The Memphis Grizzlies had a quick turnaround following Wednesday night’s win over the Brooklyn Nets. ESPN was in town for two full days of all access so the team could have easily had a hangover game after all the attention they had gotten the last few days. Instead the Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, dominating a pretty terrible Pacers team inside FedExForum. It was a great offensive game from the Grizzlies, who set a franchise record with 10 made triples in the first quarter. The Grizzlies finished shooting 21-42 from beyond the arc in the game.
The Grizzlies stayed focused despite what could have been a let down game, and with news that Ja Morant would be out the next two weeks. Let’s get to the grades!
Desmond Bane: 30 points (12-15 shooting, 5-7 from 3), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, +/- of +40 in 24 minutes (Grade: A+)
Desmond was phenomenal last night for the Grizzlies, continuing his dominance against his hometown Pacer squad. Des was extremely efficient from the field and was a team high +40 in just 24 minutes. With Ja out the next 2 weeks, it’s up to Des and this next guy to lead the Grizzlies down the stretch.
Jaren Jackson Jr.: 20 points (7-13 shooting, 4-7 from 3), 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, +/- of +18 in 17 minutes (Grade: B)
It was a little bit of a mixed bag from Jaren, who was solid offensively scoring the ball but saw his foul troubles continue. Picking up 5 fouls in 17 minutes isn’t great, even if the Pacers feature some physical bodies down low. It was good to see Jaren shoot the ball efficiently, but he has a few areas he will need to fine tune over the next couple of weeks.
De’Anthony Melton: 19 points (6-13 shooting, 5-9 from 3), 6 rebounds, 3 turnovers, +/- of +7 in 21 minutes (Grade: A)
Remember when Melton was struggling offensively? Me either. Melt continues to light it up from beyond the arc and is showing the scoring prowess off the bench that we saw a lot of last season. The 3 turnovers are a minor concern for Melt, as he’ll likely have increased ball handling duties with Ja out.
Steven Adams (A): Steve O continues to do what is asked of him by the Grizzlies staff, doing a lot of dirty work. Playing with a heavy heart after his mentor and father figure in Kenny McFadden passed away, Adams scored just 6 points but racked up 17 rebounds and 6 assists in addition to 3 steals and 3 blocks. It wasn't a ton of highlights, but Adams continues to be extremely effective in Jenkins’ system.
John Konchar (A): Jitty was up to his jitty ways off the bench in this one. He showcased a little bit of everything with a nice dunk, as well as a euro finish around the rim and crashing the glass. Likely the 10th man with Ja out, Konchar’s efficient play will pay dividends down the stretch.
Xavier Tillman (A): Xavier Tillman played his first game with relatively meaningful minutes since January. He was solid in his minutes finishing with 16 points and 5 rebounds on 5-8 shooting.
Ziaire Williams (D): It was a rough game for the rookie out of Stanford. Ziaire started in place of Dillon Brooks and finished with 0 points on 0-4 shooting. He balanced out his 3 assists with 3 turnovers before Jenkins put him in for the final 6 minutes of garbage time. Nothing to be too concerned about with the rookie, just stood out as the one guy who really struggled last night. Z did hit a triple in garbage time to get the goose egg out of the scoring column.
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