The Memphis Grizzlies started the first half of the rare home-and-home back-to-back last night, but dropped one. Though Dwyane Wade fans were disappointed with missing their favorite player in his final trip to Memphis, they should be pleased with the outcome. Led by... Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Johnson, the Heat used a 3-point attack (15-for-39 from downtown) to secure a road win.
For the Grizzlies’ side, it’s the loss that illustrates the need for more “good talent.” Though they got a 15 point night from Garrett Temple, it was a game, because of Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Jaren Jackson. Everyone else was pretty much a nonfactor in Friday night’s loss.
How did everyone grade out?
The bench honestly didn’t do much to impact the game. For starters, their counterparts blew them out of the water, even though the first unit handled Miami’s starting 5. Secondly, nobody stood out.
JaMychal Green was relatively mediocre, given his recent performance. Joakim Noah was what you'd expect. He made a few OK plays, but his overall play didn't impact the outcome. Shelvin Mack had another dud of a game, highlighting the fact that it’s time to see what they have in Jevon Carter. Neither MarShon Brooks nor Wayne Selden got anything going offensively. Omri Casspi only played 5 first-half minutes, which was pretty weird.
This bench desperately needs Dillon Brooks.
- Mike Conley: B
Mike Conley started out slow, primarily because of the size of Rodney McGruder, Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow defensively. However, he turned it around in the second quarter on, finishing with 22 points, 8 assists, and 3(!!!) blocks. Wow, where would this team be without him?
- Garrett Temple: B
Going into this matchup, Temple was struggling mightily, averaging 6.6 points on 33.3% shooting from the field in the previous 5 games. At the start of the game, it appeared that he was going to have another off night, tallying one point in the first half...until...
After this halftime buzzer-beater, Temple drilled two more 3’s in the second half to finish with 15 points. The Grizzlies need THIS Garrett Temple, if they want to stay afloat in the Western Conference.
- Kyle Anderson: B+
It appeared that we were going to get a game from Kyle Anderson where he was actually scoring. It’s a Christmas Miracle! However, the Grizzlies only played him 13 minutes, prior to him injuring his ankle in the fourth quarter — he finished with 16 minutes. Best wishes for Anderson, and for this Grizzlies team. They can’t afford anymore injuries on the wing.
- Jaren Jackson: A-
Jackson was getting worked by Olynyk defensively, but honestly he was cooking everyone. Offensively, Jackson went to work and simply carried this team, scoring 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting (nice). He only played 22 minutes, which is baffling considering that he only had 2 foul calls. The Grizzlies need more Jaren, if they want to rise in the Western Conference.
- Marc Gasol: C
Gasol had a relatively quiet game, nothing 14 points on 6-for-16 shooting, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. He played 36 minutes, which is alarming considering he's hurt and the team plays again tomorrow. Hopefully, they take note and stop playing him this much, especially given how the depth of the Grizzlies’ frontcourt.
Tune in tonight as the Grizzlies take on the Houston Rockets at home.