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Report Card: Grizzlies keep rolling against Trail Blazers 108-103

A new look Grizzlies lineup battles tough and holds on to the win against the Portland Trail Blazers 108-103.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Even while having a crunch time lineup including Kobi Simmons at point, JaMychal Green at center, and a guy who was just put on the Grizzlies roster, the young Memphis Grizzlies got it done, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 108-103. This was such a strange game Wednesday night. Coach Bickerstaff rolled with what was working for the team, and this led to Marc Gasol not playing down the stretch.

However, these young Grizzlies still played their butts off to get the win against a tough Portland team. Even though Damian Lillard did not play, this team is still the 3-seed in the Western Conference. The Blazers had no business losing to essentially a G-League team in the Grizzlies. Yet, as we all have seen, these guys play with a massive chip on their shoulder.

After the barrage from C.J. McCollum and Wade Baldwin IV… yes, the Wade Baldwin we all know and love, the Grizzlies kept at it and took home an impressive win. You really can’t knock Memphis for winning this one as it was all the young guys to the roster. MarShon Brooks stole the show in his first NBA game in four years after being signed from the Chinese Basketball Association. This is the type of Memphis effort that won back-to-back games for them since January.

Now, to team grades.

Mario Chalmers- B-

Rio got back into the starting lineup while Andrew Harrison sat with a wrist injury. He turned 20 minutes into 8 points and 4 rebounds. Nothing flashy from Mario Chalmers in this game, but he had a +14 rating while he was on the floor. The Grizzlies need to be careful winning many more of these games, so I would advise more inexperienced guys to start at point guard in Chalmers place.

Dillon Brooks- B+

Another game, another day with Brooks starting at the 2 while Wayne Selden comes off the bench. Tyreke Evans is the only other guy Bickerstaff will start at the 2 on this roster. Luckily, this lineup did not last as would you go figure. The Grizzlies won down the stretch with Brooks at the 3 and Martin at the 4. Either way, the rook bounced back from his benching in Minnesota. DB played 30 minutes, scored 18 points, and gathered 6 rebounds. His free throw shooting wavered throughout the game, but it is something that can and will be corrected. He is the anchor of this young lineup, and the team rallied behind him in this matchup.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Jarell Martin- B

No need to repeat myself from above, but the message still stays the same. Keep Martin on the bench behind Green or start him with JaMychal at the 5. Wednesday night he played 30 minutes, scoring only 7 points, but he had a great night on the boards with 14 total rebounds. Seems to be a correlation of sorts. Jarell looked solid down the stretch defensively as well which is something we have not said many times this season.

JaMychal Green- B+

A down night for JaM individually. Green notched 6 points and 8 rebounds. He battled Jusuf Nurkic all night when he anchored the center position with Gasol not seeing much time on the court. He fits strangely well with the lineup we saw down the stretch. Bickerstaff mostly called ISO play calls for MarShon Brooks, but with space in the paint, it made defenders have to fear the drive. Green gave him that space by stretching his game out beyond the perimeter. JaMychal had a solid overall night in this win, but it’s nothing flashy on the score sheet.

Marc Gasol- C+

This was a strange one for Marc Gasol. He was kept on the bench in the final minutes of the last quarter because of the lineup that was rolling on the court. Props to Bickerstaff for staying strong with that rotation even with two starters on the bench. Gasol only logged 21 minutes and scored 8 points with 3 rebounds and 6 assists. This is something Memphis fans may have to get used to in the coming seasons. Even if it’s hard to admit, Gasol’s time in Memphis will eventually come to an end, and it will be these younger players to carry the torch after Marc’s departure whenever that may be.

Props to Marc on handling the whole situation well and not demanding to be on the court.

Bench- A+

What a night from the Grizzlies bench in this matchup. They combined for 61 points. As we remember from the glory days of the beginning of the season, a dominant bench game will get you the wins more times than not. That was the very story here in this game against Portland.

And welcome to the team MarShon Brooks. As I eluded to above, in his first NBA game in four years, he came to play. He scored 21 points on 7-12 shooting and 5-5 from beyond the arc. This was a complete shock since the Grizzlies just signed him to a 10-day contract yesterday, however, it was something to enjoy for the night.

In addition to that, it was Kobi Simmons with 8 points in 28 minutes on the night and some solid crunch time play that will help him develop his game. Also, Wayne Selden Jr. cooled off a bit from his last few games but still contributed 10 on the night, hitting the only three he took.

Lastly, shout out to Chandler Parsons. Whenever he has a solid game it is worth mentioning. He scored 15 points on 6-12 shooting which is a very aggressive night for him. Hopefully, he can build off this aggression with the ball in his hands to attack and look like the Chandler of old.

Next, the Grizzlies travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Jazz. The Jazz will be coming off a heart-breaking loss to the short-handed Boston Celtics on ESPN. They will be dying for a win after their last game, so the intensity will be raised for that one.

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