After watching this game, an old adage came to mind:
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
Wait, no that’s not the one because it is clearly broken.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”
That’s the one right there. This is just pure insanity.
The Memphis Grizzlies came out early with what seemed to be like a game plan. Point Kyle Anderson was in full effect. His usage rate had to have been its highest it has been all season, jumping out to a 4 for 4 start for him. Marc Gasol looked aggressive and good early as well.
The game plan seemed to be to let the offense run through Kyle, Marc, and Jaren Jackson Jr. while letting Mike Conley play off ball and save energy for the fourth when the team would predictably rely on his hero ball to carry them home.
Mike Conley took one shot by time half time came and he was seen icing down his shoulder on the bench. So now we don’t know if JB actually had a good game plan to get Kyle more involved or if the team knew he was hurt and stayed away from him.
So with that being laid out there lets just jump to the grades.
Team Defense: F
The Grizzlies let the second worse three point percentage team in the NBA shoot 40%. The entire night whoever the on ball defender was constantly got beat off the dribble, forcing their teammates into help defense, and the Pistons just knocked down wide open threes off drive and kicks. For a team and coach that hang their hats on the defensive end, this was an embarrassingly poor showing.
Kyle Anderson: A
His +/- (-11) is an example of why numbers sometimes lie. It’s not his fault that in the third quarter when his team managed 12 points that his usage rate nearly disappeared. It’s not his fault he was on the floor with a group of guys that outside of Jaren didn't play well. Kyle looked great, scoring efficiently (15 points on 7-9 shooting) and rebounding. He continues to win fans over with his play.
Jaren Jackson Jr.: A
The only reason Jaren doesn’t get an A+ is because he still struggles to understand some defensive rotations. But when JJJ is allowed to, the kid can flat out play. He scored 26 points on 8-11 shooting from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line. He also managed 10 rebounds against Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Hopefully, I do mean hopefully, the coaches will see this game and let kid loose.
Dillon Brooks: B
Dillon was in a little bit of foul trouble early that kept him from finding a rhythm, but he is one of the only guys on the team that can create his own shot. He ended the night with 14 points on 60% shooting as he continues to find his groove returning from his injury.
Mike Conley- F
I do not know if this had to do with the injury to his shoulder, but after a little research I found that Mike Conley has not gone scoreless in an NBA regular season game he has played in since December 8, 2015 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hard to win a game when your best player doesn't score. This team rides and dies with the conductor.
JB Bickerstaff- F
There is simply no excuse for why Garrett Temple, shooting 25% on the night is in at the end of the game over Dillon Brooks, the only guy on the team in this game able to get himself a shot, while shooting 60%. In the pregame, JB was asked about his end of game lineups. His answer was basically that he based those lineups up who was playing well (which is so far from what he has been doing). He sat a struggling Mike and Marc to prove a point I suppose, but let Dillon sit.
The future of this team [Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Anderson, and Dillon Brooks] played well, but that was about it against a team they should have handled with ease.
The Grizzlies are back in action Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets.