The Memphis Grizzlies ended a 3 game slate in the Salt Lake City Summer League against the hometown team, Utah Jazz. The original starting five and 6th man (Kennedy Chandler, Ziaire Williams, Jake LaRavia, Santi Aldama, Xavier Tillman, and David Roddy) from Tuesday’s win against the Philadelphia 76ers returned to action after resting Wednesday night on the 2nd night of a back-to-back against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The final game started with the Utah Jazz being scorching hot from 3, connecting on 4 of their first 5 attempts, leading to an early 6-point deficit for the Grizzlies heading into the first timeout at 15-9. Former Grizzly Bruno Caboclo (Mr. 2 years away from being 2 years away) entered the game for the Utah Jazz and scored a quick 2 points from the foul line. The deficit would grow to 12 points to end the 1st quarter at 29-17. Sloppy play hampered the Grizzlies during the 1st as they ended the quarter with 9 turnovers to Utah’s 0.
The deficit grew to 13 points to begin the 2nd quarter before Buchanan, Tillman, and LaRavia scored consecutive baskets to cut the deficit to 8 points heading into the first timeout for the 2nd quarter. At this point, the Jazz was shooting 7-14 from the free throw line to help keep the game within reach and no team was shooting the ball well.
approaching peak summer league pic.twitter.com/BSEornv7rE— Fastbreak Breakfast (@fastbreakbreak) July 8, 2022
Bruno Caboclo continued his revenge game against the Grizzlies scoring 15 points with 2 blocks at halftime leading the Jazz to a 50-38 lead including this impressive block on Santi Aldama:
Bruno Caboclo meets Aldama at the rim and then Jared Butler finishes in transition! pic.twitter.com/B3deKzme1s— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) July 8, 2022
No player from the Grizzlies stood out during the less than stellar 1st half. Santi Aldama made the most waves on Grizz Twitter for his play as the Grizzles were a -12 +/- with him on the court in the 1st half.
The Grizzlies picked up the pace to start the 2nd half getting out in transition and making the extra pass to cut the deficit to 5 points at 53-48. Ziaire Williams specifically got it going scoring 10 points in the 3rd quarter. Xavier Tillman also imposed his will, notching a positive +/- and a double-double as the Grizzlies tied the game by the end of the 3rd quarter at 68-68.
The Grizzlies kept the run going to start the 4th, creating steals to lead to multiple transition opportunities to gain a 6 point lead. This was the first time they led since leading 4-3 very early in the game. Tremont Waters and David Roddy were especially active during the 4th quarter run that saw the Grizzlies push to lead to as many as 13 points. The starters returned and finished the comeback win,
The game was the tale of two halves. The Grizzlies looked lethargic and unenergized in the first half against a motivated Jazz team that had not won a summer league game in their home city. After the Grizzlies cut the lead down to 5 points in the 3rd quarter, the Jazz pushed the lead back up to 11 points by midway through the 3rd quarter. At that point, the Grizzlies imposed their will on defense and completely flipped the score, and dominated the rest of the way ending the game on a 43-21 scoring run to win by double digits at 95-84.
Now let’s hand out some grades:
Xavier Tillman: A- (10 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, +18 +/-)
Xavier Tillman looked like a natural big man in this one. He notched a double-double midway through the 3rd quarter to help spearhead the Grizzlies’ comeback. His willingness to attack Tacko Fall and challenge him at the rim brought an energy that spread through the rest of the team.
Ziaire Williams: B+ (19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, -3 +/-)
Ziaire Williams had what felt like a quiet game but was very effective. Playing more off the ball helped Ziaire play more under control and get his shots in the flow of the offense. He did not shoot well from 3 but his timely shots and ability to get to the free throw line affected the game throughout and helped close out the Jazz in the 4th quarter.
Jake LaRavia: B+ (6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, +18 +/-)
Jake LaRavia did not have the same touch shooting from 3 as he had in his first game but he left his imprint on this game. His defense was steady throughout and he made sure to affect the games in other ways and did not settle for bad shots. He remained very poised and played more like a veteran player than a rookie playing his 2nd summer league game.
David Roddy: A (16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, +9 +/-)
David Roddy scored in double figures and helped spearhead the 2nd half comeback. Although it does not show in the stat sheet, his help defense contributed to several turnovers that led to transition opportunities to get the Grizzlies easy baskets in the late 3rd quarter/early 4th quarter run that completely flipped the entire game.
Tremont Waters: A (10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals, 1 block, +21 +/-)
Tremont Waters could do no wrong in this game. He was a dog on defense and co-starred with David Roddy on the late 3rd quarter/early 4th quarter run that saw the Grizzlies come back from 11 points down to up 13 points. His ability to cause deflections and make the correct play in the open court contributed mightily to the Grizzlies’ comeback win.
Overall Grade: B+
Throughout the first 3 and a half quarters, this grade was looking more like a D, but the Grizzlies showed fight and imposed their will in a very impressive comeback to end their Salt Lake City Summer League stint. Maybe the team was already looking forward to the Las Vegas Summer League or they were just sluggish from the top 6 players having the night off the previous game. Whatever it was, the Grizzlies kept with the motto of the city and team history with an inspiring 2nd half performance that you have no choice but to be proud of.