This was a tough game to watch.
With both teams missing a number of key players, there was some rough basketball to start the game. San Antonio eventually found their groove, but Memphis got out to a slow start for what seemed like the 100th time this season, and they spent the rest of the game trying to catch up.
With so many key players missing for Memphis, the Grizzlies lacked offensive flow and were careless with the ball, racking up 17 turnovers. a 23 point loss to a division rival is never fun, but this game seemed particularly rough for long stretches.
On a positive note, Ivan Rabb did get the first start of his young NBA career, which was nice to see. It would be good for Rabb to get a decent amount of playing time so that Memphis can see what they have in him.
So how did the Grizzlies grade out in this tough loss?
Marc Gasol: B-
Like I said earlier, there were a lot of guys missing in this game for Memphis. This meant that the young Grizz were going to look for Marc to lead them now more than ever. He did lead the charge, but it wasn’t enough to keep them competitive. His 18 points and 7 rebounds paced the Grizzlies and he had a decent night shooting-wise, but Gasol lacked the help to overcome the Spurs.
Deyonta Davis: C+
Davis turned in a solid night for the Grizz, getting 12 points to go along with 5 rebounds. His energy can be infectious on both ends of the court, but his lower grade is mostly due to his getting exposed on defense. Davis spent most of the night getting beat on the less glamorous end of the court, as he tends to play defense more with his athleticism and less with his mind. This is something that can be rectified with time and will only aid in his development as a talented young player.
Ivan Rabb: C+
As stated earlier, this was the first start of Ivan Rabb’s career, so that alone gets him at least a passing grade. Rabb didn’t have a bad night by any means - he tied his career high of 8 points, added 6 rebounds and showed consistent hustle and effort on both ends of the court. The one thing that held his grade back was his 4 fouls. He got the first three early on and ended up sitting most of the second quarter because of it. Most rookies struggle with fouls early on in their career and I believe this is true of Rabb. Either way, it was nice to see him get the start and get some decent minutes.
Dillon Brooks: B-
Dillon’s grade is reflective of what he accomplished both on and off the court today. Performance-wise his 10 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists are solid, but unspectacular. His biggest achievement today is he was selected to compete in the annual Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend. This game pits talented youngsters from the United States against rookies and sophomores hailing from other parts of the world. Brooks, a native of Canada, was selected for Team World and will showcase his talents for the Rising Stars game on Feb. 19th.
Quite the honor, eh?
Overall, this was an ugly performance that Memphis needs to put behind it as they prepare to host the hated Clippers this Friday.