Ah, a 1:00 game the day upon Daylight’s Savings Time against an inferior opponent full of frisky young guys.
What could go wrong?
The Grizzlies fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder in yesterday afternoon’s game, after a fourth quarter blunder and hot shooting from the other end. The Grizzlies came into the final period with a 10-point lead and got outscored by 16. In addition, they gave up 16 three-pointer’s, as Draft-Twitter darling Aleksej Pokusevski — who came into this game shooting 25% from the field — unloaded 5 triples on him.
It was not a fun time at all. Here are some grades on yesterday’s game.
Ja Morant: 22 points (7-15 shooting, 1-3 from 3), 7 assists, +6 in 34 minutes (Grade: B+)
Ja Morant had a nice game for the most part. He was able to get into the paint at will, even against a bigger Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, including this slick poster dunk on Moses Brown.
Don't jump with Ja Morant pic.twitter.com/R6hloUqaL8— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 14, 2021
He was also instrumental in the Grizzlies’ second quarter run as well. However, his urgency wasn’t there in the 4th quarter. He was vastly outplayed by Gilgeous-Alexander in the final stretch, and it just felt like we were waiting for him to kick it into another gear.
Dillon Brooks: 19 points (7-18 shooting, 2-7 from 3), 3 assists, +1, 31 minutes (Grade: C+)
Dillon Brooks has put on a clinic defensively recently, playing an instrumental role in stopping the likes of Jamal Murray and Bradley Beal. As someone who takes on the toughest defensive assignments each night, he’s liable to get burnt one game.
And we saw that with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
The young guard went off for 30 points, hitting a multitude of tough shots with defense all over him. He also did a great job of getting to the line too, converting on 10 of his 11 free throw attempts.
Brooks’ intensity and aggression didn’t waver though. He continued to body him up and force him into tough shots — and they just fell.
- Jonas Valanciunas (B+): Another productive statline for Jonas — 16 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. He probably should’ve gotten more touches (10 field goal attempts), and he also didn't necessarily shine defensively.
- De’Anthony Melton (A): Melton again showed how his game has taken a leap as a scorer and secondary playmaker — finishing with 13 points on 6-11 shooting and 3 assists. He also had the team’s best +/- (+14)
- Desmond Bane (C-): It wasn’t the best game for the sharpshooting rookie, as he shot 1-4 from 3 and had the worst +/- (-15). Expect him to bounce back though.
And the best thing with the NBA — there's a quick turnaround to redeem a loss. The Grizzlies return to action tonight to take on the Phoenix Suns.