This game started out so well. Memphis was hitting their shots, they were active on defense and had a double digit lead two separate times in the first half. Memphis picked apart Portland’s bench for most of the game but didn’t have an answer for Damian Lillard or Enes Kanter.
The first half was full of highlights and optimism while the second half was more demoralizing and cringe-worthy. Some guys played well, others played, well, ehh.
Ivan Rabb: C+
Looking solely at the numbers, Rabb had a good game for a Memphis squad that was playing without a true center. a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds is nice. But if you watched the game, you saw Rabb get taken to the woodshed by Kanter all night long. What you see is what you get with Ivan. He is long, and moves smoothly on offense, but gets absolutely abused by stronger bigs on defense. If Rabb wants to become a regular member of Memphis’ rotation next year, I’d suggest spending the summer living in the weight room. His need to add some muscle to that lanky frame cannot be overstated enough.
Bruno Caboclo: C
Bruno has looked like a steal for the Grizzlies as of late. He’s long, athletic, can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor, and was the only player to really give Enes Kanter any sort of trouble in the game. Unfortunately he was taken out for a big stretch of the contest after picking up three first quarter fouls and never found much rhythm after that. Brazilian KD still has lots of potential for Memphis, but needs to find more consistency.
Chandler Parsons: B-
Parsons has come alive for the Grizzlies since his return to the team, and boy have they needed that. He was Memphis’ leading scorer in this game with 16 points on 6-11 shooting. He has taken smart shots, plays with composure, and always gets at least one defender to bite on his trademark pump fakes. Yes he is grossly overpaid, but it is most definitely nice to see Parsons on the floor and playing his hardest for his team.
A strong start led to a rough finish and definitely wasn’t what Grizz fans wanted to see, but these guys should be proud of the effort they gave against a tough opponent. Tune in this Friday as the Grizzlies take on the Mavericks.