The Memphis Grizzlies had a fun basketball game last night. Coming into the contest, I wasn’t expecting this type of performance. Utah has been one of the hottest teams in the league, especially since unleashing Point Donovan Mitchell — with Joe Ingles as the pseudo-backup point guard. In addition, with Utah’s stifling defense, and both teams’ style of play, I thought it was going to be a Friday night doozie.
Instead, we witnessed somewhat of an offensive explosion. The two teams combined for 218 points — beating the over, you degenerate gamblers. The Grizzlies scored 60 points in the first half. Utah attempted 48 3-pointers, well over their season average of 34 triple tries a game.
All in all, the energy in this game was absolutely electric, as this hodgepodge of NBA players continue to entertain Grizz Nation.
How did each player do in this game?
- Bruno Caboclo (D)
Caboclo did connect on an open corner-3, which was nice and all. However, he was just there in this one. He lacks off-ball awareness, as he’s not too attentive when coming to the pass — which leads to interceptions. His defense was very lackluster as well. I miss “10-Day Contract” Bruno Caboclo.
- Chandler Parsons (D)
That bank-shot 3 at the end of the 1st quarter was so sick, and it got me up out of my seat. The rest of the game though...yikes. He couldn’t keep up with the Jazz’s perimeter attack, and his jumper isn’t fluid at all. There is no reason he should be playing 20 minutes a night, and that’s coming from a huge Parsons stan.
- CJ Miles (C-)
Honestly, I can’t name anything he did particularly well, but he was a +10 on the court. I guess that means he kind of had a good game.
- Tyler Dorsey (B-)
Dorsey was only given 5 minutes, but he scored 5 points, connected on a triple, and hauled in 2 rebounds. That’s nice productivity, even if it wasn’t enough time. I hope to see more of what he can do as the season winds down.
- Delon Wright (B)
Delon Wright had an off shooting night — 4-13 from the field — but he still finished with a nice stat-line (11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists). However, he played solid defense and did a great job of keeping the ship afloat when Conley was out of the game. In addition, he’s super crafty getting to and finishing in the paint, and he’s quietly establishing himself as one of the best backups Conley has ever had.
- Ivan Rabb (A+)
The elusive “A+” ... I’m not one to give out these grades, but when you have 15 points and 6 rebounds in only 15 minutes, you deserve it. Rabb was fantastic from mid-range and even had a few nice jams in the paint. It should be illegal for Rabb to play fewer minutes than Parsons or Caboclo in any game for the rest of the season. Period.
- Avery Bradley (C-)
Avery Bradley was off in this one. He wasn’t necessarily bad, as he dished out 6 dimes and played solid defense. However, he might have looked like he was playing hard defense, but Donovan Mitchell, his man, was going off. He also couldn’t get going from mid-range either. But hey, Bradley had a perfect TA special — he ripped Mitchell then went down on the other end and blew a layup. Priceless!
- Justin Holiday (B-)
Holiday didn't do much that stood out, besides a block on Mitchell. However, he was a steady presence that didn’t hurt this team. He was a +3 on the court, and he connected on 3 of his 4 shots, which included 2 triples.
- Joakim Noah (A-)
Though his stat line wasn’t sexy (7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists), Noah’s impact goes beyond the box score. He played great defense on Favors and Gobert all night. He pushed the ball off rebounds quite well and dished out some juicy dimes. More importantly, he jammed one on Gobert, and he also hit the classic “finger guns” on an open mid-range jumper:
Joakim Noah converts wide open free throw line extended jump shot for his fourth point of the game pic.twitter.com/JTTrNqChZZ— Lou Wobbiams (@WorldWideWob) March 9, 2019
Noah got a wild standing ovation when he checked out of the game for the last time, so it’s safe to say he’s close to becoming an icon here.
- Mike Conley (A+)
Mike Conley had a quiet first half, but he turned it on in the second half. He finished with 28 points on 11-18 shooting and 11 assists, slicing and dicing the Utah defense. He looked like the Conductor we know and love, the one that darts past defenders to the goal one possession, and drilling step-back 3’s the other. Hot take: don’t trade him this summer.
- Jonas Valanciunas (A+)
Aside from the 5 fouls, Jonas Valanciunas had a terrific game, totaling 27 points and 7 rebounds in 25 minutes. I was worried about this game, as Rudy Gobert is a freak defender, and Valanciunas’ lack of explosiveness had me scared for this matchup. However, he torched the “Defensive Player of the Year” contender — working him in the post and capitalizing on mid-range jumpers. What an amazing pickup.
The Memphis Grizzlies have now won 3 of the past 4 games, as they’re striving for
greatness conveying the pick. They’ll look to extend their winning streak to 3, when they take on the Orlando Magic at home on Sunday.