Taylor Jenkins and Ja Morant finally get the monkey off their back. Winless no more against the hated New Orleans Pelicans, Ja and company sketchily took care of business inside FedExForum Monday night 115-110.
Typically as the school year wraps up, everyone (including us teachers) are tired and ready for the summer. The assignments are either really easy to get grades boosted or just non existent as movies get the dust knocked off their cases for the last few days.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been gifted a relatively easy last few weeks to boost their grade heading into the NBA Postseason. Will they take advantage of the opportunity or let it slip by?
Jonas Valanciunas B+
He fails to get an A because of the foul trouble in the third quarter. He is the stabilizing force on offense when the shots aren't falling...and boy they were not falling. The fourth foul that caused his early exit sparked a massive run by the Pelicans as Memphis could not find the bottom of the net. Per usual, JV was a monster that NOLA had no answer for on his way to another 20-10 game with 20 points 11 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Bench Mob B-
The bench did their job with 34 points spread across 6 players. Each player contributed in key moments: BC had back to back buckets in the third to help get Memphis back in the groove while John Konchar was constantly in the right place at the right time for 9 points and 8 rebounds in just 14 minutes of play. De’Anthony Melton brought the group grade down as he did not look great all on the night, still out of rhythm seemingly.
Ja Morant C+
Morant came out getting his team involved, 9 assists to 2 points at half time. The team actually thrives when Ja has to shoulder less of a scoring load and he’s allowed to make things happen for his teammates. However, in the third quarter when his team need him, Ja scored 10 straight points to reclaim the lead. Superstar stuff. The low grade comes from 0% free throw shooting. Cannot happen from your star, your leader and a player who lives driving to the hole.
Grizzlies control their own destiny in terms of seeding between 8-10 for the play-in. Will they finish this last push strong or get complacent that they are “graduating” and take what they get on their final report card Sunday?
Stick with GBB this week as we prime you for Play-In and wrap up another regular season.