The Memphis Grizzlies completely, totally, and unapologetically torched the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. They cooked the Pelicans in numerous ways. Roasted. Fried. Grilled. Smoked. Boiled. If you can name it, that’s how the Grizzlies prepared their Saturday dinner of Pelican. At one point the Memphis squad, who clearly were happy to welcome Ja Morant back to the lineup, was shooting an absurd 60% from the field, 60% from the three point like, and 90% from the charity stripe. New Orleans shot horribly from three. Jonas Valanciunas had one rebound in six minutes of play. The Pelicans still had something to play for, the Grizzlies did not.
One team looked hungry and ready for the postseason. It wasn’t New Orleans.
The Grizzlies have one last game, today against the Boston Celtics, but it’s likely the “real” final game for Memphis was last night. And if that’s a preview of what’s to come, the Grizzlies will be in the playoffs for a while.
Time for the easiest report card ever.
The Entire Roster - A++
When you fall only three points shy of the NBA record for points in a quarter (55 in the 3rd) and win your 13th game by 25 or more points, you don’t nit pick. The Memphis Grizzlies dominated the New Orleans Pelicans. They were up 64-47 at halftime, so before the 55 point explosion they still were executing at a very high level. We got glimpses of what to expect in the postseason - sets where players have options within the free flowing offense of Head Coach Taylor Jenkins, effective on ball and team defense, and the tenacious transition offense that has made these Grizzlies so remarkable all season long.
If you want to pick and prod, as Jenkins as the coach surely will, the Pelicans did score 33 in the 3rd quarter. 17 turnovers is too many, and would be taken advantage of in a playoff series against the likes of Golden State or Dallas.
But Brandon Clarke shot 100% from the field on 10 attempts. Memphis tied the franchise record for assists with 41 in the game. 7 players scored in double figured, and five scored 18 or more points in an extremely efficient way. CJ McCollum, noted Grizz killer, was shut down and silenced. Top to bottom, domination.
The Memphis Grizzlies should ease in to their upcoming week off as they await to find out who their playoff opponent will be on Tuesday night after the play-in game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Clippers. Boston is one of the best teams in the NBA, but they’re not the goal of the Grizzlies - at least not until Memphis sees them in the NBA Finals.
You willing to bet against these Grizzlies at these point?