Site Manager’s Note - Shoutout to Host of the Starting 5 Podcast Parish Sharkey for stepping up to do this Report Card for us. Follow him on Twitter @DaOne_PShark and be sure to check out the Starting 5 on the GBB Podcast Network.
That was a bummer.
Coming off a week that included a hostile game 3 and Twitter war between the fans, game 4 delivered the exact opposite.
The Grizzlies started the game off hot from 3, hitting 6 of their first 9 attempts to jump out to an early 13 point lead before the Warriors made a run to cut the lead to 2 to end the 1st quarter.
The run continued to start the 2nd as Golden State took the lead and pushed it to as many as 12, shooting 72% at one point. Thankfully Ja hit a huge half court shot to end the half to cut the lead back down to 7.
Unfortunately the Grizzlies trend of slow 3rd quarter starts in the playoffs continued and the Warriors blitzed them and never looked back on to a 142-112 win.
Now on to the grades:
Ja Morant - A-: 34 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals
Ja was Ja for the most part. He hit shots from beyond the arc, got to the lane when he wanted to, and got his teammates involved early. His defense lacked as well, so you can say we got the full Ja experience. Hopefully the knee injury he suffered late is not serious enough for him not to play through it going forward.
Jaren Jackson Jr. - C-: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
JJJ started the game off hot from 3 but went on a cold streak afterward and got exposed some on the defensive end. His lack of rebounding contributed to another game of the Warriors outrebounding the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies will need Jaren to be consistent to win this series.
Tyus Jones (-16 +/-) and Brandon Clarke (-24 +/-) - D+: Combined 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Tyus Jones and Brandon Clarke probably had their worst performances of the postseason with the worst +/- (Tyus and Melton tied at -16) on the team. The early 2nd quarter lineup with them that also included Jaren, Konchar, and Bane turned the game around and gave the Warriors the momentum to run away with the game.
Overall grade - C-
I’m a big supporter of playing defense, and the team simply had no interest on that end of the court as Golden State had open shot after open shot. It’s unbelievable that Golden State shot 63% FG and 53% from 3 for an entire game but when a NBA team has open shots all game (especially Golden State) that’s what can happen. Dillon Brooks was badly missed on that end and will be needed to bring the series back to Memphis tied 2-2. Also, the Memphis Grizzlies have been outrebounded the first 3 games against an average, at best, rebounding team. Maybe inserting Steven Adams into the lineup can help but Taylor Jenkins has to make the adjustment moving forward.