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Report Card: Undermanned Grizzlies come up short in Washington

The additional losses of Ja Morant and Desmond Bane were simply too much to overcome for the Grizzlies

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Memphis Grizzlies v Washington Wizards Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies, now down Ja Morant and Desmond Bane in addition to Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ziaire Williams, traveled to Washington D.C. for a rematch with the Wizards. Throughout the season, the Grizzlies have dealt with a lot of injuries but have been able to stay competitive through it all. Last night was no different despite a tough loss on the road.

The first half was not the best for the Grizzlies and they struggled from the field, but on defense, they were able to limit the Wizards and keep the game close. A second-quarter run saw the Grizzlies take a lead as large as 9, but they still trailed by four going into halftime.

In the second half, the Grizz were able to stay competitive. However, the injuries for the Grizzlies and hot shooting from behind the arc for the Wizards (47.5%) were just too much to overcome. The Grizzlies fell in Washington 102-92, let’s get to the grades.

Memphis Grizzlies v Washington Wizards Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Santi Aldama- A-: 15 points, 6-11 FG (3-4 3-PT) 7 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 3 Blocks, 2 TO

With your three best players out, it was going to take a lot from the other guys to compete on the road. Santi Aldama definitely rose to the occasion with a complete game. Offensively he made the most threes of anyone on the team and shot 75% from behind the arc. Defensively, Aldama did a good job on the interior with 3 blocks and contested a lot of others at the rim. The interior defense as a whole was one of the bright spots of tonight’s game and that was thanks in part to Aldama’s defensive prowess in the paint.

Steven Adams- A: 12 Points, 10 Rebounds (6 Offensive), 6-8 FG, 6 Assists

Steven Adams dominated on the glass, which seems like a nightly occasion at this point, and also added a lot on the offensive end. The surprising part of tonight’s performance was his willingness to attack the basket, which resulted in one of his better-scoring outings of the season. He also added 6 assists and was a solid secondary playmaker to Tyus Jones, which was especially important without both Morant and Bane. Adams did everything he could on a night when the Grizzlies were extremely short-handed, but it still wasn’t enough.

Tyus Jones- B: 17 Points, 7-18 FG (1-4 3-PT), 5 Assists, 3 Rebounds, 3 Steals, 2 TO

The best backup point guard in the NBA was at it again in Washington, even though it did not end up in a win. Jones could have been more efficient from the floor, but all in all, had a solid game. Tyus did turn the ball over twice, which is a rarity for him, but he made up for it by forcing three turnovers on the other end. The Grizzlies have relied on Jones in situations like these for the past few seasons with lots of success, and he continued to prove why he is so important to this roster.

Memphis Grizzlies v Washington Wizards Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Dillon Brooks-D: 19 Points, 7-22 FG (3-9 FG), 4 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 5 Fouls

In times games when the other guys are out, you can always expect Dillon Brooks to step into a more significant role. Tonight was more of the same as Brooks took the most shots out of everyone on the team. However, he struggled to score, was inefficient from the floor, had some poor shot selection on the offensive end, and just could not it going on that side of the ball. The one thing you can never doubt is his effort, but last night that also got him into foul trouble throughout the game. Brooks is so important for this team, especially on that side of the ball, so his foul trouble on top of how many people were out was just too much to overcome.

Overall Grade: C

Considering who was out in tonight’s game and the fact that the Grizzlies were on the road, it is not a surprise that they struggled. The Grizzlies have been great short-handed in the past, but when your role players are forced to be more significant parts of the team on both ends of the court it usually doesn’t end well. They have defied logic on this front in the past but simply could not survive the three-point onslaught of the Wizards on the road. Luckily for the Grizzlies, Bane and Morant are not expected to be out long and Jackson Jr. could be back within the week.

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