The Memphis Grizzlies headed into Thursday night’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons as clear favorites. Being the clear favorite can sometimes have the favored team dragging out their positive run to separate themselves from the opponent.
However, for Memphis, it was business as usual. The Grizzlies jumped on the Pistons right off the tip. Leading by double-digits for what felt like wire to wire. The Pistons made their runs throughout Thursday nights game, but the Grizzlies kept their distance for their entire 132-107 victory over the Pistons.
Let’s get to the grades.
Ja Morant: 23 points, 7/17 FG (2/8 3PT, 7/9 FT), 6 assists, and 4 rebounds in 30 minutes (GRADE: A)
Ja Morant orchestrated the Grizzlies offense beautifully on Thursday. Nights like last night, it’s as if Morant is just out there, but if you listen deeper to the game, he’s setting the offense up without the ball in his hands.
For example – Jaren Jackson Jr. grabbed a rebound early in the third quarter, and instead of pushing tempo, looked to get it to Ja. Morant then told Jackson Jr., “push that!” The following possession, he knew De’Anthony Melton had the hot hand. Morant went to the corner, and allowed Anderson to set Melton up on the right hash.
Things that we sometimes take for granted because we watch Morant nightly. Feels like an “ehh” night, and you look up, and he dropped 23 points and six dimes. You couldn’t have asked for anything else out of Morant as he let the game come to him. Solid night for 12.
Ja says he’s very thankful for his teammates for winning these basketball games and letting him sit back and enjoy the show in these recent blowouts. Says it won’t be easy though and that they’ve got to stay locked in and focus. Says it helps long run to get rest in blowouts
— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) February 11, 2022
Desmond Bane: 22 points (7/11 FG, 3/4 3PT), 6 rebounds in 28 minutes (GRADE: A)
As you probably heard Bally Sports Play-By-Play Analyst Brevin Knight say, Bane needed more ‘lift’ in his jumpshot. A lot of Bane’s jumpshots were hitting the front of the rim, or just short in general during his last few outings.
Desmond found his stroke (and lift off) in the first quarter on a mid-range jumper going left to right that sunk through the net. From there, Bane looked comfortable again. Not just hitting his jump shots, but his activity off the ball, and off the dribble.
A great game for Bane, as a lot of Grizzlies who had been in a similar rut got out of the mud.
Steven Adams: 16 points (6/9 FG, 4/9 FT), 14 rebounds, and 5 assists in 26 minutes (GRADE: A)
It’s really fun to see a guy like Steven Adams go big on certain nights. Adams is the definition of low maintenance, and playing the game the right way. So, given certain nights, Adams may have two points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. When Adams has a game where he dominates the paint, it’s really fun to see his teammates reactions.
Adams helped Memphis out rebound the Pistons 72-45 on Thursday night, while also giving Head Coach Taylor Jenkins a wholesome hug as he departed tonight’s game.
A quick breakdown on other players:
- Brandon Clarke was solid every time that he had a touch on the floor Thursday night. Clarke had a touch off a screen at the top of the key forcing the guard to switch on to him. I’d like to see him take advantage of that opportunity more. Overall great night from Brandon Clarke.
- Kyle Anderson dropped a double-double on Thursday night. Similar to Bane, Anderson was a guy that found his groove again Thursday night. He had great activity for the Grizzlies in their win.
- De’Anthony Melton shot the ball with confidence Thursday night. I wish he would shoot those semi contested three-pointers more often. Make or miss, it opens the Grizzlies up in the half court setting and even in transition. A solid 14 points for Melton on Thursday night.
The Grizzlies will look to extend their four game winning streak to five games at they travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets Saturday night.