The Grizzlies broke their 8-game losing streak Saturday night against an Indiana Pacers team that was missing their best player. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, though. The Grizzlies almost found a way to lose this one. The Pacers came back from being down 14 points (101-87) with 1:29 left in the fourth. We’ll get into that as we go through some of the grades from Saturday night.
The Grizzlies ability to close out a game is worthy of a D-
And that’s being a bit generous. As said above, Memphis went up 101-87 with 89 seconds left in the game. Aside from the Warriors/Rockets/Raptors there are not many teams in the league that can erase a lead like that with that little time left. Unless the other team is Memphis. Over that final stretch the Grizzlies went 5-of-7 from the line which is somewhat okay but then Mike Conley committed two fouls on Darren Collison, putting a career 85% free throw shooter on the line. Which he drained all four of, as you would expect. If not for the Pacers stretching their final possession out a bit too long, Indy may have found a way to win this game. It was the fourth time in the game that Memphis had given up a double-digit lead and the game got to a single-possession lead.
Bruno gets a B, bay-bay!
This young man has had to step into a very awkward situation. One where half of his teammates could be gone withing the 10-day contract he signed. Oh yeah, he’s on a 10-day, so he also has to work his tail off to learn a system he’s mostly never played with a staff he only somewhat knows (Coach Jerry Stackhouse coached Bruno while with Raptors 95). Caboclo is learning on the fly and doing pretty well with it. 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks for the young man. Is it enough to keep him on the roster? Maybe. It really depends on what happens with the rest of the roster the next several days. Either way, Bruno has done well enough so far to probably earn a shot somewhere.
Jaren Jackson Jr. gets an A for a couple reasons
As Joe Mullinax wrote in our recap of the game:
Play Jaren, feed Jaren the ball, watch Jaren score. Jaren grow.
Not verbatim, of course. Seriously though, Jaren was great against Indy. 20 points, 6 boards, and a nice 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
Also, I defintely agree with his choice of post-game attire. #Litness.
Be like @jarenjacksonjr and rock GBB/@breakingtco’s LITNESS hoodie (or t-shirt). We will be donating part of the proceeds to @StJude - everyone wins!— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) January 27, 2019
T-Shirt link - https://t.co/fdnJwdPwP0
Hoodie link - https://t.co/SIPNHgZTp3
Article link- https://t.co/2jmRusKPx3 pic.twitter.com/atvlgjkKfp
This picture of Mike and Marc gets an A+
I’ll fight anyone that says otherwise. If this is the final image of these two as Memphis Grizzlies, then I’m more than okay with it.
I’m not crying it’s just really dry in here or someone’s cutting onions or something.
Justin Holiday gets a C+ for having another solid game. Justin’s scored in double figures 3 out of the last 6 games. With Garrett Temple out for another week or two, Holiday will probably continue to get some run in the starting lineup. He has yet to score in double figures in back-to-back games since joining the Grizzlies, so hopefully that’s the next step.
Mike Conley gets a B- for putting up a double-double with 22 points and 11 assists. I might have been willing to bump that up a bit if not for the two late fouls that kept Indy in the game. Conley has been averaging 23 points per game since it was announced that he and Marc Gasol were on the trading block.
Joakim Noah gets an A for being a spark once again. In his 18:12 of action, Noah scored 9 points, grabbed 6 boards, and got 4 assists. Noah also led the team in plus/minus with 12. That’s two good games back-to-back for him which is what the Grizzlies picked him up for. Consistency goes a long way with a struggling team.
The Grizzlies are back in action on Monday at FedExForum as the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Jokic come to town. had a triple-double against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night to keep the Nuggets in second place in the West behind Golden State.