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Report Card: Historic Nights for Adams, Jones as Grizzlies earn first victory of 2023

The Grizzlies get another good win against a quality Western Conference opponent.

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Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

If go back five days ago, it was fair to feel a bit concerned about the Memphis Grizzlies as holiday season was progressing. After losing four of five games, the Grizzlies were struggling offensively and to stop teams from hitting threes. Fortunately, as a few players returned from health, the Grizzlies eventually found their form. Even with out Brandon Clarke and Desmond Bane last night, Memphis turned up the production late in the game to earn a third straight win.

How good were the Grizzlies last night?

Ja Morant had another 35 point performance as he continues to regain his early season efficiency from the field. But the night was defined by the Grizzlies role players. John Konchar put together another encouraging performance, while Steven Adams and Tyus Jones made a bit of history with their excellent production. Lets hand out a few grades to celebrate Memphis getting off to a great start in 2023.

Ja Morant - A

With 35 points, eight boards, and five assists, Ja Morant was once again clearly the best player on the court. And while his playmaking and assists have certainly been notable as of light, Morant is once again hitting an elite level when it comes to his scoring. Morant has now scored 30 or more points in five of his last seven games. Even as the Grizzlies struggled as a whole, Morant remained highly productive. After an outstanding 2022 calendar year with elite production, Morant began 2023 with another amazing performance.

Steven Adams - A+

Two Straight Games on Two Straight Nights with 20+ Rebounds.

That has not happened much in recent NBA history, as only six players have accomplished this feat. However, what makes it even more special for Steven Adams is that he is the first Grizzlies player with 20+ boards in consecutive games. And make no mistake, this level of production was needed as Adams went against two of the best rebounders in the league in Jonas Valanciunas and Domantas Sabonis on consecutive nights.

This is the best stretch of rebounding in Adams career as well, and continues to prove how he can raised his level of play when it is needed date most. While many were looking at other key Grizzlies to step and support Ja Morant, Adams once again reaffirming he has been one of the most productive centers in the league this season could not have come at a better time.

Tyus Jones - A+

In what may be a bit of surprise, Tyus Jones had the best +/- mark of the night with a +14. Yet, when you look at his stat line, it is not hard to see why. 18 points, six boards, eight assists, five threes, and zero turnovers. Jones was huge, producing half of the Grizzlies production from three. With Bane and Clarke out, Memphis needed someone to step up to ensure the bench remained productive, and Jones, as he almost always does, did exactly that.

Jones now has the highest 3P% production of his career. He also is the first player in NBA history to have multiple career games as a reserve in which he had 5+ threes, 5+ assists, 5+ boards, and 0 turnovers. His efficiency remains elite, but the scoring of Tyus Jones remains incredible as well.

John Konchar - B+

John Konchar has experienced a bit of shot regression in the month of December. Without a doubt, he is at his best value when he is combining good activity across the board while hitting open threes. Though he has struggled at times in December, Konchar has started to round back into form over the past week. Even with his shot from three still not falling, Konchar provided double-digit points for the second straight game. While he did get the start with Bane absent, Konchar’s role will remain as a key reserve moving forward. If he can regain his form from beyond the arc, he could make the Grizzlies bench even better.

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