Bear Necessities: Key notes, numbers and trends entering Grizzlies-Pistons matchup
MEMPHIS – Coming off one of the best months of production in the NBA, the Grizzlies (24-25) open February with their 50th game of the season Monday when the Detroit Pistons (18-33) visit FedExForum.
Bear Necessities is a spotlight on key Grizzlies’ facts and trends, curated from Communication Manager Ross Wooden’s Game Notes, to stay informed entering tonight's matchup.
Here are a few things to watch:
- The Grizzlies posted an 11-4 record in January, which represents their best mark for a calendar month this season. That record was also tied with the Utah Jazz for the best January finish in the Western Conference and also tied for the third-best overall mark in the league for that month. During that stretch, Memphis climbed into eighth place in the conference standings and enter the week with a 1 ½ games lead over the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs in position for the West’s final playoff spot.
- January was the third consecutive month the Grizzlies improved their record and production from the previous month. Memphis went 1-3 in October, 4-10 in November and 8-8 in December before winning 11 of 15 games in January. The Grizzlies also set a single-month franchise record for scoring average in January at 118.9 points per game, more than five points higher than the team’s previous record set in December. Memphis also led the NBA with 28.6 assists and 60.3 points in the paint per game in January.
- Both rookie point guard Ja Morant and first-year coach Taylor Jenkins made strong cases for two of the NBA’s monthly awards. Morant seeks his third consecutive Western Conference Rookie of the Month nod after leading all qualified rookies in scoring (17.5) and assists (8.3) while shooting 54.2 percent from the field. Jenkins will be a top candidate for Western Conference coach of the Month, which would mark the first such honor for a Grizzlies coach since Dave Joerger won it for November of the 2014-15 season.
- The Grizzlies look to sweep the two-game season series against the Pistons after a 125-112 victory Jan. 24 in Detroit. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks combined for 56 points as the Grizzlies shot 54.4 percent from the field, 50 percent on threes and 90.3 percent on free throws. It was the second time in franchise history Memphis posted shooting splits of 50/50/90 in a road game. Morant and Brandon Clarke also became the first pair of Grizzlies rookies to finish with double-doubles since Feb. 9, 2009.
- The Grizzlies list forward Bruno Caboclo (knee) and guard Grayson Allen (hip) as out for Monday’s game against the Pistons. Forward Brandon Clarke (hip soreness) missed Friday’s game in New Orleans, but was a full participant in Sunday’s practice and should be available. The Pistons will be without Derrick Rose (groin), Blake Griffin (knee), Luke Kennard (knee) and Khyri Thomas (foot), and are listing Reggie Jackson (back) and Markieff Morris (hip) as questionable against Memphis.
For the Grizzlies complete game notes, check here: Grizzlies Game Notes