It was an electric atmosphere at FedEx Forum on Friday night as the Memphis Grizzlies returned home to face the Minnesota Timberwolves. Debuting their City Edition Uniforms, a later tip-off, and a rematch from last years first round playoffs.
Oh, and Kyle Anderson returned to Memphis as well!
You could feel the energy, not only in the arena, but in the players as both teams got off to slow starts from the field. Not even coming close on some shot attempts, once these two teams settled in, it was off to the races.
The first half was a lot of back and fourth, but before the half, Memphis was able to separate themselves from Minnesota a bit. The Grizzlies carried a nine point lead into the half. As the third quarter began, Memphis had a slow start from an energy standpoint, and the Timberwolves cut the Grizzlies lead down to 2.
Following a Desmond Bane turnover, Taylor Jenkins reacted in a different way towards his team. Following the timeout, Memphis’ energy level went back up. The Grizzlies would end up holding a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half and take down Minnesota 114-103.
Let’s get to the grades...
GRIZZ DUB.— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) November 12, 2022
GRIZZ DUB. pic.twitter.com/tEbBAaQteg
Ja Morant and Desmond Bane: A+
The dynamic backcourt duo continue to flourish. Despite the slow start from Desmond Bane, he was able to finish with 24 points in 33 minutes. Bane and Morant combined for 52 of the Grizzlies 114 points, along with 13 assists.
The two continue to compliment one another. It’s pivotal to the Grizzlies continued progression. Morant spoke on what Bane means to him on the floor for a good portion of his postgame interview with ESPN following the Grizzlies win.
Dillon Brooks: A -
I don’t know anyone that loves playing the Minnesota Timberwolves more that Dillon Brooks. Especially given what happened in the NBA Playoffs last season, it just induced more fuel to Brooks fire.
Brooks got to work early. Getting to his spots inside the perimeter, and making the Wolves feel his physical presence. 90 percent of Brooks production came in the first half, as Brooks ended the night with 21 points, but had a tall task on the defensive end guarding Anthony Edwards.
Defensively, Brooks did a good job of making Edwards take jump shots, which you can live with. Unfortunately, Edwards shot the ball well. Brooks fueled Memphis in the first half, and stayed within himself in the second half. Huge for progression purposes.
Grizzlies Team Rebounding: A+
When you go up against a twin tower duo of Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns, it’s all hands on deck. Especially without Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis knew it was going to take a village to win the rebounding battle.
Obviously getting Towns in foul trouble early crippled Minnesota’s plans, but four Grizzlies had five or more rebounds. Memphis out rebounded Minnesota 57-40 for the game, and Ja Morant had more rebounds than Steven Adams.
The Grizzlies energy level was at a high level, but that energy was executed in the best possible was for 48 minutes on Friday night.
The Grizzlies will be back in action on Sunday afternoon as they travel to Washington to take on the Wizards.