Temple, Jackson Jr. Have Big Games In Home Opener vs Hawks

Grizzlies defeat the Hawks in a high scoring match up in Memphis’ home opener.


What Happened

Atlanta is already embracing the tank early on. Two of their front court leaders John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon were both on the injury list, leaving Alex Len to start in the post. Memphis rolled out a starting lineup of Mike, Marc, Temple, Green, and Parsons.

Both teams came out hot, with Memphis building a lead that got up to 17 in the first quarter, but the quarter ended with Memphis only leading by 4. There were several moments where the Grizzlies hearkened back to their strengths with the Mike and Marc pick and rolls. One such PNR even led to an open CP25 on the wing, who subsequently nailed an open three. Another possession that began in a fast break ended with a Garret Temple trailing three. Mike Conley looked very comfortable overall and had a solid night.


MORE: Grizzlies Home Opener vs Hawks: What To Watch

MORE: Grizzlies Sluggish In Season Opener


Trae Young does in fact look like he belongs in the NBA. He led the Hawks in minutes played and scored 20 points on 4 of 9 shooting from three. Taureen Prince led Atlanta scorers with 28 points on 10-15 shooting and caused match up problems all night for the Grizz. I’m all in on Prince and I think that he is an intriguing player who is worth keeping an eye on this season. 

Jaren Jackson Jr. first checked into the game with 5:17 left in the first quarter and earned his first home bucket within 30 seconds. Shelvin Mack was the first man off the bench when Mike needed a breather. Dillon Brooks made a brief appearance in the first quarter but only logged two meaningless minutes and had a long drought before making it back into the game. The full second unit consisted of Mack, Selden, DB, Anderson, and JJJ.

At halftime Memphis held a comfortable lead at 77-61. At the break Garrett Temple had a cool 20 points on 5-5 shooting, with all of his attempts coming from beyond the arc.

Towards the end of the third quarter, JB Bickerstaff employed a modern lineup with Mike, Casspi, Anderson, Jackson JR, and D Brooks, which was interesting and exciting.  Dillon’s struggles continued as his frustration culminated into an offensive foul and technical foul with around a minute remaining in the third. JJJ showed some emotion after a putback slam late in the third. It’s fun to see the future of the franchise buy in and attempt to build up the crowd and his teammates. Memphis led Atlanta 82-106 at the end of the third.

Halfway through the 4th, Dillon Brooks drove, forced three defenders to collapse and he nailed JJJ with a pass for a three and that was when it felt for real. That was the moment when we knew that the future is here. It just felt right.

At the close of the game, streamers flew and the camera panned to a grinning JJJ and that’s when you saw the hope of the future. Of course tonight’s performance was against an inferior opponent, but this night gave us hope that this season would not be another lost year. 

Grizz win 117-131.

Key Notes

Chandler Parsons played a solid part on offense, hitting 3-4 threes and shooting 67% of his overall shots. He did lack a little in perimeter D, getting beat several times. 

Garrett Temple has proven in both games this season that he was the best of the Summer pick ups for the Grizzlies. He was 10 for 11 in the field and finished the game out with 30 points and 4 rebounds. His veteran leadership on both ends of the floor will be a key factor for Memphis this season.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is the man. Give this kid minutes, give him the ball, give him the job. When he is on the floor we are simply a better team. His ability to finish around the rim with either hand is uncanny. He finished with 27 and 7 in an exciting performance.

Kyle Anderson was a non-factor coming off the bench and I am curious as to if he will be able to find his role on the team sooner rather than later.

Blue Note Bourbon Player Of The Game

Tonight, Garrett Temple deserves this accolade as he set the tone early and kept the momentum going for the Grizzlies. His 30 points were the most that he has scored since January against the Magic.

@barnburnerbro


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