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Report Card: Desmond Bane and the Grizzlies Make Big Statement Against Mavs

On a night where it was needed. Desmond Bane made a big statement with his words and his play.

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past 38 years (since the 1983-1984 season), there have been 17 times when an NBA team committed 22 or more turnovers, shot 35% or less from three on 25+ attempts and 60% or less from the foul line on 20+ attempts. Teams that achieved this less than ideal distinction are 2-15 in those games.

Clearly, that level of struggle is rare in recent NBA history. It is even more rare that a team can win with that type of performance.

However, those teams did not have Desmond Bane. Especially an extra-motivated version of Desmond Bane who had the best game of his career. Despite the Grizzlies achieving the aforementioned feat last night, Bane made enough of a difference for Memphis to get the win.

The source of motivation for Bane was playing for the first time in front of a large crowd in Dallas against the Mavericks. Of course, with Bane being a four-year player at TCU, the Mavs were the NBA team with the biggest presence during Bane’s college career. In the 2020 draft, Bane was drafted 30th overall, including not being selected by Dallas at pick 18. Dallas also had pick 31, and selected Tyrell Terry (who is no longer with the Mavs) right after the Grizzlies selected Bane.

Bane made it clear, while he is not someone that needs too much motivation, he made sure to recognize he was glad he had some last night (the quote referenced in the tweet occurs at the 2:00 mark):

Beyond Bane’s excellent play, and the Grizzlies struggles, a few other veterans stepped up and made bigger than usual but needed impacts to help the Grizzlies get the win. Here a few grades from the Grizzlies fourth straight victory.

Desmond Bane - A+

By now, Desmond Bane is likely a focal point of NBA defenses. Especially with Ja Morant out and it being known that the Grizzlies need Bane to produce to have success from three, opposing defenses are aware of who he is more than in the past. Yet, he still keeps producing.

Bane achieved new career highs in points and rebounds with 29 and 9, respectively. This was the fourth time in the past eight games he has scored 20 or more points, including his previous career high of 28 less than two weeks ago. He also made four threes for the 10 times this season. Only Steph Curry, C.J. McCollum and Buddy Hield have done it more. Plus, Bane continues to make decent to good impact defensively, and has helped the Grizzlies play their best defense of the year over the past week.

While this stretch of good play will hopefully continue for Bane, it seems pretty clear this game will stand out as one of the most memorable of his career for years to come.

Tyus Jones - A

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of career games, in terms of all around impact, last night could stand up there as one of the best of Tyus Jones’s career. It was the first time in his career where Jones had 15+ points, 5+ rebounds, 5+ assists, and 2+ steals. Much like Bane, with Morant out these type of performances are great to see with Jones taking on more responsibility as a starter, scorer and catalyst of the offense.

In a rather quiet manner, Jones is producing the best offensive rates of his career this season. He is clearly playing with confidence, and it is making a difference both for him and the team.

Steven Adams - A -

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since October 28th, Steven Adams scored in double digits. He also produced his second double-double of the season. Though few expected Adams to be a consistent source of significant impact, his overall play has seemed underwhelming at times this season. However, he has remained constant at cleaning up on the boards. He had 8 offensive rebounds again last night, allowing him to keep pace with Clint Capela for the league lead.

With injuries to both teams resulting in an opportunity for Adams size and stature to stand out, he did exactly that. And every bit of it was needed to get a huge win.

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