Bulletin: Morant and Bane lead the Grizzlies and put on a show in Brooklyn

The Memphis Grizzlies are road warriors.

Ask the Warriors, Suns, Jazz and now the Nets.

The Grizzlies’ brilliant streak of play continues, as they started 2022 with a resounding victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Although there was a stretch in the 4th quarter where the Nets bench reduced the lead by 23, the Grizzlies were in control throughout the game.

There was never any real doubt about the result after this third quarter.

And this is only part of the evolution of the organization towards a play-off team (no play-in) that is in the top 10 teams in the league. They play with a sense of urgency on both sides of the ball, make the appropriate adjustments at halftime, and they flip a switch to simply clear the teams.

It’s a testament to the culture Taylor Jenkins and Zach Kleiman are building, as well as improvements and readiness for the roster’s players. Oh, and that’s also because Ja Morant has taken a giant leap forward to become one of the top two pointers in basketball.

Welcome to the dark. Time for notes.

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE via Getty Images

Ja Morant: 36 points (14-22 shots, 2-4 of 3, 6-10 from the FT line), 8 assists, 6 rebounds, +/- of +24 in 34 minutes (Note: A +)

Ja Morant was the best player on the pitch, and that says a lot with James Harden and Kevin Durant – two future Hall of Fame members, the latter arguably the best player in the world. And we shouldn’t be surprised at all by that, considering his recent performances against guys like LeBron James, Chris Paul or Devin Booker either.

Morant just put on an absolute show for the Brooklyn crowd, and we really should have seen him coming when he punched a 3 of the “B” into the Barclays Center logo. He sliced ​​through the Nets’ defense with insane navigation and handling, reaching the edge with excellent cadence and poise. He also delivered an emphatic statement that drove the Barclays Center into a frenzy.

He also garnered “MVP” chants from the opposing crowd, something that hasn’t happened to a Grizzly in franchise history.

It’s something special that we see with Ja Morant. Don’t take it for granted. We have never seen this in Memphis before.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE via Getty Images

Desmond Bane: 29 points, (12-23 shots, 5-11 of 3), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, +/- of +5 in 37 minutes (Note: A)

Desmond Bane continues to build on his Most Improved Player campaign. He delivered another stellar performance fueled by a searing offensive performance.

He looked comfortable from 3, after a relevant shooting streak in the previous 2 games. He also moved so well with his movements. Out of the dribble, he sailed through defense to hit tough shots. He’s also moved the ball so well, as his connection with Steven Adams is absolutely sensational.

Bane also played a role in the Grizzlies’ dominant rebound exit, as he carried 8 boards.

Bane has been a great co-driver for Ja Morant’s stellar performance, as he has done time and time again this season. He deserves this recognition as a candidate for Most Improved Player, one of the league’s best shooters and a piece in one of the league’s best backcourt. This game was just another example of the hard work he put into making that remarkable leap in his sophomore year.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE via Getty Images

Jarrett Culver: 12 points (5-11 shots, 2-5 of 3), 3 rebounds, 3 steals, +/- +17 in 30 minutes (Rating: A)

Welcome back, Jarrett Culver!

The former lottery pick made a comeback in the lineup, after running out of time due to health and safety protocols, and he had his best performance of the season.

He gave the Grizzlies a surprising offensive surprise, knocking down a few trebles and showing some dribbling sauce that was reminiscent of his Texas Tech days. More importantly, he was a great playmaker defensively. He was a good catalyst for slowing Durant and Harden, as he had 3 interceptions, including 1 on Durant.

Culver was also bold enough for a dunk on Kevin Durant, as the superstar hit him 3 different times.

Nights like last night have highlighted Culver’s promise and potential, and while he can’t hold this pre-draft on the rise, he’s showing he belongs in this league. With his focus on defense and offensive substance – even in small doses – he can last in this league as a rotating winger off the bench.

And it is rather encouraging.

Quick Notes

  • Brandon Clarke (A-): Clarke continues to show that last season was a year full of injuries, and that he could become a valuable player again. Its roll severity and activity on glass were enormous.
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. (D +): Last night was probably Jackson’s worst offensive performance I’ve seen. His shot was not falling, he was off balance on practice and it looked like he was in his head. However, he managed to be a net positive on ground (+10), and he made a defensive impact with 3 blocks. Nothing to worry about in the long term, he is too talented a player to be worried about.
  • Steven Adams (B +): Steven Adams continues to be a great connecting piece for this team. He continued his tear on the offensive glass, enlisting 7 offensive rebounds. He also fights defensively. He also played with a lot of selflessness, totaling 5 assists. His rebirth with the Grizzlies was pretty cool.
  • Tyus Jones (A): Jones played with such confidence and energy. When his activity is like last night (12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), the Grizzlies bench is extremely good.

The Memphis Grizzlies are back tonight as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road.

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