Grades: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies – Game #79

The San Antonio Spurs won once again on Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. Playing on the road, the Spurs won for the fifth time in their last eight games to improve their record on the season to 20-59. The loss dropped the Grizzlies to 27-52.

Out of the gates, the Spurs looked bad. The offense was stuck in the mud and the defense was going through the motions. At the end of the first quarter, San Antonio was down 25-16.

Things got better in the second quarter but it wasn’t until the third period that the Spurs got on a roll. San Antonio’s defense stiffened and the team was able to cruise to a 102-87 victory that featured no drama in the fourth quarter.

Truth be told, with both teams dealing with a long list of injuries, the basketball played in this game was far from beautiful. At times, it looked like an exhibition game. That said, the Spurs deserve credit for rallying after a slow start and playing hard enough to get an easy win.

Stats: Spurs at Grizzlies

spurs grizzlies grades

Spurs at Grizzlies — Final Grades

Victor Wembanyama

Wembanyama missed all five of his three-pointers and didn’t go to the free throw line. Beyond those two blemishes, the rookie was outstanding once again. He was 9-for-14 from two-point range and his passing was next level. Perhaps just as important as anything else he did on offense, Wembanyama only turned it over one time. When he’s disciplined like that, he’s even more of a monster than usual. Defensively, he was great. He shut down the paint and swatted wayward attempts anywhere in his radius. With limited help right now, Wembanyama is proving he’s completely capable of being a one-man wrecking crew.

Grade: A

Tre Jones

Like the big rook, Jones also missed all of his threes and didn’t go to the line. But, also like Wembanyama, he too had a positive affair. He didn’t turn the ball over, he ran the sets with precision, he passed the ball reasonably well and he was 4-for-6 from two-point territory. Defensively, Jones’ effort was high and he relentless pursued loose balls.

Grade: B+

Julian Champagnie

Champagnie knows a thing or two about producing in late season games. In the 79th game of the season, he poured in an efficient 17 points and his shooting looked extremely smooth. Champagnie had some heady cuts and passes along the way, too. Defensively, he made a couple plays. There were multiple situations where Champagnie was a bit sloppy but overall he did well.

Grade: B+

Sandro Mamukelashvili

It’s getting difficult to ignore how well Mamukelashvili plays with Wembanyama. It’s obviously a case of two smart players who see the game at a deeper level than the average player. Mamukelashvili is not only is in continuous motion, his movements are smart and well-timed. Offensively against the Grizzlies, I thought he picked his spots well to try to score the ball but he was most impressive when passing. He sees the floor well and can make quick decisions. Defensively, Mamukelashvili’s primary strength was rebounding the ball but his hustle was also disruptive.

Grade: A

Malaki Branham

While Branham scored in double-digits, he could have done a whole lot more if he played a sharper brand of basketball. He rushed a few shots and lacked confidence on other shots, which resulted in a poor shooting night. He didn’t do anything too special passing-wise and sometimes he interrupted the flow of the offense to call his own number. Defensively, Branham was underwhelming. Too much jogging, not enough physicality.

Grade: C-

Blake Wesley

The good: Three-point shooting has been a weakness all season for Wesley so it was great seeing him knock down a pair of shots from downtown. His finishing was better and I liked a majority of his passing. The bad: It’s impossible to overlook his five turnovers. Wesley simply can’t make as many mistakes as he’s been making recently. Defensively, he has also lacked his normal amount of pizzazz. Net-net: Wesley made mistakes but his overall impact on the game felt like it was positive.

Grade: B-

Devonte’ Graham

Graham launched three-pointers like it’s his job … because that is exactly his job. He only hit 1-of-6 but he passed the ball reasonably well and helped the cause with his ball-handling. Defensively, Graham’s size was less exploited than usual. In fact, I liked his effort on that end.

Grade: C

Sidy Cissoko

It was awesome to see Cissoko put together a memorable outing. He had four dunks on his way to ten points in 21 minutes. He’s obviously a big, powerful athlete who can finish at the rim but also make the right pass at the right time. His high basketball IQ gives him a chance to make it in this league. Defensively, I liked what I saw of him in Memphis. He had some technical mistakes but he was physical and competitive.

Grade: A-

Zach Collins

Collins had a solid outing. On the defensive end, he protected the lane, avoided needless fouls, rebounded with purpose and threw around his body. Offensively, he provided a focal point for the bench, passed the ball well and limited his mistakes. It wasn’t a glamorous outing but Collins did what he needs to do on a consistent basis.

Grade: B+

RaiQuan Gray

For a guy who looks like he’s north of 270 pounds at 6-foot-7, Gray moves well.

Grade: Inc.

Jamaree Bouyea

Bouyea is small but he showed off some nice touch.

Grade: Inc.

David Duke Jr.

Considering that a lack of an outside shot has been the main issue in his pro career, it was good to see Duke drain a picture-perfect three.

Grade: Inc.


Good stuff. Pop obviously lit a fire under his team after a slow start. He continues to put a lot on Wembanyama’s plate, which is probably the best use of these final regular season games. Pop spread the minutes around enough to get an intriguing look at a few players.

Grade: B