On a night where it would be understandable for the young Memphis Grizzlies to come out flat and without energy, it was a young veteran who helped get his team out of the mud.
Led by an elite 3rd quarter performance by Tyus Jones, Memphis ran away from the Dallas Mavericks to secure a 121-107 victory on Trade Deadline Eve. Chaos was unfolding around them - Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill were late scratches from the game as details of the Grizzlies-Heat swap of Andre Iguodala and Justise Winslow was reported. It’s possible they’re also a part of that deal - as of this writing (which will be updated), the final details had not been announced.
But with them both being removed, logic stands that a trade is on the horizon. And even without those established guys to help steady the ship, the Grizzlies were able to blow out Dallas.
Tyus Jones had himself a night
There was a time when fans critiques the signing of Tyus Jones, saying he was worse than Delon Wright and Memphis made a mistake signing him. This ignored the change in team and style of play that the 23-year-old Jones was working through. With a little patience and reps with his new squad, Tyus has grown and improved. That led us to his best game of the season tonight - 19 points on 8 shots, three made 3’s, 3 assists, no turnovers.
Most importantly - he dominated his match-up with Wright, who Memphis completed a sign-and-trade with the Mavericks to allow for Dallas to sign him to a deal advantageous to their cap situation. The Grizzlies were compensated with 2nd round draft picks.
Chalk it up as a twofer of victories for the Grizzlies front office.
The Next Generation Shined
Ja Morant had 21 points on 12 shots. Brandon Clarke had 18 points on 10 shots and helped Tyus lead the third quarter barrage. Jaren Jackson Jr. had four made threes and two blocks, continuing his true unicorn of a season. Up and down the Grizzlies roster, beyond those “big three”, you could see great contributions. De’Anthony Melton was an outrageous +27 in 28 minutes off the bench. Kyle Anderson had 6 points, but also 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Even in off night performances Dillon Brooks and Josh Jackson made good plays and competed well enough to help the winning cause.
And the oldest player for Memphis tonight was Jonas Valanciunas, at the ripe old age of 27. The future is bright.
Memphis is back in action post-trade deadline on Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers.