This Memphis Grizzlies team continues to be utterly perplexing. The stated goal by the front office and the goal of most bloggers is to convey this year’s pick to Boston. After the trade deadline the team might have improved their roster and therefore their chances to convey.
Coming out of the All-Star Break, the Grizzlies fell flat on their face. It is one thing to lose to the Clippers, but losing to the Cavaliers looks more like a tank job than a convey chase. So naturally, what do the Grizzlies do after losing to the Cavs? They turn around and beat Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Several Grizzlies had great games as the Grizz hung on late against the Lakers, so let’s look at the report card for the night:
The Principal’s List
(The All A’s Students)
Mike Conley reached 20 points rather quietly in this game. His final ten points to get his total to 30 were a little louder but Mike did what he always does and just quietly leads this team. He broke out of his three point shooting slump going 3-6 and also chopped in 5 assists on the night.
Jonas Valanciunas is a walking 20-10 every night. Tonight was no different as he scored 20 points and grabbed 13 boards. JV continues to absolutely bully players on the block. He pushed around anyone that attempted to guard him tonight and it was quite refreshing to see a center for this team aggressively attack the glass.
The birthday boy, Joakim Noah, got his wish of handing Lebron another L and he had a huge part in that. Noah might be the playing the best out of any player signed mid-season in the NBA this year. The energy he brings to this team reminds you of the Grindfather himself. Noah had 14 points 12 rebounds and 4 assists, doing it all to help this team find a win.
The Honor Roll
(B’s get degrees)
Avery Bradley was tasked with guarding Lebron James most of the night and he was actually a +2 in his 33 minutes of play. He didn't shoot efficiently but he did end the night with 15 points 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Bradley continues to look like his Detroit self, and that is a good thing.
Bruno Caboclo didn't stand out in the box score with 5 points and 5 rebounds but he was a +9 in 27 minutes. He hit a big three late in the fourth and should've finished with two blocks on the night but got robbed by one of the most blatantly obvious missed calls this season. You would like to see more consistency on the offensive end from him, but he is certainly not afraid of anyone in this league, guarding Lebron down the stretch of the game.
Ivan Rabb saw a lot of his second half minutes go to Joakim Noah, and rightfully so. But Rabb did what he has been doing, making the most of his time on the floor. He had 6 points and 5 rebounds on 75% shooting in 19 minutes of play.
(Got some work to do)
Delon Wright seems to be getting more comfortable with this team and had a 9-6-4 line off the bench. He is just still waiting to find some consistency with his new team, he would end the night with a C.
I hate to really give Chandler Parsons a grade because it will take some time for his legs to get back under him, While he didn't shoot well (missed every shot after his first two) he played with effort and heart every minute he was out there. So I will give him a C for the effort and a curve for getting back into the groove of things.
Justin Holiday went 0-6 from three and had a number of open corner threes. Tonight just was not his night for whatever reason, however he had that highest +/- at +11 for the night. He would receive a solid D for his lackluster performance against the lake show.