unit with 15 points and a 4th quarter spark with 5 points and a steal in the opening minutes of the quarter. Also, out of nowhere comes Myke Henry putting up 12 of his own with some big shots and the end of the game interview.
Another note I wanted to mention was how much better Deyonta Davis has gotten defensively. Normally, younger bigs look lost on the perimeter, but on switches, Davis kept his composure and forced chaotic shots late in the shot clock. Davis is really coming into form over these past few weeks which is a great sign long term for his game.
Next, the Grizzlies welcome the Spurs on Wednesday night. These two teams always seem to have classic games and with how the Grizzlies are playing, anything can happen.