Following yet another victory against the Utah Jazz in Utah, the Grizzlies ran in to a trap game. Their opponent: the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix was in the midst of a seven game losing streak while the Grizzlies entered Arizona looking to stay hot.
Just like their loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Grizzlies blew a double digit lead against an “inferior” opponent. Memphis held Devin Booker in check for three quarters, but the young star took over and put the final dagger in the hearts of Grizz Nation. Mikal Bridges and Trevor Ariza also played well, hitting big shots early on and down the stretch.
When Phoenix’s bright young star showed up when it mattered most, the Grizzlies core stars were completely dimmed. So let's see how the Grizz grade out:
Mike Conley (D)
Conley was only on the floor for 27 minutes due to foul trouble and posted a team-worst +/- at -15. His shooting woes continued going 3-16 on the night, 2-15 after starting the game off with his lone three.
Garrett Temple (C-)
Temple gets a bump above Conley because he was significantly more efficient with his scoring opportunities, but he was also the one guarding Booker down the stretch as he finished off the Grizz single handedly.
Kyle Anderson (B)
Slo Mo posted the highest +/- in the game for either team at +12 while finishing with 10 points on 5-6 shooting. He didn't stuff the stat sheet like he did in Utah, but his defensive impact was certainly felt.
Jaren Jackson Jr. (C)
Another night, another game that JJJ gets into foul trouble. While he was on the floor however, he did have a positive impact including this dime to Kyle Anderson.
Marc Gasol (F)
Marc gets this grade because on numerous occasions, he had Isaiah Canaan switched on to him and instead of taking him to the block, he stood at the three point line and watched the action. Off nights shooting the ball happen, but Marc made too many of these mental errors to help this team.
Being honest, the Grizzlies lose by 30 if the bench did not show up tonight.
Both Dillon Brooks and Shelvin Mack showed up to play and receive A’s. Dillon had 17 points and played with that same fire and defensive intensity we saw most of last season. Mack (21 points, 4 assists and 4 steals) continued to be a steady, consistent piece off the bench, proving that the Grizzlies truly did not need Andrew Harrison.
MarShon Brooks did MarShon stuff, like getting buckets and making plays. His defense is wildly underrated and he ends the night with 11 points and a B+.
Wayne Selden came in and provided an early spark but did not see the floor again, so for the time he played he gets a B+ as well.
Ivan Rabb and Omri Casspi both played but not enough to register a grade, but Casspi should get an A++++++ for this
It was an awful, terrible, horrible loss for the Grizzlies, but the bench continued to be a positive for this team. You cannot win in the NBA when two stars fail to even show up.