The Word of the Day is REBOUND!
No, I am not just talking about the Memphis Grizzlies rebounding from last night’s overtime thriller in Orlando. I am talking about the statistic itself. Just 24 hours after setting the franchise record for defensive rebounds in a game with 19, Jonas Valanciunas was right back to work making his impact on the boards. Memphis came into tonight averaging a league worst 11 offensive rebounds per game. Tonight, they had 12 in the first half.
The Grizzlies needed every single one of them. Valanciunas, Joakim Noah, and Ivan Rabb each had at least three fouls in the first half. That prevented the Grizzlies from being aggressive, which was especially unfortunate against a board hound like Karl Anthony Towns. The Timberwolves had 9 second quarter offensive rebounds. After Memphis got out to a 25-17 lead, the Timberwolves were able to find success near the rim to cut the lead to one at half time.
Fatigue reared its ugly head in the third quarter for the Grizzlies. Memphis simply did not have an answer, and the effort of the Timberwolves made the difference with several baskets from close range. Karl Anthony Towns was simply the best player on the court with 33 points and 22 rebounds. Furthermore, Andrew Wiggins had one of his best games of the year, scoring 22 points while shooting 9-15 from the field. Minnesota’s best talents showed up and dominated in the second half.
Here are a few quick takeaways from the Game.
Lady Luck doesn’t like the idea of Conveying
The Grizzlies are missing 27 points a night with CJ Miles and Avery Bradley on the shelf. Along with Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Anderson, and Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies are simply missing too much talent to be competitive night in and night out. While the Grizzlies certainly should be commended for their trade deadline moves, factors outside of the franchise’s control have not been positive.
Valanciunas should be a Priority for the future
For the Grizzlies, four out of the next five games are against current Western Conference playoff opponents. With that mind, losing four out of the last five games to opponents with records below .500 severely hampers the Grizzlies’ chances to convey their first rounder this year. As a result, being competitive next year becomes a likely off season focus. And the first move to being competitive is securing Jonas Valanciunas, Valanciunas’s per-36 minute rebounding and scoring outputs are at career high levels in Memphis. For both Valanciunas and the Grizzlies, there is a lot of logic in committing to each other for the foreseeable future.
- Chandler Parsons Quality Play: With CJ Miles and Avery Bradley on the shelf, Parsons had his fourth straight game scoring more than 9 points. While he may not be as consistent at creating his own shot, his production certainly has been better than expected.
- Grizzlies Third Quarter Woes Continue: The Grizzlies entered tonight 26th in the league in third quarter net scoring (hat tip Pete Pranica). The struggles showed up again tonight, as the Grizzlies were outscored 35-18.
- Monday Night will be Special- With 23 points tonight, Conley will need just 7 points to become the Grizzlies All-Time Leading Scorer on Monday Night. Regardless of the season and everything else that may not be going right, this accomplishment should be cherished as one of the greatest moments in Grizzlies’ history.
The Grizzlies Welcome the Thunder on Monday Night. Fedex Forum should be packed as history should be made. Regardless of where you are, tune in to experience what will be one of the best moments in franchise history.