Even without two of the Thunder’s Big Three, Oklahoma City had no problem beating the Grizzlies Sunday night, 110-92. Memphis came out sluggish, and Oklahoma City couldn’t miss from three. It was a dominant performance from them from start to finish.
The Grizzlies were very foul-happy in this game. They ended the game with 32 fouls committed. With about 9:30 left in the 2nd quarter, the Thunder were already in the bonus. This impacted any consistency Memphis was trying to establish with the game being stopped on fouls and lineups being changed constantly.
Memphis shot the ball poorly from three, finishing at 21.4%. However, for the Thunder, it was a completely different story as they shot 43.2% from beyond the arc, hitting 16 of them. This was the key development of the game, as the Grizzlies actually won the battle in the paint, gathering more rebounds and scoring more points in the paint. In the end, Memphis just did not make the plays to win or even compete in this one.
Now, to player grades.
Andrew Harrison- D
Andrew Harrison struggled in this one. He only played 11 minutes in the whole game because he did not know how to defend without fouling. In these 11 minutes, he had 3 points and 5 personal fouls. There was no chance for him to find a rhythm because he was subbed out after most of his later fouls. Harrison has got to learn how to play better defense without being overly handsy during on-ball defending. It is a problem we have seen from him time and time again.
Tyreke Evans- C
Still not sure why Tyreke Evans was not traded, but here we are.
Tyreke came out in this one like a guy who hadn’t played in weeks. Oh wait, the front office held him out to trade him, and he actually had not played in weeks. He was 3-11 shooting in this one, scoring 12 points. His body language was off all game as he looked dejected throughout. This may be a sign of things to come over the last two months of the season. This game hopefully will knock the rust off, so he can get back to the level he was at earlier in the season. Also, on the defensive side of things, Tyreke allowed Alex Abrines to go off and score 16 points on him.
Dillon Brooks- C-
Dillon Brooks ran into the same problem as Andrew Harrison: fouling over and over, not showing he could defend consistently. The challenge against the Thunder came with him having to guard Paul George. Of course, that’s not the easiest matchup, but he found himself fouling which resulted in him only playing 24 minutes. He finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.
JaMychal Green- B+
Individually this was one of JaMychal’s best games of the season. He showed more hustle than anyone else on the floor Sunday night. Green was the MVP for the Grizzlies with the intensity he brought into the game. He finished the night with 14 points and 12 rebounds for his 5th double-double on the year. Green contributed to the offensive glass with 6 offensive boards, a majority of which resulted in put-back buckets. JaMychal needs to tap into this performance and replicate it more on a nightly basis.
Marc Gasol- B-
Marc had a classic Marc game in this one. He led the team in scoring with 18 and had 6 boards. His assist total was not where it usually is, but still, he scored and contributed to this game the best he could. A positive about this stat line is that it came against Steven Adams who has made his case for one of the most important players on this Oklahoma City team. He is a strong force down low, and Gasol still put up solid numbers against him. Something to definitely take away from this one.
Very average night from the bench. Most of the games, I analyze Ivan Rabb’s game more than anyone else. He looked solid in this one finding himself 6 points and 6 rebounds. Rabb still missed a few steps defensively, but there were a few plays that showed his basketball IQ which I have written about before.
Jarell Martin also had a decent stat line. He finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds. It would be a nice night if you could just take out all the defensive miscues he had. Martin can not matchup against any wing player in the league. He is just too slow. Yes, a few times it was Paul George, but even when PG wasn’t in, Martin was lost.
Other than that, the bench had some big minutes with Mario Chalmers and Ben McLemore playing 30 and 28 minutes, respectively. That again goes to the foul trouble the starters had, but nothing was changing this outcome.
Next, the Grizzlies go back home and face this same Oklahoma City Thunder team. With a game for OKC in between, the status of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are still undetermined. Something will have to change if the Grizzlies want to have any shot in Round 2.