Want a quick recap of what happened in Los Angeles Wednesday night? Here it is:
Jaren Jackson Jr returned to action and the Grizzlies kicked the Clippers’ tail all over the floor in the first quarter. Their 15 point lead shifted into a maddening 12 point loss as they amassed only 19 assists, shot less threes than they have recently and got stiffed by the refs at every turn — one ref is on an 18 game winnings streak with Clips now....
It sucks staying up late full of hope and excitement as one of the franchise cornerstone’s makes his debut. It sucks watching Melton only get 15 minutes after the spectacle he displayed in Denver. It sucks watching Grayson get basically no shots up while averaging 16.5 points in the month. It sucks watching Dillon Brooks revert to awful Dillon after such a phenomenal stretch of basketball.
It sucks. However, it is just one game. Could one game matter in the end in terms of seeding? Absolutely, and Memphis has had quite the handful of “it’s just one game” moments here lately. But, it is just one game, in a season focused on development and saw the reintegration of a star player.
So focus on the positive, which was Jaren Jackson Jr. Fifteen points Eight rebounds and four blocked shots in his first game back can be attributed to a lot of adrenaline and energy for his return to play, but also a testament to his growth. Sure he picked up 5 fouls, but some were bad calls and that same adrenaline will lead to some of those “early season” fouls. The shooting stroke will come, but he flashed all night the new wrinkles this team can have with him on the floor.
Jenkins showed us a handful of lineups featuring Jaren at the five, and tonight was probably all about rotations for this coaching staff. Should they have won the game? Probably so, but I would imagine they got an idea of what works and what doesn't with Jaren out there, a better idea than they had yesterday.
While the ball movement lacked and Luke Kennard just wasn't guarded all night, it’s not the end of the world. Rest easy, Grizz nation. Ja and Jaren will lead this team wonderfully for years to come and for the completion of this season.