The Memphis Grizzlies returned to Summer league action against the Brooklyn Nets, looking to build momentum after their first Las Vegas victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Both teams were 1-1 heading into their 3rd game of the summer league with some inconsistent play. The game was also a reunion of sorts, with former Memphis Grizzly and Hustle player Yves Pons on the Nets roster.
After resting the last game, both Ziaire Williams and Xavier Tillman were back in the starting lineup, while Kenny Lofton Jr. and Vince Williams Jr. moved back to the bench.
The Grizzlies opened the first quarter with a nice dunk from Xavier Tillman, who would go on to score 6 points in the quarter. The rest of the team fed off his energy leading to the most impressive first quarter of the summer league, scoring in the paint and on the fast break like you would expect from a young squad. David Roddy and Santi Aldama also provided strong quarters scoring 9 and 7 points respectively. At the end of one, the Grizzlies had built a 12 point lead.
Xavier Tillman was feeling it after his SLAM!— NBA (@NBA) July 12, 2022
Live Now on ESPN 2 pic.twitter.com/ynrHhZbz5h
The Grizzlies continued their strong play in the second quarter led by some great plays from the Grizzlies rookies. David Roddy scored inside with some nice dunks and hit a pure catch-and-shoot three showing his versatility. Jake Laravia showed off his playmaking ability and defense, as he finished with 4 assists 3 blocks. Kennedy Chandler also made a few highlight finishes and found Tillman for a wide-open dunk. Second-year forward Ziaire Williams also played well on both ends of the floor.
Going into halftime, the Grizzlies had dominated the game on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 29-13, and had assisted on 18 out of 25 made baskets. Defensively the Grizzlies were strong, especially on the interior, and held the Nets to just 36% shooting from the floor. At halftime the Grizzlies led 65-41 with 4 players (Roddy, Aldama, Tillman, and Williams) in double figures.
The Nets came out a lot stronger in the third quarter, led by David Duke Jr. and Cam Thomas. The Grizzlies struggled to get stops and turned the ball over more often to start the quarter, allowing the Nets to make a short run. However, thanks to the playmaking skill and experience of Ziaire Williams, the Grizzlies were able to increase their lead to 21 points going into the 4th.
The 4th quarter was more of the same for the Grizzlies, as they continued to build on their big lead. Even the Grizzlies bench players who hadn’t seen much time like Romeo Weems. Ronaldo Segu made a play so great that it got Ja Morant out of his seat.
RONALDO SEGU HAS HIS DANCING SHOES ON!— NBA (@NBA) July 13, 2022
His moves got Ja out his seat pic.twitter.com/QAPWO6GgOg
When it was all said and done the Grizzlies had secured a 120-84 victory, tying the summer league record for points in a game! Now for the grades.
Santi Aldama—A+: 31 Points, 12-14 FG (4-5 3-PT) 9 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 3 Blocks
Aldama’s summer league got off to a slow start, but he is starting to show his offensive versatility. He scored inside, on a lot of pick-and-roll’s and putback’s, and also showed his outside game by hitting 4 three pointers. Defensively, Aldama also showed a lot of improvement on the interior after being attacked in a few of the early games. Aldama’s role on the team will be much larger this season due to the injury to Jaren Jackson Jr., so it was exciting to see him dominate against summer league competition tonight.
David Roddy—A: 20 Points, 7-11 FG (2-5 3-PT) 2 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 1 Block, 1 Turnover, +11
Roddy had his best game of the summer by far. He showed his offensive versatility, scoring inside and out on great efficiency. Roddy also had some highlight dunks that got the Cox Pavilion crowd on their feet. It seems that Roddy is starting to become more comfortable in his role on the Summer League team, which bodes well for his regular season potential.
Ziaire Williams— B+: 14 points, 6-11 FG (2-3 3-PT) 8 Assists, 7 rebounds, 1 Steal, 2 Turnovers, +18
The Ziaire Williams on-ball experiment seems to be paying off. Williams looked more comfortable than ever before, hitting some nice off the dribble shots and showing off his playmaking ability with 8 assists. His performance was very promising for his future as a possible 2-guard.
Ziaire Williams to Santi Aldama for the reverse ◀— NBA (@NBA) July 12, 2022
Live Now on ESPN 2 pic.twitter.com/1W5tjmoayC
Kennedy Chandler—B: 9 Points, 3-10 FG (0-3 3-PT), 6 Assists, 3 Steals, +15
Chandler had a solid game, showing off his speed getting to the rim and finishing in some creative ways. He also did a good job of drawing and finishing through contact. He also showed off his ability as a passer finishing with 6 assists and was also a pest on defense, finishing with 3 steals in a very promising performance. His efficiency still leaves some to be desired, but he is taking good shots and facilitating in a way that can greatly help the Grizzlies.
Grizzlies Ball movement and Rebounding: A+
The most promising part of the game was the Grizzlies ball movement and overall team chemistry was on full display. Everyone was making the extra pass and finding open teammates for easy buckets all night. The Grizzlies assisted on 31 of 46 made baskets, but it felt like every single score was because of an assist.
Rebounding is often a good indicator of who will win the game and that was certainly the case tonight. The Grizzlies also dominated the glass winning the rebounding battle 45-27.
Overall Grade: A+
The Grizzlies did not look like a Summer league team that is playing 5 rookies significant minutes tonight. Santi Aldama and Ziaire Williams showed everything you could want from your second year guys as well. It is easy to see the improvement in all of their players and their ability to play together, and it will only get better as they play with each other even more. No game is perfect, but this was probably as close as you can get especially in the Summer League.