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Grizzlies battle back, fall to Timberwolves in OT

Well that’s a kick in the pants.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that went against the usual structure of contests for the Memphis Grizzlies of late, the bears of Beale Street battled back after a poor first quarter showing against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They managed to make it a game when it appeared it wouldn’t be one early on - when they were down 17 points, things were looking pretty bleak. Unfortunately for Memphis, despite the comeback the Grizzlies weren’t able to close it out and beat the Timberwolves. Bruno Caboclo, Mike Conley, and Marc Gasol led the late charge to help Memphis stay in the game, but a brutal Karl-Anthony Towns buzzer beater won the game for Minnesota 99-97.

Here are some quick thoughts on tonight’s competitive showing that ended in a very unfortunate manner-

  • Holy Ivan Rabb minutes! Rabb posted a double-double in this one (10 points, 10 rebounds) and also led the Grizzlies in plus/minus (+17 in 23 minutes). He continues to show he is worthy of investment of minutes...perhaps they will come if JaMychal Green gets dealt before the trade deadline (JaM only played four minutes in this game with “sore knees” - either they think he’s bad or he’s actively on the block.)
  • Mike Conley cannot do it alone. To the credit of the Conductor, he has played his ass off (as has Marc Gasol) despite the uncertainty and chaos surrounding him. Mike has another terrific performance in this one (26 points, 8 assists), but the other back-up point guards struggled mightily in Mike’s absence. Jevon is still developing offensively, and Shelvin Mack is...Shelvin Mack. Jevon is worthy of investment in another “lost” season, but growth is needed if Conley sticks around, otherwise Mike will fall apart physically.
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. had a bad night. He is going to have those, of course, and he needs to play through the foul trouble and turnovers if he is going to grow in to the player the Memphis Grizzlies need him to be in the years ahead. He still isn’t active enough on offense in terms of schematic focus, and he clearly gets frustrated when things aren’t going well. He’s a 19 year old kid...that’s going to happen. He will learn...if J.B. Bickerstaff and company let him work within his adversity.

The Memphis Grizzlies are back in action Friday night in Charlotte against the Hornets. The game tips at 6:00 PM CT.

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