clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report Card: The Grizzlies gutted a win against the Wizards

A win is a win in the books, but boy, this game looked unsettling at times.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies faced the Washington Wizards in the 2nd game of their three-game home stand, winning 103-97. So yes, they got the win, but the Grizzlies started the game lightly, and the team took their foot off the pedal. Nonetheless, the Grizzlies recovered and inevitably won the game.

Regardless of how the Grizzlies got the dub, some players showed up, and others didn’t. So let’s go ahead and grade the fellas.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond Bane - 28 points (9-16 FG, 4-8 3PT), 4 assists

Grade: A

I’m still astonished by how Desmond Bane’s game continues to evolve. Bane’s ability to score on all three levels is ensuring the Grizzlies offense just about each night. Bane provided a spark with the 2nd unit during 1st quarter and the opening minutes of the 2nd. He was a massive lift for the Grizzlies to find their groove offensively this game. Not only providing 28 points and leading the team in scoring, but his playmaking ability was magnificent. It is nights like this one that you love having a developed co-star in Bane that has become more established on the offensive end.

I know Tyus and Clarke have a special connection with the pick and roll, but lately, Bane and Clarke have found themselves as a duo. Bane has ignited the second unit to run uptempo and fill those transition gaps. I wonder if Bane will still rock with the second unit when Ziaire returns?

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Clarke - 16 points (7-8 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 blocks

Grade: B+

BC’s parents were attending last night’s game, so he had to represent. Finishing the night with 16 points, Clarke was explosive off the bench in the first half. But, as I said before, he and Bane created bread and butter with the pick and roll. It’s always great to see Clarke play with courageous high energy and provide great minutes off the bench.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant - 23 points (9-27 FG), 9 rebounds, 6 assists

Grade: C+

Of course, all NBA players can have slumps. Bane was in a slump for the first few games of this season. Sadly, Ja continued his slump from the past three games. From tip-off, you can tell that his energy was off. He took many shot attempts that he typically makes that didn’t go, but there were too many forced attempts. As a result, the offense began to suffer, especially during the 3rd quarter. As a leader, you must know when it’s not your night and try to get others involved in other ways. The Wizards did a good job utilizing their bigs length to protect the paint when Ja drives.

Hopefully, Ja’s slump ends this game; they are facing their biggest challenge of the season tomorrow against Boston. The team will need a “Ja Dropping” performance against Boston.

Bonus Grades

  • Jake Laravia: B

What’s Taylor Jenkins’s problem with the limited production minutes given to Laravia? He made two big 3s during the 2nd quarter to finally ignite the Grizzlies’ offense. It would be great to see more minutes from him now that he’s healthy.

  • Dillon Brooks: C-

I know DB was looking forward to matching up against Bradley Beal this game. But, unfortunately, Beal’s numerous health and safety protocols took away from that potential match-up. So instead, DB played his ferocious defense on Kuzma and others but couldn’t get his shot going. He finished with 9 points, only 4-14 from the field.

Follow Grizzly Bear Blues on Twitter and Instagram. For more Grizzlies talk, subscribe to the Grizzly Bear Blues podcast network on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and IHeart.