It might be cold in Memphis, but the Grizzlies are currently on a hot streak. Friday night’s win over Detroit gives them their first consecutive victories since the seven-game winning streak back in early January.
One thing the Grizzlies have been struggling with lately is outside shooting, and Friday night was no exception, with Memphis closing out the night just 5 of 20 from three-point range. This is less than ideal, to say the least. On the flip side, it has been a good inside game which has helped carry the Grizzlies to recent victory.
They Go Hard in the Paint
Memphis outscored Detroit 66-38 in points in the paint and has outscored its opponents 118-62 inside during this two-game winning streak (52-24 in Wednesday’s victory over Oklahoma City).
Scoring inside and scoring off turnovers are two things that this Grizzlies team is doing extremely well this season. Per NBA.com, the Grizzlies lead the league in points scored off turnovers and are second in percentage of points scored in the paint.
Interestingly, the Grizzlies shoot one of the lowest percentages of free throws in the league, despite being near the top in paint scoring. Friday night against the Pistons was a rare instance where the Grizzlies shot more free throws than their opponent.
Ja Morant was the leading scorer for the Grizzlies with 29 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists, including 9 of 10 from the free throw line.
Kyle Anderson continues being whatever is needed for Memphis and finished the night with 16 points and 6 rebounds, on 2 of 2 three-point attempts and 4 of 4 from the free throw line.
De’Anthony Melton and Desmond Bane both returned to action for the Grizzlies after missing the past several games. The pair combined for 15 of 31 points off the bench.
Morant had a few things to say after the game:
On attacking the basket and setting season highs for free throws made and attempted (9-10 FT):
“That was just me reading the defense. I feel like we are having guys knock down shots now so teams have to choose what they want to give up when they are guarding us. I feel like tonight there weren't as many shifts so I was able to get downhill and in that midrange area and just shot my floaters.”
On having Desmond Bane and De’Anthony Melton back in the lineup:
“We are happy to have both of those guys back. They bring a lot to this team defensively and offensively. Being able to guard multiple positions and being able to make plays on the other end and knock down shots. It just opens up the floor for us and like I said the other team has to make a decision on what they want to give up. Having those guys out there, there’s not much room you can give them or it will result in a three. Two special talents and two special guys who mean a lot to this team. We are just going to continue to work and push as a unit.”
Who Got Next?
The Grizzlies will close out this four-game homestand tonight against the Phoenix Suns. Tip-off is at 8 PM CST.