The Summer League Memphis Grizzlies stayed undefeated in Utah as they beat the host Jazz 95-92. It was a lot closer than it should’ve been as the game reached its conclusion - Utah came roaring back from 26 points down at one point to take the lead with a little more than two minutes remaining, but Wayne Selden Jr. led the crunch time push and helped the Grizzlies silence the Jazz.
Here are some takeaways from this “meaningless” game which had some real intensity, especially down the stretch.
- Wayne Selden Jr. playing in these games is borderline unfair. The guy is just so much further along physically than most of the wings he is up against that he can have his way off the dribble almost at will. His shooting numbers were not the best in this contest (6-17 overall from the floor), but he dominated off of the pick and roll and more often than not made the right decision with his shot selection on his way to 20 points.
Selden’s key with the main roster is health - if he can make it through the preseason 100% ready to go, he can compete for real minutes or even a starting spot depending on what the Grizzlies do with the remainder of their offseason.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. had a much more “realistic” performance in this game - 10 points on 11 shots, 8 rebounds, two blocks and two made threes. No one thinks that his eight made three pointers from Monday night is sustainable, but as fun as that showing was this one held almost as much promise, at least in my eyes. He had multiple opportunities off the dribble and showed potential in that facet of his game, and he also made more of an impact on the glass and defensively in terms of movement and attention to where he was on the floor.
If he can be this type of player every night for Memphis come the season, with flashes of the guy that dominated the game from beyond the arc against the Hawks? Not only was it the right choice, but Jackson may well have a shot at being the best player in this draft class. Lots of miles to go before we get there, but isn’t it nice to be excited about the future for a change?
- GOOD BASKETBALL PLAYING DEYONTA DAVIS SIGHTING! Deyonta bounced back from his “meh” showing against Atlanta and was dominant offensively against the Jazz. 17 points on 9 shots is extremely efficient, and Deyonta’s length also created issues for Utah throughout the game. This doesn’t erase all the issues and inconsistent play he’s had the past two seasons, but what it does is show that potential that has always been there with Davis. His final Utah Summer League game against the Spurs on Thursday will be big for his confidence heading in to the Vegas Summer League.
- Kobi Simmons...wow. 20 points on 18 shots with ZERO assists. Not even mad...that’s amazing. Simmons is a clear scorer, and his personality as a competitor/alpha type shines through in his play. Memphis is fortunate to have him under contract as a two-way player for another season, but at this rate between Simmons, Jevon Carter (a struggle offensively so far, but as advertised defensively to this point), and Andrew Harrison a decision may have to be made sooner rather than later.
Or, instead of signing another free agent, the Grizzlies front office claims Harrison as a wing is their “acquisition” and it all works out for all involved. That shiver down your spine you just felt is the realization that may indeed happen.
The Utah Summer League concludes for Memphis on Thursday night at 6:00 PM CT as they take on the San Antonio Spurs. A win would get the young Grizzlies a Utah Summer League championship (is there such a thing? If not, now there is) and momentum heading in to the “main event” in Las Vegas that starts for Memphis on Saturday.