Report Card: Grizzlies fall in heartbreaking fashion to Raptors

Feb 6, 2023 - 2:32 PM
Toronto Raptors v <a href=Memphis Grizzlies" src="" />
Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Make it 8 losses in 9 contests for the Memphis Grizzlies. A close game that came down to the wire ended up being finished by the Toronto Raptors as they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 106-103. Raptors forward Pascal Siakam converted on two free throws with 10 seconds left in the contest. Jaren Jackson Jr’s desperate attempt of a three-pointer to send the game into overtime fell short, and Memphis’s recent losing ways continued. One could propose that Memphis played well considering that they were without guard Ja Morant, who was sidelined due to wrist soreness. Also they were missing was swingman Dillon Brooks, as he was serving a one-game suspension for his altercation with Donovan Mitchell.

However, when you’re seeking to validate yourself as a top 3 team in the Western Conference, there’s no excuse for yielding a contest in which you led for virtually the entire game. I’m about to get into some grades, so check them out below.

Jaren Jackson Jr., 18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 7-17 FG, +1

That 0-6 from three really stands out to me. It’s blinding me from the fact that JJJ performed at his usual DPOY level against a talented Toronto Raptors team that may look different in a few days. To be fair, he didn’t have many options on that last shot, aside from teammate Desmond Bane taking the last shot. However, I won’t grade JJJ too harshly. Like I mentioned, Toronto has a litany of versatile defenders, and he did an ok job handling the job of being guarded as a second option.

Grade- B-

Santi Aldama- 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 5-11 FG, 2-8 3 PT, 2 blocks, +5

Man, this guy has played well despite the team going through a tough patch of games. Another double-digit performance from the 22-year old, this time as a starter at the small forward position. Santi’s shot from 3 wasn’t falling, as he shot just 2-8 from distance, but his rebounding and passing impact proved crucial in establishing an early lead for Memphis during the first half. His growth has proven to be a bright spot for Memphis this season, and last night was no exception.

Grade: A-

Desmond Bane, 26 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 1 block, 4-7 3 PT, +2

Bane was easily the best player on the court for either team last night. His fluidity on the offensive end and ability to play the passing lanes on defense. I think that the early season version of DB is back and in full effect.

He looked comfortable being in the backcourt with Tyus Jones, and I think Jones did a great job of putting Bane in the best position to score, whether it be getting to the rim, shooting a mid-range jump shot, or knocking down a long-distance three-pointer.

Last night’s game, despite the Grizzlies coming up short, showed me that Bane definitely possesses the ability to carry the scoring load even when his fellow starter in Morant is sidelined.

Grade- A

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