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Report Card: Grizzlies right the ship against the Raptors

The Memphis Grizzlies respond in a big way against the Toronto Raptors on the road.

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Memphis Grizzlies v Toronto Raptors Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images

It finally feels good to write about a win once again.

Having lost their last two games in convincing fashion, the Memphis Grizzlies needed to find a way on the road to defeat a scrappy Toronto Raptors squad led by Pascal Siakam.

In a game that Memphis led by double digits from the outset, Memphis finally looked like the team many expected to see from the beginning of the season. While the Grizzlies won 119-106, it felt like the final result was never in serious doubt.

There’s a lot of positivity to absorb from this game, and now it’s time to divulge into some grades from the evening.

Memphis Grizzlies v Toronto Raptors Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Steven Adams- 14 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 7-11 FG, +17,

This was the best version of Adams I’ve seen the entire season.

Long known as a menace on the defensive glass, Steven simply showed out yesterday. The Raptors didn’t have any answer for him, and when Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins realized that, well, that pretty much ended any chance of Toronto emerging victorious.

What’s more impressive about Adams’ performance is that out of his 17 rebounds, 8 were offensive. That’s been an area the Grizzlies struggled with during their 2-game skid. However, the boards benefited Memphis last night, and if Adams keeps rebounding at a high level, the Grizzlies will be even tougher for opposing teams to handle.

Grade- A+

Memphis Grizzlies v Toronto Raptors Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images

Dillon Brooks- 25 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 7-14 FG, 4-7 3PT, +17

Man, this is the Dillon Brooks fans and supporters desire to see on a frequent basis.

Forget about the points. Everyone who follows the team is aware of Dillon’s scoring prowess.

What had me most excited about DB’s performance was the 6 assists. An area that sorely needed improvement for him entering this season definitely had to be his playmaking.

Well, that was on full display last night. Along with nailing 4 three-pointers and shooting efficiently, he also went out of his way to punctuate his performance by finding open teammates when possible.

The scoring and defensive stopper labels already are enough for DB, but if he continues to be a consistent playmaker for the Grizzlies, that’ll take a lot of the load off point guards Ja Morant and Tyus Jones.

Grade- A

Memphis Grizzlies v Toronto Raptors Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Ja Morant- 19 points, 17 assists, 4 rebounds, 9-19 FG, +21

Typically, when Ja isn’t the leading scorer for the Grizzlies, that means something’s very wrong.

That wasn’t the issue last night, as the entire starting lineup of the Grizzlies stepped up last night and produced well as an unit for the first team in a while.

This meant Ja could sort of take the night off from a scoring perspective, and while he didn’t net 20 points, he did distribute 17 assists, which represents a new career high for him. I think he will break that in the near future, but for him to trust his teammates the way he did last night impressed me.

During the last two games, Ja’s put up insane scoring numbers, but the final result wasn’t in the team’s favor. Last night, he let his teammates eat, and everyone ended up enjoying the fruits of their labor.

I think that’s a recipe that the Grizzlies can utilize, granted that the supporting cast around Ja continues to perform like last night.

Grade- A-

The Memphis Grizzlies return home for New Year’s Holidays to take on the New Orleans Pelicans then the Sacramento Kings.

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