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Report Card: Grizzlies find Plenty of Prosperity against Pelicans

A historic first quarter for Memphis resulted in one of their best wins of the season.

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NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

After a few days of rest, the Memphis Grizzlies were looking forward to entering Friday’s game against the Pelicans fully refreshed and ready to capitalize against a division rival. However, a bit of uncertainty occurred as Friday progressed due to Non-Covid related illnesses. Thankfully, the Grizzlies were able to have many of their key players available against New Orleans, and each of those key players were highly productive in a big win.

The end result was one of the most complete victories of the season for the Grizzlies, and a nice bounce back performance after losing four of their previous five games. While Ja Morant was elite once again with another point-assist double-double, it was the play of Dillon Brooks, Steven Adams, and the reserves that really fueled the victory. Let’s highlight a few standout performances.

Dillon Brooks - A

For Dillon Brooks, Friday night was one of his best games of the season. He played a significant role in slowing down one of the best offenses in the league on defense. However, the story of the night for Brooks was many layers of offensive value he offered.

Brooks provided 25 points while shooting over 50% from the field and 40% from three with four total threes. Brooks also helped find other teammates once again, as Brooks has now had four or more assists in four straight games, the longest such streak of his career. While Brooks still has stretches where he could take some less than ideal shots, his overall offensive production continues to trend in the right direction.

Steven Adams- B+

The Pelicans went with a big lineup on Friday night due to the players that were available. Furthermore, Jaren Jackson Jr. was limited for much of the game due to foul trouble. However, Adams and the rest of the Grizzlies roster proved they were up to the task of limiting one of the best offenses in the NBA.

Adams finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season. He also helped to limit Jonas Valanciunas, Zion Williamson, and others from really finding their groove offensively. Adams now has double digit rebounds in three straight games and is once again making an impact on both ends of the court.

Brandon Clarke- A

Friday night was a nice bounce back effort for Brandon Clarke, who helped Adams and the Grizzlies counter the size of the Pelicans with Jackson Jr. limited due to foul trouble. Clarke produced his second double-double of the season and played a big role for the Grizzlies in helping the bench to maintain the advantage throughout the game.

Jaren Jackson Jr. - B+

Yes, Jackson Jr. was a bit limited due to foul trouble throughout the game. But the big takeaway is how productive Jackson Jr. continues to be when in the game. 20 points, two threes, four rebounds, and three blocks in only 21 minutes of action shows the Jackson Jr. continues to trend in a favorable direction when it comes to his productivity on both ends of the court.

Though both teams were experiencing injury absences, the Grizzlies getting a win against the Pelicans was good both for their need for a victory and getting another win against a division opponent. Even more important, the dominance of the starting lineup, due to the play of Morant and Jackson Jr., is a highly encouraging sign that the Grizzlies will be just fine as the season continues.

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