The Memphis Grizzlies continued their prep last night in Oklahoma City building for the upcoming season. The Grizzlies defeated the Thunder 124-119 led by Dillon Brooks going off in the third quarter and finishing with 30 points of his own.
It was a different lineup most of the night with many Grizzlies sitting this one out. No Ja Morant, Jonas Valanciunas, or Brandon Clarke. However, it was still a solid team performance with some of the end of the bench guys carrying the team to a victory. In the minutes they got in the fourth quarter, they tried to show why they belong in the NBA.
With one game left before the real season starts up, it will the end of the line for some of these players as the Grizzlies will cut their roster down. The game against the Spurs will be their last chance to prove themselves which will be another fun subplot to watch play out during that one.
Now on to last night’s notable grades:
Jaren Jackson Jr. - A
Some hugely improved ballhandling on a drive from Jaren Jackson, Jr. He starts doing this stuff on a regular basis, he's gonna be a big problem for defenders. pic.twitter.com/rVdG4UZMq6— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) October 17, 2019
As mentioned, there were many players who sat this one out for maintenance reasons, but it surely was not going to be Jaren Jackson Jr. He came out firing early racking up 11 points and 6 rebounds by halftime. He finished the game with an impressive double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Because of lack of depth at the big man position, much of this game he played the center position and battled Steven Adams down in the post. While it is hard to try and take away too much from these preseason games, it is still worth while to analyze individual match-ups to see how a player fares against live competition. This is a great sign to see Jaren holding his own against a top bruising center in this league, despite fouling out.
Dillon Brooks- A
You think Dillon Brooks was a little mad about not starting the other night?
He sure has the coaches thinking twice about that now. Brooks had an electric third quarter scoring 23 points. According to Grizzlies PR, the Memphis Grizzlies regular-season franchise record for points in a single quarter is 22 by Troy Daniels in 2009. DB had the hot hand rolling to 30 points for the game, 10-17 from the field and 5-9 from the three. The best part was he also finished the game with 0 rebounds and 0 assists. It is the true stat line for a preseason heat check game. Hopefully it will give Brooks some confidence that he has shown to need through his seasons here in Memphis.
Grayson Allen- C
Now, for the last grade, it would be worth mentioning Grayson Allen. It is notable because of the roster battle going on between him and the guy who scored 30. Of course, this is one blip during a long preseason and season, but Allen is going to have to make an impression to see if he can move up the roster and completely take over Dillon Brooks’ spot. The minutes should be balanced out for beginning of the season, but one would assume someone will take a backseat at a certain point. For Allen, eight points against the Hornets in 24 minutes and six points last night in 21 minutes is not the output you want. This will be one of the more intriguing roster battles to keep up with.
The Grizzlies will conclude their preseason tomorrow night in San Antonio at 7:30 CST. As stated in the intro, it will be the last chance to see what some of these down-the-bench guys have trying to make it at this level before roster cuts. It should be some fun basketball to watch for the roster nerds out there.