Lakers Top Grizz; Bane Impresses



Grizzlies rookie Desmond Bane continues to impress in his first season. In 21 minutes Sunday night, he finished with 13 points (5-8 FG, 3-4 3Pt) to go along with two assists in a 108-94 loss to the Lakers. 

Bane has scored in double figures in the last three games and is averaging 13.0 points on the season while shooting 48.4 percent from the field as a reserve. 

Bane has made multiple three-point shots in the first six games of his career, the second-longest such streak to start a career in NBA history, behind Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, who recorded 10 straight in 2017. 

The TCU standout has become more comfortable with his game, and it is showing. He gives credit to his teammates and the organization. “The older guys have given me a lot of confidence,” he said after the game. “The player development program here is really strong, really good. It’s definitely helped my game. Learning the system, learning my teammates, learning the NBA. ... As I continue to get more comfortable and gain more experience, I’ll get better," he added. “I think experience is definitely the key right now. The game is slowing down, learning the offense, and kind of where I can get to my spot, and things like that are why those numbers are going up.”

Bane was also excited to share the court with fellow rookie Xavier Tillman for the first time. “So happy for him. He’s a competitor. For him to have to sit out on the road trips knowing that he could help our team, especially when guys were going down,” Bane said. “I know it was tough on him. I was super excited for him to not only get out there but to play well in the minutes that he had.”

Tillman recorded his first points of the season with a dunk off of a pass from fellow big man Gorgui Dieng. “After the dunk, it really boosted my confidence, Tillman explained. “It allowed me to take a breather and get my energy out — especially after I dunked it — and lock back in.”

The Michigan State standout admitted he was a bit timid before his first game at the FedExForum. He said, “I can’t lie, going into it, minutes beforehand, I was nervous, but as the game was getting ready to start, I got into that competitive mode. It was fun.”

  • Grizzlies instagram
Tillman finished the game with 6 points and 6 rebounds on 3-of-3 shooting in 17 minutes of play. Critiquing his first NBA game, Tillman said, “I did okay, especially for the first game. There were a couple of times when I was supposed to dive to the corner on defense and get the steal or deny somebody. I gave up a couple of offensive rebounds. Those types of plays, as I get going, those will be nonexistent because those are the plays I have to make sure I have. Other than those two, it was pretty good.”

The Grizzlies’ big man was appreciative of having a chance to get into action after missing the first five games. “It was great, especially me being able to get in the first quarter after I’ve been sitting out a few games,” Tillman said. “Coach trusted me, like, ‘Hey, I’m going to give you a couple minutes early on.’ That was huge. It was a big confidence builder in me. If you have faith in me like that to get it going in the first quarter then I have to bring it.”

After the game, Coach Taylor Jenkins said, “It was great to see X’s [Xavier Tillman] first game of the season. I thought he gave us some great contribution, and that’s how we are built.” 

Welcome Home, Marc Gasol

The Grizzlies played a tribute video for Marc Gasol. It was Gasol’s first game back in Memphis since being traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2019. 

  • Screengrab from Fox Sports Southeast
Gasol scored seven points, and added six rebounds and four assists. The Lakers big man also had to receive four stitches above his left eye after a nasty fall before halftime.

Gasol was thankful to be back in Memphis and appreciated the video tribute, but he missed the fans. “You’re missing a huge part of all this, which is the fans and the people from Memphis that have been there,” Gasol said. “But, obviously, I’m very thankful for what the franchise has done for me, not just now in recognition, but throughout the years that I was here.”

Big Spain thought it was awkward being in a different locker room and warming up on the other side of the court since Memphis had been his home for nearly 11 seasons.

Gasol said his favorite parts of the tribute videos were the interactions with fans and with the children from St. Jude's and LeBonheur hospitals. He said his work with the kids at the hospitals was his most important work of all.

Memphis will always have a special place in his heart. “It’s a special place to me that’s been my home, like, I’ve been here so long,” Gasol said. “I got here in 2001 when the franchise actually moved here, so imagine how many years. This is the 20th year since I got here, so the franchise means a lot to me. It’s a part of who I am.”

Up Next
The Grizzlies will host the Lakers again on Tuesday at 7 pm CST. 

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