The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Phoenix Suns 114-113 in an exciting game Monday night, in which they won a valuable victory at the home of the reigning Western Conference champions.
Ja Morant with 33 and Desmond Bane with 32 points led the away team’s attack in this important result. The Memphis duo are the first pair 23 or younger to record at least 30 points in a game since Allen Iverson and Jerry Stackhouse did so with the 76ers in 1997.
This duel served to open their eyes to the quality of this fierce team that Memphis has managed to shape. Of course Ja Morant is the great figure of the organization thanks to his averages of 23.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 23 games played.
But beyond the explosive base of 22 years, this is a very complete roster that combines elements of experience and others that are just beginning their way in the best basketball in the world.
Steven Adams with his physical strength and experience blends seamlessly with a rising young man like Jaren Jackson Jr. in the paint. Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson are two forwards who provide defense and who can also collaborate on offense, especially Canadian Brooks who has managed to raise his average points to 19.3 per game, which is a considerable increase from 17.2 last year and from the 16.2 from two seasons ago.
We also have to mention the jump in quality that second-year guard Desmond Bane is registering. As I was telling you at the beginning, the 23-year-old has just scored 32 points against the Suns and in the 2021-22 campaign his average is already at 17.2 per commitment. As a reference it is necessary to indicate that as a rookie he had 9.2.
This is a group that last season managed to deliver a coup of authority by beating none other than Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors in the play-in. Later they lost to Utah in the first round of the playoffs, but that experience they have gained has been transferred to the current tournament where they are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference with a mark of 21 wins and 14 losses.
Being above teams like the Lakers, Nuggets and Mavericks which were in many projections called to be better than Memphis speaks of the growth of this organization, which generally receives little recognition.
Applause for the high command of the franchise, since they are outlined to be a leading team and that will give many headaches to their rivals in the tough Western Conference for several years.