The story of Friday night’s game was all about Lou Williams. The Grizzlies had no answer for him on the defensive side of the ball as the Clippers took this game 109-100. It was another depleted roster for the Grizzlies with Tyreke Evans and JaMychal Green still out with injuries. This made for more minutes for the Baby Grizz. Their effort, unfortunately, came up a bit short in this one.
Memphis had quite a careless game committing 20 turnovers on the night. This translated into easy points for the Clippers which was enough to control the game for the majority of the night.
A big positive from this game was the passing coming from the whole team. The Grizzlies had 31 assists and made 39 made shots. That is a superb ratio of assisted buckets for the game. Plus, even as they had 20 turnovers, it means the passing and distribution of the ball was seen as a priority which is a good sign from Coach Bickerstaff.
It actually was not a bad statistical night for the Grizzlies if you were to only look at the box score. They outrebounded the Clippers and kept close in most other categories. But, as said in the beginning, it was all about Lou Williams. No one could stop him from scoring 40 points and having 10 assists. Memphis had multiple chances to cut the lead and get the deficit to less than the 8-12 range, but they never had enough to take back control. It was an unfortunate loss regardless of the draft pick implications because it was against a despised team in the Clippers.
Now, to team grades.
Andrew Harrison- C+
I feel like I have said this each and every game with Andrew Harrison. Unfortunately, he just does not have enough night in and night out to compete in the NBA. In games, like Friday night, he hits an early three in the first quarter to give you hope, but then he makes a few bad decisions to make you quickly forget that early success. Friday night, he actually was a bit more aggressive than normal. He played 26 minutes and scored 12 points. However, he was on the court guarding Milos Teodosic most of the night and did not look good on that end of the court. Milos ended up with 18 of his own.
Wayne Selden Jr- C
Coming into any game that Selden starts, I am excited to see him be able to excel. Over the last five games, he has had more minutes to show out and had that one 31 point night as well. But, we saw in this one that he just was not feeling it tonight. He only had 4 points on 2-6 shooting. He did not bring his normal score-first mentality that we have seen of late. It was a little disappointing not seeing a better performance from Selden, but credit goes to up-and-comer Tyrone Wallace who is on a two-way deal with the Clippers.
Dillon Brooks- B
Brooks had a tale of two games Friday night as he excelled on the offensive side of things putting up 15 points on a 6-10 shooting night. He played well and attacked the rim more than past games. However, Brooks may not be too happy after this one because he was guarding Lou Williams on defense. Brooks has such a hard time on 2-guards because they are just a step faster than him, and that was on display in this one. It is such a tougher matchup than against 3’s in the league. It is a learning process still for Brooks, but after that showing from Williams, he may be mad at himself more than normal.
Jarell Martin- B-
Another great game for Jarell Martin as he got the start for JaMychal Green at power forward. He took this opportunity and excelled being the team’s leading scorer with 17 points while also bringing in 6 rebounds. Martin did a better job showing his strengths on offense by driving into the paint instead of settling for a jumper. This makes his life a lot easier not having to find his sometimes non-existent jumper. He needs to use his athleticism to take over games and mirror his scoring as we saw in this one.
Marc Gasol- A
First triple-double of the season for Marc Gasol! It was a great all-around game for him as he finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and also 5 blocks. I wish the Grizzlies could have gotten the win for Marc as he seemed to do everything he could against the Clips. Almost more important than this offensive production is how he and Martin controlled the Clippers frontcourt from getting second-chance points. So many times, we see games where DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin had 25 rebounds combined along with an absurd amount of second-chance points. In this matchup, the Clippers were limited to only 3 offensive rebounds (two of those by Wallace, a guard). It showed promise for a more athletic frontcourt with Gasol and Martin out there.
As we have seen the past few nights, Bickerstaff is calling on all Grizzlies to help the cause in these games. Mario Chalmers showed out with 17 points and 10 assists of his own chalking up a double-double. Ivan Rabb was also in double digits with 12 points on 5-8 shooting. He looked strong and confident shooting the ball and being aggressive around the rim.
There were only nine Grizzlies who saw the court Friday night, so we got to see 25 minutes from Myke Henry and 11 minutes from Deyonta Davis. Both finished with 5 points and disappointing nights shooting the ball from the field.
Next, the Grizzlies welcome the Suns on Sunday.