In somewhat a surprising return for some, Ja Morant returned amnd coincidently the Grizzlies snap a 3 game skid. Go figure! As the Grizzlies took control out the gate and nailed seven three-pointers in the first quarter alone. The Beale St Boys were Drip ‘N’ Slime in every sense.
Ja Morant- A
Considering how cautious the Grizzlies have been with Ja Morant, I didn't expect him back for at least another couple of games, but to my surprise, the king has returned, and he showed very little rust. Ja came out hot with the rest of the crew early and though I saw him favor the lower back and hip area once later in the game, Ja didn't allow it to slow up the drip if it was anything. Ja was amazing as usual and blessed the game with a very saucy 26 points of which one particular play around the 10-minute mark. Ja attacked as the Pick ‘n’ Roll Handler with Jaren stepping out to pop from deep. Ja rolled and was covered by Alec Burks, of which he faked a pass while attacking the basket and cuffed the rock in Rajon Rondo Fashion, causing Burks to turn all the way around and make the entire Warriors home crowd give the loudest of Ooh’s and ahh’s. My eyes are literally watery, as I write this.
Not to mention, he got guys like Dillon Brooks going early, and even Jonas in the post. He didnt allow his matchup D'Angelo Russell to go crazy as Memphis wins so he gets a solid A. Bless the day we were blessed with Ja.
Dillon Brooks- B
Brooks got going early with the rest of the gang, and if he wasn't attacking the basket in Vintage Dillon fashion, he was using his burner on catch-and-shoot assists from deep. Dillon finished with 17 points 3 rebounds, and a couple of assists but his main claim to fame was his scoring as his defense was decent.
Jonas Valanciunas - B+
Jonas came out ready to bang bang bang! — in the words of The Late John Witherspoon — and that's exactly what he did. Jonas came out taking advantage of the poorly-sized Golden State team that despite the presence of a healthy Draymond Green, didn't stand a chance in the post keeping rebounds away from Jonas. So he ate to the tune of 10 rebounds and chipped in double-digit scoring with 13 points, and even showed glimpse of Marc Gasol lite type of skill scoring at times with the post moves, and of course the two burner buckets from long distance.
Jaren Jackson Jr- B
Jaren was a pretty solid defender with a +10, despite the Grizz only winning by 8, but mainly contributed with 16 points of which was a usual mix up of catch-and shoot three-pointers and baskets around the rim. He didn't do much else as he still struggles to rebound part of which is due to his often outside play offensively and playing help defense.
Jae Crowder- B
Jae grade is a solid B, due to to the little things and nuances of basketball that the novice may not see. Yes Crowder only had two points, but he had 9 rebounds of which a few came in key moments, and he played astounding defense to warrant playing 30 minutes. He had the game high plus minus at +12 in a game that saw Ja get 26 points and 7 assists. He is becoming a young OG for the young Memphis Drip.
Grayson Allen came out hot as fish grease, nailing three of his four of his shots from three-point land and served a swift 15 point special in only 12 minutes, including a highlight fastbreak dunk that really made a statement. As Brendan Smart pointed out in the previous report card, Grayson Allen has come on strong in his return from the bum ankle.
De'Anthony Melton was a B-, as he was very productive in his minutes including being aggressive attacking the basket, and sometimes reckless to the tune of 4 turnovers. But, he had 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in only 17 minutes, so he was active and playing hard if anything.
Tyus Jones gets a B, as he was very good defensively. He had the 2nd-highest +/- of the game behind Crowder with a +10 despite only scoring 5 points. He did dish out seven assists, so he definitely generated some sort of offense.
Solomon Hill - D-
Hill getting 30 minutes was a sheer sign of a lack of depth being he only had 3 points on seven attempts and finished with a -1 plus minus, despite the team winning by eight.
Marko Guduric - D
Marko only played 11 minutes, being he got beat on a few plays and didn’t get going quick enough. Better luck next time.
Bruno Caboclo got a quick six but was limited in minutes.