The Grizzlies were able to rebound from Sunday night’s loss to the Indiana Pacers by defeating the Chicago Bulls last night. It was a hard fought win by the Grizzlies, coming back from a 9 point second half deficit to get the victory. The defense stepped up after being mostly non-existent on Sunday.
Here’s how the squad graded out in last night’s win.
Jonas Valanciunas- 26 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks
It was another monster performance by JV, as he was a dominant force in the paint on a very efficient shooting. Jonas was also much better defensively last night, mostly containing his matchup outside of a couple minute stretch where Nikola Vucevic got hot. It was a franchise record 15th straight double-double for Valanciunas, who also set a piece of NBA history, according to Grizzlies PR.
Ja Morant- 13 points, 10 assists, 5 turnovers
Ja didn’t have to dominate as much scoring the ball, letting his teammates take care of that as he reached his 10th double-double on the season. It wasn’t Ja’s most efficient night shooting the ball, as he forced a few shots trying to draw some fouls. Still, Ja was able to help force the Grizzlies pace in the second half and sparked the charge to victory despite not scoring a ton. The turnovers from Ja the last few games aren’t overly concerning, but certainly something to keep an eye on. Oh, Ja also threw down this nasty alley oop hammer.
Dillon Brooks- 17 points, 7 rebounds
In usual Dillon Brooks fashion, he stepped up to the challenge of having to guard one of the league’s premiere scorers. LaVine entered last night’s game combining for 80 points in his last two games. LaVine finished the game with 21 points, but a majority of his scoring came against non-Dillon defenders as Brooks had LaVine uncomfortable all night. Brooks was also able to hit some timely shots, and although his shooting line wasn’t the most efficient, he didn’t have many forced shots. Dillon picking up 7 boards was also a key in last night’s victory.
Grayson Allen- 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 turnovers
Grayson rebounded from a poor shooting night on Sunday to shoot 5-10 (4-9 from beyond the arc) against the Bulls last night. Grayson chose his spots last night and hit a few timely 3-pointers to help the Grizzlies extend their lead late. His rebounding effort, alongside DB, was critical as the Bulls had to use multiple guys to box out JV. 4 turnovers to just 2 assists hurts Grayson’s grade a little as he forced a few things as a secondary facilitator.
Kyle Anderson- 5 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 1 block
It wasn’t the most efficient night from Kyle shooting from the field as he shot just 2-8 but he impacted the game in so many other ways. Kyle was great at finding the open man and taking some ball-handling duties away from Ja and was quite impressive defensively in the second half tasked with guarding Nikola Vucevic. He was able to jump in front of passing lanes and was all over the place defensively wreaking havoc.
Taylor Jenkins (A): I was really impressed with Jenkins’ coaching effort against the Bulls. He made a few key adjustments in the game, changing his normal rotations a bit to ensure that DB was on the court a majority of LaVine’s minutes. Jenkins also adjusted and put Anderson on Vucevic after Vuc had a quick stretch in the 3rd where he got hot. It was a creative way to help hide some of JV’s defensive flaws while also limiting what the Bulls could do offensively.
Brandon Clarke (A): Clarke responded from his dud on Sunday with a more efficient showing last night. He scored 9 points and 9 rebounds, shooting 4-6 from the field and picking up a block and a steal along the way.
Xavier Tillman (C): It was a pretty rough game for X as he couldn’t get much going offensively, missing an open 3 and a bunny on a 1-3 shooting night. Where X earns his low grade is due to the lack of defensive communication in the first half, where Daniel Theis went off for 14 points. X was the primary defender in these scenarios and got caught in some uncomfortable situations. It wasn’t entirely on X, but the defense surprisingly took a step back with him in the game particularly in the first half.
Desmond Bane (B): It was another efficient game from the rookie, as Bane scored 9 points on 3-4 shooting. Bane hit some timely shots, but what stood out the most was his activity with the ball in his hands. You’ll never mistake Bane for having the best handles on the team, but he had a few moments where he made plays off the dribble. One play that stood out the most had him dribbling around multiple screens at each elbow before ultimately finishing a tough layup.
It was another solid bounce back game from the Grizzlies who seem to always respond well following a loss. Both Ja and Jonas spoke post game about how their ability to learn and fix issues overnight is a key to their success and show’s the growth of this young team.
The Grizzlies will be back in action Wednesday night as they host the Dallas Mavericks at 8:30 on ESPN.