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Report Card: Grizzlies Eliminate Timberwolves

Another Grizz Comeback ends Minnesota’s Season

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Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Six Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

4 down, 12 to go.

Game 6 followed a familiar script — the Grizzlies get down by double-digits, make a comeback and end up sending the Timberwolves home with an ‘L.’ The entire series, save for Game 2 and a few quarters, has been pretty ugly; but the Grizzlies and their fans can’t really complain about the outcome.

The first half was pretty back and forth, with Minnesota taking a lead at the end of both quarters. The third is when the T-Wolves stretched their lead and looked to be in control. But once again, the Grizzlies put together a small run in the fourth to close the gap before finishing them off down the stretch.

This time though, the team didn’t need late game heroics from Ja Morant, as other guys stepped up in the 114-106 win.

Now, it’s time to hand out some grades:


Brandon Clarke — 17 points (5-9 FG, 7-8 FT), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks — Grade: A+

I think it’s fairly obvious that if not for Brandon Clarke, the Grizzlies would not be advancing to the second round. BC was incredible for the Grizzlies for all 6 games. He scored double digits in all of them, including the 17 point effort Friday, while grabbing double digit rebounds in 3 of them. All of this, mind you, is from him coming off the bench.

In Friday’s win, he provided a much needed spark in the second quarter, going 4-5 from the field, while the rest of the team went 4-16. But his most important contribution came on the offensive glass where he had five offensive rebounds and several tips to keep the plays alive. That’s going to be much needed against Golden State if they want to keep up.

Dillon Brooks — 23 points (9-19 FG, 5-6 3PT), 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 fouls — Grade: B-

2022 NBA Playoffs - Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

You got the full Dillon Brooks experience in Friday night’s win. He came out on fire, scoring 10 of his 23 in the first quarter, leaving behind his 3-18 performance in Game 5. As we have seen with Dillon before, when he is feeling it he will have a heat check, followed by another heat check, and then some iso ball and it just gets the offense out of rhythm. That’s what happened in the second quarter, besides Brandon Clarke. But, thank goodness DB kept shooting because he managed to get things going in the third quarter.

On the other side of the ball, we got some really good defense from DB, and he even caught the KAT matchup in the fourth quarter for a little bit before fouling out with a little less than five minutes in the game.

Desmond Bane — 23 points (9-15 FG, 5-9 3 PT), 7 rebounds, 1 assist — Grade B

Much like Dillon Brooks, Bane came out on fire in the first quarter, scoring 13 points, only to go into a dry spell where he only scored 2 points total over the next two quarters. It was nice to see the Grizzlies get out of the gate quickly, just like they did last game with Bane building his confidence.

The Timberwolves did a good job of keeping Bane in check and not letting him beat them. He did get loose a few times in the fourth quarter to knock down some big shots during the comeback.

I’m very impressed with how Bane’s game has evolved. He’s not just a three-point specialist. He can score at all 3 levels and was able to do that in the Game 6 win.

Besides Ja, Bane is the Grizzlies ‘go get a bucket’ guy if they need it.

Final Grade

The Grizzlies seemed to make it hard on themselves this series, letting Minnesota grab a lead, only to have to work harder to get back into the game. Unlike Game 5, this comeback win was a group effort, and that’s when this team is at its strongest — when 4, 5, 6 guys are all pitching in. Six Grizzlies finished in double figures, and the team did what they do best, outrebounding the Timberwolves by nearly 20.

Ja and Jaren both finished with double-doubles. Ja with 17 points and 11 assists did struggle a bit in the win. But, it was obvious that Minnesota’s game plan was to not let Ja send them home. He should have more success against Golden State. And Jaren Jackson finally had his breakout game scoring 18 points and grabbing 14 rebounds with a couple blocks and NOT FOULING OUT.

And finally, I can’t finish this without mentioning Tyus STONES! Hitting the big bucket in the end against his former team. It’s been good to see that the Tyus and Ja lineups have been working in the postseason, and I expect to see more of it against the Warriors’ small ball lineups.

Grade: B

Next Up: Sunday - Game 1 of Western Conference Semifinals vs. Golden State in Memphis at 2:30 PM CT

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