For the third time in less than a month, Memphis and Utah squared off for some NBA fun. This time, however, the location and result changed - the Grizzlies once again frustrated the Jazz with their overall grittiness and grindiness, but Utah pulled away late on their way to a 96-88 victory.
Here are some takeaways from tonight’s loss, the first at home this season for Memphis:
Efficient scoring from the stars...until there wasn’t.
It’s a common refrain from both fans and Grizzlies media alike - when Marc Gasol and Mike Conley ball out, Memphis can beat just about anybody. This held true in this game as well - when Conley and Gasol were hitting shots earlier in the contest, Memphis was winning. When they started missing at inopportune times, the Jazz were able to pull away. Marc and Mike are what drive the Grizzlies - it really is that simple, especially with multiple rotation players out currently in Chandler Parsons, Omri Casspi, Dillon Brooks, and JaMychal Green
Tonight they just weren’t able to answer the call late and the Jazz capitalized.
Jaren Jackson Jr. - the rookie who did his best
Jaren Jackson Jr.’s night was a perfect embodiment of what the rookie is at this stage of his career - a lot of potential, a decent bit of substance, but a long ways to go still.
First, the good - he was active on the boards and made rebounding a priority in his minutes, securing 11 rebounds to go with his 10 points for his first career double-double. He also showed consistent rim protection to the tune of five blocks...
The bad, however, lies in the fact that he turned the ball over way too much. Four turnovers isn’t chump change, especially for a Grizzlies offense that struggles to score enough as it is. Jaren must be more careful with the rock and prove to Coach Bickerstaff that he is capable of playing in big moments, and those possessions being valued and protected would be a good start.
- Kyle Anderson struggled offensively tonight...but what else is new? You’d like to see one or two more made baskets, but Slo-Mo isn’t ever going to be an offensive impact player, at least not as a scorer.
- The Grizzlies only played eight guys tonight. This probably isn’t sustainable, especially with three more games coming up this week. Ivan Rabb, Yuta Watanabe, and even Jevon Carter probably need to see some more time starting Wednesday.
- 4-24 from three isn’t going to cut it. That is 16.7% from beyond the arc. “The mud” is cool and all, but you know what’s more cool? Competent offense.
- Losing a game where Donovan Mitchell shoots 3-14 hurts. It also really shows just how hard pressed for offense Memphis was in this one.
The Grizzlies are back in action Wednesday night against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night at 7:00 PM CT.