The Memphis Grizzlies won their second straight game Monday night in Cleveland against a depleted Cavaliers team. It starts a winning streak that should be extended at least one more victory this week. Ja Morant. Collin Sexton. Jaren Jackson Jr. Kevin Love. Justise Winslow. Darius Garland. John Konchar. Kevin Porter Jr. That’s just the beginning of the list of players that were not dressed out to play Monday night’s matchup due to injury.
If you were to grade the watchability of this game, it should receive and incomplete due to the lack of star power, but because the show must go on, the game gets a solid D. But the report cards are for the players!
The Law Firm of DB & DB
Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane were integral parts of the Grizzlies win in Cleveland Monday night. The Grizzlies are now 4-0 when Dillon scores 20+ and 0-6 when he does not — yes that trend lives on. Dillon’s shooting efficiency was not great, but his shot selection was commendable. Dillon contributed in many ways outside of scoring the ball with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, a steal and ZERO FOULS. This was good but not great Dillon, but it doesn't matter because Memphis won.
Desmond Bane’s streak of three pointers made sadly ended where all sport’s dream go to die — Cleveland. He did finish with 9 points on 80% shooting and a second best +16 in the game. He had two assists, four rebounds and a steal in an all around solid effort that may not jump off the stat sheet, but his impact was obvious.
A DB-squared starting lineup needs to be a thing at some point right?
Has the rookie already sent Gorgui Dieng to the bench? As far as we know, Dieng received a DNP-CD tonight and it could have everything to do with the impressive play of Tillman. Like Bane he also shot 80% with 8 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 2 blocks and a steal. His defense — most notably, his lateral quickness — on Andre Drummond made a noticeable impact. Drummond had a quicker first step than JV all night, but Tillman would have none of that. He continues to improve and is very much deserving of his grade.
GRADE: B+ (need more rebounding from him)
Tyus “Stones” Jones did a little bit of everything against the Cavs for a game best +18. He finished the night with 13 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. You could not ask for anything more out of your second string point guard filling in on the road in the NBA. He got his teammates the ball in the right spots and took advantage of scoring opportunities for himself all night long. More of this Tyus makes Memphis competitive in every game.
It was certainly not an aesthetically pleasing basketball game, but the Memphis Grizzlies fought the entire night to walk away with an important win on their quest to a playoff berth. Any win while Ja and Jaren are out is massive, and Memphis will need to carry this into their two game series against Minnesota this week.