There was revenge in the air at the Fedex Forum since during the first clash between the two teams, in mid-November, the Wolves won by 43 points against the Grizzlies! Since then, Memphis has recovered, and Ja Morant’s teammates are simply irresistible with an 11th victory in a row, a current franchise record. Steven Adams and Dillon Brooks have been absent for several matches, but Memphis is a rich and homogeneous workforce, and tonight the Grizzlies won 116-108 with an effective bench.
Yet clumsy and in difficulty against the Edwards-Russell-Towns trio, the Grizzlies waited for the 3rd quarter to make the difference, and it was Ja Morant who would reverse the course of the match. The star point guard from Memphis plants 11 points in this quarter, and it’s all Memphis that breathes better. In his wake, but also that of Brandon Clarke, Memphis signs an 11-0 to take control, and attack the last quarter with a six-point lead (90-84).
The Wolves cling and D’Angelo Russell, untenable, equalizes (98-98). On a tap, Towns even restores the advantage to Wolves at the start of “money time”, and we are preparing for a tense end to the match. Except that the Grizzlies are hyper “clutch” this season, and they kill the game with an 11-0 to finally win 116-108.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Edwards awake. He blamed himself for having started softly against the Pelicans, and Edwards corrected the situation tonight with a remarkable start to the game. Aggressive towards the circle, he is increasingly effective on his left hand, and this is a real problem for defenses.
– The Clarke-Jackson Jr pair. Steven Adams absent, Darko Rajakovic often associates Jaren Jackson Jr and Brandon Clarke, and defensively, it is very interesting. Both are athletic and mobile, and their ability to get out to full backs or cover a lot of ground hampers opponents.
– The absence of hierarchy. As in New Orleans, the Wolves cracked at the end. The “Big Three” didn’t have much to be ashamed of in this match, but it lacked hierarchy when it took a basket. Tonight, D’Angelo Russell seemed like the best option, and Karl-Anthony Towns’ two offensive fouls cost dearly.
✅ John Konchar. A rear that takes 17 rebounds is rare. But a rear who takes 17 rebounds off the bench is even rarer! Desmond Bane’s understudy symbolizes the efficiency and aggressiveness of the Memphis bench with Brandon Clarke also in the usual role of opportunism.
✅ Jaren Jackson Jr.. More than Ja Morant, decisive in the 3rd quarter, we will remember the quiet strength side of his interior. He wastes some ammunition on free throws, but his volume of play is immense, and his impact in defense is decisive.
✅ D’Angelo Russell. The former All-Star has taken 2022 by the right end, and he has been very skilful for several games. All that remains is to put systems in place on the Minnesota side because the “Big Three” gives the impression of shining in turn, rather than together.
⛔ The Wolves bench. “Our good start was cannibalized by our bench”. Chris Finch has a sense of metaphor to explain the complete bankruptcy of his replacements. They effectively wiped out the good work of the incumbents.
Memphis (30-14) : reception of the Mavericks tonight.
Minnesota (20-22) : short break before receiving the Warriors on Sunday.