The Memphis Grizzlies returned home from a 4-game road trip, looking to battle the Miami Heat on this Halloween-weekend matchup. The Grizzlies boasted a top-5 offense, while the Heat have had the best defense in the league so far.
Who would prevail?
It was sadly the elite defense — coupled with a fiery display of 3-point shooting.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ defense was loose to start the game, and Miami capitialized on it. They hit 12 of their first 15 shots on their way to a 38-point 1st quarter. It wasn’t one of those things where they were hitting ridiculous shots either. They just whipped the ball around and attacked the weak spots in the Grizzlies’ defense.
Things got better in the 2nd quarter. Ja Morant was able to get into the paint and attack the Miami Heat defense, getting downhill to create opportunities for himself and others. Desmond Bane and De’Anthony Melton took caught fire from 3, combining for 5 second-quarter 3’s. We witnessed some Sam Merrill minutes in the 2nd quarter as well, as he’s been getting more of these “let’s see if we can get something going” minutes. Ultimately, the Grizzlies were able to generate good momentum going into the second half. The lead remained a smidge large, going from a 16 to 13-point lead, but the offense looked more crisp.
It was a rough start to the 2nd half. Jimmy Butler continued getting anything and everything he wanted. Miami made offense a living hell for the Grizzlies to start things off. The Grizzlies’ offense found their rhythm a bit, behind Desmond Bane’s hot shooting. However, they couldn’t contain the Heat, primarily Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro — who combined for 5 three’s in the quarter.
The Grizzlies got off to their best stretch of play early in the 4th quarter, thanks to the stellar two-way play from De’Anthony Melton and Kyle Anderson.
The Heat offense didn’t reallly let up, as the two teams brought out the end of their benches midway through the 4th quarter.
Final score: Miami 129, Grizzlies 103
- The perimeter defense got carved. My lord, Miami just went bezerk from downtown. When your opponent hits over 20 three’s at a 60+% clip, you’re going to have a tough time winnning. It’s been a common theme for the Grizzlies early in the season, and the Heat exposed the weak perimeter defense mightily.
- De’Anthony Melton and Desmond Bane continue to let it fly. Melton and Bane found their collective rhythm from 3, after Melton struggled towards the tail-end of the road. They combined for 37 points and shot a collective 9-17 from 3. They have been two bright spots — aside from Ja Morant — early in season.
- Getting Jaren Jackson Jr. going. There needs to be something to get Jackson going. Is it more staggering with him and the bench to get him going with the 2nd unit as the 5? Is it more concerted efforts for sets? I have no idea. Regardless, they need their newly-extended big man to find his rhythm offensively.