Grizzlies vs. Maccabi Haifa highlights 10.6.19
MEMvMAC: playlist 10.6.19
Postgame Report: Grizzlies Open Preseason Play with 123-88 Win Against Maccabi Haifa
The Memphis Grizzlies won their first home game of the preseason 123-88 against Maccabi Haifa at FedExForum on Sunday afternoon.
The team exploded to a fast start under new head coach Taylor Jenkins as the Grizzlies shot 61.1 percent in the first half. The Grizzlies finished the game shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from three-point range on 30 assists. Memphis dominated Maccabi Haifa on the glass, outrebounding them 56-35 on the afternoon.
The Grizzlies led Maccabi by as many as 37 points, helped by a 25-5 run in the first half that was capped off by an old-fashioned three-point play in transition from Jaren Jackson Jr. The Grizzlies young front court of Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke helped the Grizz to a 60-24 advantage in points in the paint to help propel Memphis to a 35-point victory.
Ja Morant looked very comfortable in his preseason debut, finishing the game with 10 points, three rebounds and seven assists on five-of-eight shooting in just 18 minutes. Jackson Jr. picked up where he left off during his rookie campaign, finishing the game with 19 points, eight rebounds and one block on 6-of-8 shooting while knocking down both three-point attempts. Grayson Allen took the court for the first time in a Grizzlies uniform, finishing with an impressive 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting off the bench, while knocking down four three pointers. Dillon Brooks added 16 points, including 12 in the first half.
Maccabi Haifa struggled to get going early offensively, making just six of their 21 field goal attempts in the first quarter. The visitors held an early 7-6 lead following an Eric Anderson jumper with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter, but it would be the last lead they held on the night. Maccabi was led by former Kentucky guard and 2014 first round pick James Young who finished the game leading all scorers with 31 points to go with six rebounds and one assist in 25 minutes of action. Former NBA Champion and Miami Heat guard Norris Cole chipped in 13 points off the bench for Maccabi.
The Grizzlies are back in action at home on Tuesday, Oct. 8 against the New Zealand Breakers at 7:00 p.m. Get your tickets at grizzlies.com/tickets to come out and support the team at FedExForum, catch the live stream of the game at Grizzlies.com or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On the game:It was great to get the first one in the books and take everything that we’ve been working on in training camp, all the habits we’ve been building and get it out there into a live situation. I was very pleased with the group. I felt like we didn’t start like we should. I felt like we had a high standard of ourselves, how we want to come out from the jump, but credit to our guys. They kind of worked through it and started competing. I’m really proud of how they played together. 30 assists is pretty impressive for a first game with a new system and everything. So, overall I’m very pleased, but definitely focused on how we’re going to get better and come in and work on the nuances of our offence and our defense a little bit tomorrow.
On Bruno Caboclo being the first big off the bench:I’m not going to commit to who the first big is or who the first small is off the bench. I definitely wanted him to get the first look. I’m proud of how he got better over the course of the game. Obviously he had a high minute load because he’s definitely a guy that we really want to evaluate a lot and see what he can do for us come season time. So, no true rhyme or reason for that other than he just happened to be the first guy off the bench.
On whether the game met his expectation:Definitely our running habits can get a little better in the heat of the game, guys trying to get from one position to the next, we really want to challenge our guys, make or miss to really get out. Bigs running out the middle of the floor, smalls getting out wide and up the floor. I thought we got better as the game went on. It’s definitely going to be a high priority for us going forward. But, overall with our motion we got to our five spots, for the most part. We tried to make purposeful cuts and make the right reads. We want to be in attack mindset at all times in our motion. And then at our half-court sets, I think for the most part our guys really communicated. Obviously me making calls from our bench, or them making calls on their own, guys were communicating and trying to make sure they were in the right spots, and that’s the number one goal. Let’s make sure we get to our right spots, and then after that we just have freedom to play. So, overall very pleased. We’ll go back and watch the film and really see where we’re at and how we can kind of clean up some of our offensive spots.
