Dillon Brooks for MVP!!
Ok, maybe a slight overreation. But he was the best player in a Grizzlies uniform as the Grizzlies dropped their 15th straight game to the Chicago Bulls, 119-110. In a battle of two of the tankiest teams in the league, Memphis came out on top - not in the win column, but in the sense of fighting for the number one pick in the draft.
So what were the grades from this latest defeat? Let’s see.
Dillon Brooks: A+
Is there a possibility that this is a slight overreaction based on the fact that I’ve been a huge supporter of Brooks since his days at Oregon? Perhaps. But watching him take over the fourth quarter of a game in which one of the better players through three quarters was Ben McLemore prompted this response.
It was like watching replays of his time with Oregon as he scored a career-high 29 points while shooting 5 of 9 from downtown. While he likely won’t ever be the alpha dog he was with the Ducks, Dillon continues to show that when his shot is falling, he can help turn the tide of a game quickly.
Ben McLemore: C
For three quarters, Ben McLemore was Memphis’ leading scorer. That’s what we’ve come to. While his 17 points and 7 rebounds on a decently efficient 45.5% sound like a decent performance, his negatives still continue to outweigh any positive actions at this point. He can’t use his silky-smooth shooting form to hide the fact that he had 6 turnovers to 2 assists and is a constant sieve on defense. His natural athletic ability should give his defense a boost, yet he continually allows defenders to blow by him for easy looks and uncontested jumpers. If he ever figures it out on the less-glamorous end, he could be a real asset.
Alas, we’ll have to take what we can get for now.
Kobi Simmons: B
I love watching this kid. He plays with bounce and displays decent shooting chops that will get better with time. He’s still 20 years old and is fairly raw, but he continues to put up solid efforts like his performance tonight. His grade would have been slightly higher if not for the fact he fouled out late in the fourth quarter, but overall still a solid night. He shows a knack for jumping passing lanes and is usually good for at least one breakaway slam per game. I hold out hope that we will see much more of him sooner rather than later.