This was a huge win for the Grizzlies against the Denver Nuggets who came into this game 9-1. They let the rest of the West know that they are here to stay in the comletitive conversation winning this one 89-87. Coming back home in front of the crowd was crucial for this team.
It came down to the wire as the Nuggets fought back from a four point lead late. Jamal Murray then made a bone-head play with 17 seconds by fouling Marc Gasol in a tie game. A Jokic missed three at the buzzer won it for Grizzlies in dramatic fashion.
Memphis excelled in multiple facets of this game by playing their style and slowing everything down to their pace. The Grizzlies can win these games that stay in double-digits. This is the defense first basketball Memphis has grown to love.
Now, to team grades.
Mike Conley- B+
This was the perfect game where Mike Conley had a terrible individual game, but he still knew how to keep his team in it no matter his shooting percentages. He played 36 minutes and shot 2-9 from the field but still ended the night with 8 assists. Conley was a perfect facilitator for this back and forth battle, getting his teammates involved creating the best looks possible for them. Defensively Conley impacted the game as well, helping force a poor shooting from Jamal Murray as he went 6-21 from the field.
Garrett Temple- B
Temple did not get many touches in this one. He only took four shots making only one of them scoring five points total. Temple played 30 minutes but affected the game in a positive way having a +10 rating which was the second highest on the team. It is important that in low scoring affairs such as this one that the players have important runs that are not captured by the box score shown by good defense or high basketball IQ plays. Both shown by Temple tonight.
Kyle Anderson- B+
14 points for Slo-Mo!!! Wow! A huge night from Kyle Anderson as he logs 14 points in 33 minutes. This is the offensive output we have been waiting for from him as he shot 5-9 from the field. Anderson slowed the game down all night on defense and then was finally able to flip switch shooting the ball. If this can be repeated, it will only mean good things for the Grizzlies.
Jaren Jackson Jr.- A
Huge night for the young rookie. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 20 points in 33 minutes on 7-15 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds as well. With a stretched out front court with Jokic playing around the key, JJJ had the opportunity to have a big night and cashed in. The development of Jackson has been great over the past few games. He looks like he is going to turn into to something special. Also, only two personal fouls!! Big steps.
Marc Gasol- A
Tutor Marc Gasol was out to show the young Nikola Jokic how to play in this one. Gasol finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds in 36 minutes of play. He played inside out basketball making his way to the rim on countless occasions. He sealed the game with the free throws that just can’t happen at that point in the game by Murray.
But, the huge point of emphasis in this game is the Joker only having one shot all game. Plus, it came at the very end when he took the game-winning attempt but missed. Gasol made Jokic uncomfortable all night never even letting him get close to shooting. Yes, he has been more of a pass first player this year, but still you could see that Gasol was in his head most of this game. Gasol gets player of the game in this one.
The Bench- B
Nothing too impressive for the bench tonight. All solid production to keep the team in this. With both teams just missing shots, it was important that these bench guys came in to hold it down. Shelvin Mack only had six points, but drilled a huge three in the closing minutes of the game to stretch the lead out giving the Grizzlies a cushion.
Brooks led all bench scorers with 9 points in 12 minutes on 4-7 shooting. MarShon Brooks will never change.
After this great win, the Grizzlies look to keep things going on the right track hosting the Philadelphia 76ers. It will be guaranteed to be a good time as Joel Embiid comes to town. It will be another tough home test for the Grizzlies. Grizzlies vs. Sixers is on Saturday, November 10th at 7:00 CST.