There are no guarantees in the NBA. However, you could feel this one coming. The Phoenix Suns were missing Devin Booker and Cam Johnson, the Memphis Grizzlies finally had their full starting lineup and were coming off of two straight bad losses. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Grizzlies dominated the Suns from start to finish, winning 125-100 on the road.
From the opening tip, there was an extra pep in Memphis’ step, likely due to both Desmond Bane’s return as well as a desire to right the ship. The Grizzlies got off a 13-2 start and never looked back. The Suns simply lacked the firepower and athleticism to keep up.
Here are a few takeaways:
Desmond Bane is Back
It was far from Desmond Bane’s best game of the season, but it didn’t need to be. From the very beginning, his presence was a breath of fresh air and opened up the Grizzlies offense.
He was clearly fully healthy, as his ball-handling and overall movement looked as spry as ever. He finished the game with 17 points on 4-13 shooting and 2-8 from three.
Let Jaren Jackson Jr. Dominate
The Grizzlies knew that they had a matchup advantage from the very beginning as the much smaller Torrey Craig was defending Jaren Jackson Jr. They fed him early and often, and Jaren had his best offensive game of the season as a result, totaling 24 points and 10 rebounds.
One can only hope that this a trend that continues. The Grizzlies have not always prioritized giving Jaren his touches, and the reality is that his size and skill makes him an overwhelming matchup when he’s a focus of the offense.
Dominance and Physicality
The Grizzlies won’t be able to beat most of the league’s elite teams when only making 7 threes and shooting only 30% from beyond the arc. But they were able to dominate Phoenix by how they dominated the glass 53-35.
With a fully healthy roster, the Grizzlies will be competitive in almost any game regardless of how well they shoot the ball due to their physicality.
The Grizzlies’ next game will be against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas.