Behind the collective efforts of Tyler Dorsey, Justin Holiday, Chandler Parsons, Jonas Valanciunas, and Delon Wright - who all scored in double figures - the Memphis Grizzlies dropped a tough game in their quest to convey their 1st round pick to the Boston Celtics, losing to the Orlando Magic in overtime .
The litness has subsided for now. It’s time to get down with the weirdness.
Without Mike Conley, the Grizzlies spread the love and found ways to take advantage of a struggling Orlando squad until they turned things on in the 4th quarter and in overtime against a tired Grizzlies squad that only played 7 guys more than 15 minutes. The Grizzlies were outscored 29-15 in the 4th quarter as Memphis faded late.
Here are some takeaways from the game.
Seriously, who is Tyler Dorsey?
No longer can we simply make jokes about Tyler Dorsey being a great contributor to the Grizzlies because he is not Shelvin Mack. He actually is contributing right now...and on this night, he was the leading scorer for Memphis (29 points on 19 shots!!!) while also dealing out nine assists. He hit five threes, and while his 2-7 from the charity stripe was ugly the former Oregon Duck was a force on the offensive side of the floor. Could he be a Grizzly long-term? Probably - his contract should be relatively cheap to hold on to for next season, and beyond that restricted free agency awaits.
While Grizzlies fans shouldn’t declare him better than Dillon Brooks just yes, it is good to see a 23 year old wing benefiting from opportunity on a team starved for young wing production at the moment.
Chandler Parsons is still a (probably temporary) baller
Three games in a row scoring in double digits!
THREE. WHOLE. GAMES!
It wasn’t the cleanest performance - his lateral movement defensively still leaves a lot to be desired, and his jumper doesn’t consistently have enough lift to it. His ability to be a threat in the pick and roll and facilitate for others adds so many layers to the offense for Memphis, though, and he clearly is in more of a rhythm than he has been in some time. Chandler and the Grizzlies need each other - Parsons is making the most of the minutes he is getting in Memphis right now, and it’s helping the Grizzlies convey their pick they owe this season.
Plus, it’s just good to see him play so many minutes. OVER 30 MINUTES! That’s terrific.
- Jonas Valanciunas continues to not be Marc Gasol. 23 points, 24 rebounds. Jonas is the best rebounder the Grizzlies have had since Zach Randolph, and there is so much value in that for this Memphis team. He was exhausted after playing over 40 minutes, but he had every right to be. His physical style can wear him down...but it’s hell on his opponents.
- Justin Holiday wants to get paid too. Talk about making the most of your moment! Justin Holiday, who many left for dead and as a punch line to a bad joke involving a trade (which is still kind of rough...I mean, a 2nd round pick around 35 would be nice), scored 22 points on 10 shots in this game, including a clutch three down the stretch. Another player about to be a free agent trying to maximize his value this summer paying dividends for Memphis.
- Orlando was trying to win and had the deeper roster. The Magic are in the playoff hunt in the miserable bottom part of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Grizzlies almost beat them with Tyler Dorsey, of recent G-League fame, as their leading scorer. Aaron Gordon struggled, and that really hurt the Magic, but Evan Fournier, D.J. Augustin, and Nikola Vucevic helped pick up the slack.
This loss was the just the first night of a back to back. Memphis welcomes the Minnesota Timberwolves to FedExForum Saturday night for a 7 PM CT tip off.