This is a fact that hopefully many understood heading in to tonight’s game with the Sixers in Philly. Memphis is certainly capable of beating Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and their crew, but the Grizzlies would have to play a very clean game to get the job done, while forcing Philly to play outside of their comfort zone and make mistakes.
Neither the former nor the latter occurred nearly enough, and here we are with a loss. Here are some takeaways from the road defeat by the score 103-95-
Jaren Jackson Jr. remains a revelation
Slightly funky shot aside, JJJ is consistently making a difference for the Grizzlies on both ends far sooner than most thought he would. He was among the game high scorers for Memphis and also had multiple blocks (3) and a steal. There were definitely flaws to his performance - 3 rebounds is never, ever, going to cut it from Jaren, and being 1-4 from beyond the arc didn’t help the Grizzlies.
But this is a friendly reminder that he is 19 years old. The fact he is doing this on a team actively trying to be good is damn impressive. In a loaded race for Rookie of the Year, Jaren Jackson Jr. is among the top candidates.
Despite Jackson’s rapid rise, a common refrain...
When Marc Gasol and Mike Conley both struggle offensively, the Grizzlies are going to have issues winning basketball games.
Also, water remains wet.
Gasol and Conley combined to shoot 10-31 from the field, with most of their struggles coming from within the three point line - the pair was a combined 5-11 from three. Marc and Mike had issues getting the ball to go in the bucket, and even with the talent of Jackson and the contributions from players like Kyle Anderson in other areas, there simply isn’t enough scoring punch on this roster to compete with very good teams like the Sixers.
Garrett Temple and MarShon Brooks aren’t the answer...but in fairness they aren’t supposed to be. It is becoming more and more evident that Memphis needs to make a move for a wing if they hope to actually compete at a high level consistently with the best of the Association.
Stupid knees...I miss you, Chandler.
The Grizzlies are now 13-9, which is definitely still better than the alternative that we all lived through last season. At least they competed to the end against a formidable Eastern Conference foe. Memphis is back in action Wednesday night at home against the L.A. Clippers.