All good things must come to an end.
The Memphis Grizzlies 7-game win streak is no more. It was a perfect storm of things (second game of back-to-back, third game in four nights, playing a contender in the Eastern Conference) that led to the Grizzlies getting blown out 134 to 116 by the Indiana Pacers. You could tell the Grizzlies were just plain tired – Tyus missing floaters, Tillman missing bunnies, and Ja making unforced turnovers.
Right out of the gates the Pacers were in control, knocking down their first three three-pointers. It was a familiar sight to Grizzlies fans, as that was what the team was doing from the start against the Spurs in the past two games. Believe it or not, the Grizzlies actually outscored the Pacers in the 2nd half, but anytime it felt like the Grizz may put together something for a comeback, Myles Turner or Jeremy Lamb would hit a big shot.
Things weren’t all bad for the Grizzlies, and I will point that out, as I hand out grades in the report card
Grizz Frontcourt (Clarke/Anderson/Tillman/Dieng – 12-28 shooting from the field, 18 rebounds, 32 points) – C-
Some things were bad though.
Jaren Jackson Jr. & Jonas Valanciunas, you two were missed.
The four guys who played front court minutes for the Grizzlies tonight combined for the same amount of points (32) as Domantas Sabonis. They also only combined for just 5 more rebounds than him.
Sabonis showed why he is an All-Star and Myles Turner is making a pretty good case to be one this year as well. But, there was nothing the Grizzlies could do to stop these guys, they dominated both down low and around the perimeter.
Slo-mo just looked out of it tonight, and Tillman will be fine, as this will be a learning lesson for him he will grow from.
I know the hot topic is if Jonas would have provided more than what these guys did tonight. My short answer is yes – maybe not much help on the perimeter, but he would’ve made the big guys work a little more down low and that could’ve worn them down a bit as the game progressed.
Dillon Brooks (10-18 shooting from the field, 25 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals) – B
If there were bright spots in the loss to the Pacers, one would be that it looks like “The Villain” has found his stroke again.
In his previous 5 games, DB has averaged 10 points on 30% shooting from the field. This also isn’t one of those performances from Brooks in which he scored 25 points in a loss and it was because he shot you out of the game. Brooks was pretty disciplined in his shot selection and looked comfortable without forcing many.
Desmond Bane (6-13 shooting from the field, 16 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds) – B
Another bright spot in the loss to the Pacers also has the initials DB. Bane took advantage of this blowout loss, as well as his 28 minutes.
We saw a more aggressive Bane, as well as a side that we rarely see from him – his playmaking side, and that was evident by his 5 assists.
Of course, Bane got his from the perimeter, and the future is bright for Bane. It’s nice to see him work on what some consider his ‘weaker aspects’ of his game when he can to become more than just a sharp-shooter.
Ja Morant (2-10 shooting from the field, 10 points, 5 assists) – C
You can credit this grade to the Pacers.
This is the best I’ve seen a team defend Ja in a while. They did a good job of making him work 94 feet. The Pacers did what they could to make 12 uncomfortable – whether it was making the right switch or cutting off the lane, he never got into the game.
His frustration boiled over in the third when he picked up a tech, and in the fourth when he in-bounded the ball off the backboard.
This is a game that Ja would like to forget, just as much as the Grizzlies would.
The only thing you can do after a game like this is to just put it behind you. This can be chalked up as a ‘schedule loss.’
Sure, things were ugly at times and there are things you can learn from it, but don’t dwell on it, as the next two games for the Grizzlies are against division foes.
The first, Thursday night at home against the Rockets, for their first game at FedExForum since MLK Day.