clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report Card: Grizzlies blow past Suns for 10th straight win

The Memphis Grizzlies get a huge win behind their Big 3.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Phoenix Suns v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies are the hottest team in the NBA right now. No questions asked.

A 136-106 beatdown of the Phoenix Suns verified that the Memphis winning streak would reach the double-digit mark. The Grizzlies put on a show on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that won’t be forgotten for a very long time.

What stood out to me is the balance and production of the entire team. 9 of the 13 players that played yesterday ended up netting a positive +/-. That statistic showed me that even when the starters weren’t on the court, the bench continued to perform at a high level, which couldn’t be said in their last game against the Indiana Pacers.

Let’s get into some grades, and I’ll dissect what players made the largest impact on the final outcome, starting with the leader of the Memphis franchise.

Phoenix Suns v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Ja Morant, 29 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 11-20 FG, 5-7 3PT, +14

Ja Morant may have just become the most dangerous player in the NBA.

Yesterday, shooting 5-7 from distance certainly put the league on notice, as teams can’t just leave him open and hope he misses.

Because he’s probably not going to do so.

Coming into the season, we all knew about Ja’s ability to get inside the paint and take care of business. The main question centered around his ability to stretch the floor in terms of his shooting. Now that the concern has been alleviated, there’s no sure way to defend him. I shudder being inside an opposing team’s coaching meetings and huddles trying to gameplan against Ja.

What’s even more impressive is that he put 29 in just 27 minutes of work. His ability to make a lasting impact in what seems like a few minutes of work will benefit the Grizzlies heading down the stretch of the season.

Grade- A+

Phoenix Suns v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Desmond Bane- 28 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 10-12 FG, 3-4 3 PT, +25

Bane is back and better than ever. Simply put, the early season DB that was performing at an All-Star level has reemerged.

Putting up 28 on 12 shots (10 makes) shows the growth and maturity that Desmond’s made in his game, and I can say that his status as the #2 option is definitely official.

The playmaking ability that was on display in Ja’s absence was apparent as well yesterday, with Bane dishing out 6 assists. If he continues to serve as a secondary playmaker, then there’s no stopping the Grizzlies’ backcourt.

Grade- A

Phoenix Suns v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Jaren Jackson Jr., 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 6 blocks, 5-11 FG, +30

The impact of JJJ went well beyond the statistics.

While the numbers were solid, his presence caused the direction of the game to become lopsided. Phoenix wasn’t comfortable dealing with JJJ on the inside or on the perimeter.

There’s no reason to wonder why JJJ is the odds-on favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award, as his 2 steals and 6 blocks were incredible.

While the ability to impact a game from a defensive standpoint remains important, it seems that many people centralize offense as the primary form of impact. JJJ’s offensive game isn’t’ anything to snooze at, for sure. But when he’s performing like yesterday on the defensive end of the floor, there’s no team in the NBA that wants to deal with him.

Grade- A

Follow Grizzly Bear Blues on Twitter and Instagram. For more Grizzlies talk, subscribe to the Grizzly Bear Blues podcast network on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and IHeart.