On Ja Morant:I challenged him before the game to really set a tone for us defensively. I loved how he competed on the ball. He definitely can get a little bit better with some of the nuances of our pick-and-roll defenses. I thought he did a pretty solid job keeping his guy in front and trying to keep him out of the paint. That’s a big priority of ours defensively. Offensively, I’m just going to try to keep challenging him to play with more pace and pace and pace. I thought he did a pretty good job there weaving himself into the paint and making the unselfish plays. I think he ended up with seven assists to one turnover in, obviously, not his normal game minutes. So, that’s obviously very impressive for a rookie point guard. We’ll start diving into his individual film and see where he can grow into his game. He’s super confident, coming off and shooting a three behind the screen, and then the other piece is just him being very vocal. I thought he pretty much did a good job, but I’m just going to keep steering him to be more vocal, vocal, vocal because that helps all of your teammates be in the right spots.
On Grayson Allen:We put the ball in his hands a little bit in summer league. Going back to when he was at Duke, watching him be a primary ball handler, and he’s definitely someone who we want to see grow that area of his game and put him in those situations. So, I was very pleased with how Grayson managed the game and led us out there as a point guard. Obviously, he shot the ball very well tonight, but overall but just putting him in not a true uncomfortable spot for him. He’s been in that spot before, so I was very pleased. I’ve been talking about all along having guys who are versatile and play multiple positions. Whether he ends up being our third point guard or not, or another guy that we may just run the offense through a little bit, just areas for us during this preseason time to kind of see how guys are going to adapt in different roles.
On his NBA debut:This being my first game, I was excited and ready to get out there and play for the first time against other opponents, not my teammates. I feel like I played well.
On his comfort level:I wasn’t nervous. At the end of the day, it’s just playing basketball. I feel like my teammates helped me out, coaching me along the way. I feel like overall it was a good game, but I feel like there were certain places I could’ve been better.
On what he wants to work on:Normally, how I play, just trying to push the ball in transition. I feel like we got off to a late start. I feel like everything starts with me on both offense and defense. Offense – bringing the ball down, calling sets. Defense – being the head of the defense. I feel like I could’ve been better there by picking us up early and not late in the first quarter.
On being introduced for the first time:It is bittersweet. I had to be strong, not try to get emotional or anything. The first NBA game, even though it’s preseason, it’s still a wild moment at the end of the day.
On his favorite moment of the game:The last minute of the first quarter, making the reads. I think I was able to score twice in a row and then ended off with an assist to Bruno Caboclo for the buzzer beater.
On if his performance in the last minute of the first quarter is what fans should expect moving forward:Definitely. It’s what I’m trying to get to. Starting the game, I felt like I was more comfortable toward the end. Getting in there and getting a feel of the game and obviously see Tyus [Jones] go in and make some of the reads. It kind of made me more comfortable, and like I said, with my teammates coaching me and putting me in the right spots, it was easy.
On being challenged defensively:I’m trying to play both sides of the ball, be a two-way player. Coach [Jenkins] is telling me he likes the way I play defense. Obviously, I was playing off. I feel like I could pressure the ball way more, so that’s an area I can correct. Overall, I think I played good defense today.
On Ja Morant:He’s pretty good. His speed is going to be such an advantage for us. The way he can push the ball up the court on makes or misses, and he can slow it down if he doesn’t have the court set off the ball screen. Whatever big is in front of him, he’s changing pace and getting downhill. He’s going to be a tough guy to guard. It’s going to be really cool to see how he gets better and better as the year goes on.
On facing RJ Hampton on Tuesday:I don’t know a lot specifically about his game because I’ve only seen highlights on Twitter, and that doesn’t tell you much. You’re seeing more and more guys taking that route. If you’re a good enough player and you work where you are, if you feel like you’re going to a place that is going to push you, give you the tools you need, get your body better, learn the game better, then you can make it. Guys get drafted from overseas all the time.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. led the Grizzlies with 19 points while collecting eight rebounds in 20 minutes.
- Ja Morant made his Grizzlies debut and tallied 10 points and seven assists on 5-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes of play.
- In his first game at FedExForum since January 4, Dillon Brooks scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half.
- Grayson Allen scored 18 points (7-10 FG, 4-6 3P) in his Grizzlies debut, including 15 in the second half.
- Bruno Caboclo (13 points, nine rebounds) finished one rebound shy of a double-double.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2019-20 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single Game Tickets are available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.