Much of what I wrote about the Memphis Grizzlies preseason win over Maccabi Haifa also applies to their second preseason win, this time over the SkySport New Zealand Breakers. To recap:
- It’s preseason, so in the grand scheme, it doesn’t mean much;
- It’s not even NBA-level preseason competition, so it doesn’t mean much;
- A win is a win, and the Grizzlies so far are showing encouraging signs.
So the Memphis Grizzlies have overpowered another overmatched opponent, cruising to a 108-94 win. We have yet to see how they match up with true NBA competition — even a training camp roster — but still: It’s fun to watch and the flashes of stardom you want to see from Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant are there — as is, at last, some semblance of reliable perimeter shooting.
Jaren Jackson Jr. and Grayson Allen each scored 18 points, with Jackson’s nine rebounds coming one short a double-double. Brandon Clarke got his second start at the four, scoring only six points, but crashing the boards for 12 rebounds. Ja Morant was in pass-first mode, dishing 10 assists.
In principle, there was the added sizzle of seeing R.J. Hampton, who bypassed the University of Memphis (and college hoops in general) to play professionally for the Breakers.
Reportedly as many as 80 scouts who attended the University of Memphis Pro Day stuck around to get an early glimpse of Hampton, who is expected to be in the 2020 NBA Draft. But Hampton couldn’t get anything going again’t Memphis, scoring just two points to go with six rebounds and one assist.
I’ll have more analysis of these preseason results in this week’s print edition of The New Tri-State Defender. But for now, check out the highlights above, as well as Head Coach Taylor Jenkins’ post-game press conference below!