For over 90% of the month of April, the Grizzlies had the highest offensive rating in the league. A big reason for that success was due to a balanced offense and a significant improvement shooting the three. However, over the past 10 days the Grizzlies have significantly regressed across the board. Fatigue and frustration certainly seemed to have settled in. However, as they have done all season, especially on the road, this Grizzlies team got its groove back when it needed it the most.
It certainly was a fun reminder of how the Grizzlies played in early April. 72 points in the paint, 42 points from three and 21 points at the line were all needed as both Memphis and Minnesota shined offensively. While it was a complete team effort, there were a few players that certainly shined in a big victory. Let’s hand out a few grades in celebration.
Ja Morant- A+
What more can be said about Ja Morant?
A day after confidently answering that he felt he was a Top 5 point guard in the NBA, Morant played to that exact level tonight. To be fair, it is certainly debatable as to where he ranks among the games elite floor generals this season. However, since March, he has consistently been at his best when the Grizzlies needed it the most. Tonight, Morant had 37 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and two steals. He also was adding value through hustle and getting to the free throw line. Along with his improvements from beyond the arc. Morant continues to show how he has improved his resourcefulness as an offensive player. Overall, the Grizzlies were in a big must win situation.
Once again, the Grizzlies “called 12” and Ja delivered.
Desmond Bane- A
Against the Knicks, Desmond Bane scored a career high 22 points due to hitting four three pointers. His first three of the game was also his 100th three of the season. Among rookies who have hit 100 or more threes in NBA history, Bane has the highest 3P%. To celebrate, Bane returned to the court tonight and once again scored 22 points due to once again hitting four threes.
With both Grayson Allen and De’Anthony Melton struggling as of late, Bane has stepped up and delivered to help the offense significantly improve over the past two games. Beyond his scoring, Bane also continues to improve across the board, specifically with his playmaking. With high hopes for the stretch run, Bane will likely be relied on heavily to continue producing from the outside and supporting a balanced Grizzlies offensive attack.
Kyle Anderson- A
Kyle Anderson’s season has been a tale of two acts. In the first half of the season, he shined in an expanded and featured role that was essential for the team to stay afloat amid many injuries. In the second half of the season, he has played more of a supporting role, especially when it comes to scoring. However, with Jonas Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks limited due to foul trouble, Anderson once again stepped up as a scorer to support Morant and Bane. Overall, Anderson went 7-9 from the field and 3-3 from three. He once again showed his versatility and improved offensive ability, and every bit of it was needed to earn the victory tonight.
Brandon Clarke- A
It is fair to say that Brandon Clarke has struggled for much of this season, though it seems constant nagging injuries may be a reason for his struggles. This resulted in Clarke, as the Grizzlies continue to change up their rotation, sitting the past two games despite being available to play. However, the Grizzlies knew they needed every source of offensive value tonight. And Clarke stepped up when he was once again called upon. Clarke produced 12 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes of play, a stat line that was nearly automatic from him last year. If Clarke can regain anything close to his form from last year over the stretch run of this season, it will be a big boost for the Grizzlies playoff chances.