The Grizzlies returned to FedExForum following their 3-1 road trip to face off against the Indiana Pacers. The Grizzlies fell to the Pacers 132-127, thanks in large part to a poor defensive effort in the first half. The Grizzlies gave up 74 points in the first half, as the team looked disinterested in playing defense, with a ton of mental lapses. The defense stepped up some in the second half, but the Grizzlies comeback effort came up short as the Pacers were able to maintain their lead. Let’s hand out some grades
Jonas Valanciunas- 34 points, 22 rebounds, 2 blocks
JV was able to feast offensively, as the Pacers clearly missed Myles Turner in last nights matchup. He was able to clean up a lot of Grizzlies misses and turn them into second chance points, while also bullying the Pacers big men. JV is what he is defensively, allowing Caris Levert to get what felt like a million points from the mid-range. Still, I’m not going to knock JV too much on a night the entire team didn’t seem interested in playing defense.
Ja Morant- 23 points, 6 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers
It was kind of a weird game from Ja last night. He was able to score at will in the 1st quarter, but was kind of quiet throughout the rest of the game. He was able to make some flashy passes, and make some key baskets in the 3rd, but he didn’t seem to be in his usual attack mode throughout most of the night. Ja wasn’t good defensively, getting caught ball watching and attacked by the Pacers. He also had some untimely turnovers which hurt the Grizzlies comeback effort. It’s still crazy that Ja can score 20+ and it be a “meh” night, but that’s what last night was.
Kyle Anderson- 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals
Kyle was solid for the Grizzlies in the losing effort last night, staying aggressive offensively while being one of the few bright spots defensively on the squad. His 5-13 shooting line isn’t great, but him staying aggressive helped the Grizzlies come back and make things interesting.
Dillon Brooks (C)- It wasn’t the best night for Dillon, shooting 6-17 from the field for 13 points. He didn’t contribute much else offensively, and didn’t stand out as much defensively as he has the past few weeks.
Grayson Allen (D)- Returning to FedExForum didn’t do any favors for Grayson Allen, as he scored just 5 points on 2-7 shooting and 1-5 from beyond the arc. He did pick up 4 assists, but simply didn’t have it last night as Jenkins chose to close with Bane over Allen.
Tyus Jones (A)- Tyus played well off the bench for the Grizzlies, scoring 12 points and 3 assists in his 16 minutes. He shot 5-8 from the field and 2-3 from distance with a steal and no turnovers.
Rest of Bench (C)- It was a mixed bag from the rest of the Grizzlies bench last night. John Konchar was one of the few defensive bright spots, picking up a few steals and a few other deflections. Xavier Tillman chipped in 6 points and 5 rebounds. Desmond Bane shot 3-10 from the field scoring 7 points and 5 assists. It was a particularly rough night from Brandon Clarke, as he shot 3-11 from the field for just 6 points.
It was a disappointing effort in the first half by the Grizzlies but it was nice to see the resiliency to fight back into the game and make things interesting. The Pacers are still a tough team to beat, despite them underwhelming this season. Particularly against the Grizzlies, the Pacers mid-range attack is dominant if shots are falling due to the way the Grizzlies drop JV so far on defense.
The Grizzlies will be back in action tonight to face off against the Chicago Bulls at FedExForum.