There was not a lot of good — if any — at all from last night’s game. You may look at the box score and see good stats from Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke, and Dillon Brooks, but it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Ja Morant, at times, looked like a rookie point guard — one that played out of control — but that’s going to happen sometimes. The usually-efficient Brandon Clarke didn’t have his best shooting night, but that’s going to happen sometimes. Dillon Brooks made some outside shots, but he still takes inefficient shots inside the arc, but that’s going to happen sometimes.
If you look towards the extreme negative, you’re going to look at Jaren Jackson Jr.’s performance. The 20 year-old sophomore finished with 8 points and 6 fouls in 18 minutes. That’s going to happen sometimes.
Yes, the loss to the JV Warriors team looks terrible on paper. However, don’t let last week’s surge fool you: the Memphis Grizzlies are in the same tier as this Golden State team. They’re expected to be a bottom-five team.
The Memphis Grizzlies brass has expressed time and time again that this will be a long-term process. Some nights will be like Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz where everything clicks, and you see flashes of the future. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. will look like stars some nights. Guys like Brandon Clarke, Kyle Anderson, and Dillon Brooks will also flash the potential of becoming high-end role players on good teams.
However, there will be games like last night where it’s simply not there. Ja Morant will play like a rookie some night. Jaren Jackson Jr. will go through the growing pains of a young big man. The role players that produce regularly may not have it some nights.
It’s going to happen this year, get used to it.
That doesn’t mean it’s time to go Chicken Little and make reactionary takes. The trio of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Brandon Clarke is still equipped to be the foundation of this team. Taylor Jenkins hasn’t proven to be the wrong man for the job — to be honest, he’s been solid for a rookie head coach.
Last night came down to something simple — The Memphis Grizzlies played like they should win, while the Golden State Warriors played like they needed to win. That’s what it came down to.
Don’t act like the sky is falling, because these things will happen over the course of the season. It’s a part of the process, and these lumps these young players take will only help them grow.