Some nights it’s just not your night. For the Grizzlies last night, it was one of those nights. After going nearly a month without a loss, the Memphis Grizzlies have hit a hopefully brief rough patch. Two days after Domantas Sabonis was able to get whatever he wanted, they walked into a Rockets game that turned into a buzzsaw as they simply couldn’t miss. The Memphis Grizzlies simply didn’t have it for the second night in a row.
The starting five sans Dillon Brooks started off extremely slow. Dillon Brooks provided a spark making 4 of his first six shots but he was the exception as John Wall, Christian Wood and the Houston Rockets dominated the starting unit on the boards and from deep. The Grizzlies couldn’t get it going offensively. The Grizzlies are a team that have thrived playing in the paint but at one point in the first half they were shooting 7-20 in the paint, which is not a recipe for winning.
The Grizzlies bench did their best to try and keep this game competitive but they could not overcome the barrage of offense from the Rockets starters which was the story of the game. No Grizzlies starter finished with a positive +/- with 4 out of 5 starters being -24 or worse. This was an atypical Grizzlies performance on both ends of the floor as a team that wrapped up a 7 game win streak that was prolonged by the team’s stingy defense and not turning the ball over. The Grizzlies won the turnover battle but not by the average +5 margin that helped them go on their latest surge of wins.
This loss stings because its a loss within the division, but there is no cause for panic as the team gets healthier by the day. NBA season’s ebb and flow and the Grizzlies are just in one of those spots. Brush it off, burn the film on to the next one.
Desmond Bane - 27 minutes played, 5-8 shooting (3-5 3PT), 16 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 steal, 1 turnover, -5 +/-
Desmond Bane came in and immediately made an impact. He would lead the team with 16 points on the night, tying a career high, and once again leading the bench minutes - as he should. He has looked more confident by the game in his ball handling and shot selection. An aspect of Bane’s game that showed up last night for the first time was his ability to join in on the fun in transition. Desmond Bane was a key factor in transition for the Horned Frogs but had yet to truly show the ability to join in on the alley-top fun but that changed tonight connecting with De’Anthony Melton.
Bane was one of the Grizzlies most efficient scorers last night and hopefully they will find ways to get him more shots within the offense.
Grade - B
Tyus Jones - 19 minutes played, 5-8 shooting (3-5 3PT), 13 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, +20 +/-
Tyus Jones entered the game shooting 25% from deep so it was nice to see him start to get out of that funk. Hopefully, this starts a positive trend for Jones from beyond to only increase his value to the second unit as teams have to begin respecting his jump shot again. As a member of the 2nd unit, Tyus Jones won his minutes per usual by spreading the ball around to his teammates and finding the open man. His efforts simply weren’t enough to keep the game competitive as the Rockets pulled away.
Grade - B+
The Memphis Grizzlies didn’t have it against Houston, plain and simple. Props to the Rockets for coming out and playing hard against their division rival. The Rockets made their shots and the Grizzlies didn’t, John Wall was making shots I don’t think I have ever seen him make - including threes from the logo. The starters couldn’t buy a basket in the paint or otherwise and the bench’s efforts, while valiant, simply were not enough. Taylor Jenkins stated in the postgame press conference there weren’t any adjustments to make based off this game & I agree. They just have to play better and lock in heading into their Saturday night contest against Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, & the New Orleans Pelicans.
GRIZZLIES GRADE - C