Monday night’s game pitting the Jazz against the Grizzlies saw a highly-anticipated Jazz team struggle to score. Joe Ingles–who just days ago had a career 27-point night against the Warriors, scoring 7 of 11 three-pointers–couldn’t quite find the net, scoring only 9 points on 1-for-7 shooting behind the 3-point line. Donovan Mitchell, too, had an off night, scoring an uncharacteristically low 14 points in 37 minutes.
With one of the best shooters in the league struggling from behind the arc, and an explosive ex-rookie of the year candidate staying out of any kind of groove, it’s unsurprising that the up-and-coming team struggled against the lower-ranked Grizzlies. The Jazz swept the Grizzlies last season, but Monday’s game had them stifled, eventually falling to the Memphis team 92-84.
During a fourth-quarter comeback run, though, rookie guard Grayson Allen helped to introduce himself with an authoritative dunk:
The dunk helped energize the Jazz in the last few minutes of the game, and spurred a small run. Though the run eventually petered out and the Jazz ended the night with yet another loss at home, Allen’s performance bodes well for the future of the team, and puts him somewhat tentatively in a position to be one of the Jazz’s go-to guys.
When the team’s regular stars aren’t delivering, Allen’s rookie confidence and consistency could provide the spark the team needs in tough situations. Last season’s Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert ended the night with only 11 points as well, leaving plenty of room for someone else to step up.
There’s lots of season left to go. But if Grayson Allen keeps performing and getting minutes, don’t be surprised to see him enter the RoTY conversation and stay there.
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