Memphis Grizzlies eager to tie up series in Game 2 vs. Wolves

Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant (David Berding-USA TODAY Sports)
Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant (David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are up 1-0 on the Memphis Grizzlies. Can the Grizzlies tie up the series in Game 2, or is momentum favoring Minnesota?

The Minnesota Timberwolves were able to steal Game 1 on the road, in a 130-117 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Ja Morant and the rest of his Grizzlies teammates will not let Minnesota walk away going 2-0 on their home court without a fight.

Expect an intense game tonight, as both teams are eager to have momentum on their side.

Making his presence well known in Game 1 was second-year pro Anthony Edwards. He is the fourth-youngest player in NBA history to score 30 points or more in a playoff game. Edwards finished with 36 points on 12-23 shooting. Additionally, that is the most points scored by a Timberwolves player in their first career playoff game.

Minnesota has a true superstar in Edwards. He’s just 20 years old and will turn 21 this summer. The big man, Karl-Anthony Towns (KAT) also had a great showing in Game 1. KAT ended the game with 29 points and led the team in rebounding with 13 boards.

The Timberwolves were able to rack up more rebounds and assists than the Grizzlies did. Minnesota out-rebounded Memphis 46-35, and had seven more assists. The third piece of the Timberwolves’ big three is D’Angelo Russel, who only scored 10 points, but had a team-leading nine assists for the game.

Stopping the Timberwolves is not an easy task. They have a roster full of players who have the ability to score almost at will. You basically have to choose who you want to beat you. KAT, Edwards, or Russell could all easily drop 30 points on any given night.

The Memphis Grizzlies are looking to tie this series up tonight after Game 2. I’m sure the thought of losing Games 1 and 2 at home is creeping into the minds of Memphis players, coaches, and fans. One player who isn’t afraid of a little adversity is Ja Morant.

He is the leader of his team at just 22 years old. No moment seems to be too big for Ja. The world was introduced to him in the NCAA tournament at Murray State, and he’s been a fan favorite ever since.

In 35 minutes played in Game 1, Morant scored 32 points, going to the free-throw line 20 times and making 16 of those attempts. He also led the team in assists with eight.

What really killed the Grizzlies was how bad they shot from three in Game 1. Memphis went a combined 7-27 from the three, a whopping 26 percent. Head coach Taylor Jenkins needs to have a talk with Jaren Jackson Jr., who went 0-5 from deep. He shoots 35 percent from deep for his career, but sometimes you have to know when it’s not your night.

Dillon Brooks contributed a nice performance to help ease some of the scoring duties from Morant. Brooks went 3-4 from the three-point line and 7-10 from the free-throw line in 35 minutes to end with 24 points, one rebound, and one assist.

The Grizzlies had an off night and I don’t anticipate that happening again. Ja Morant will drop 50 if that’s what it takes for his team to win tonight. That’s the kind of player he is.

Memphis earned the second seed for a reason. They tied a franchise record high, 56 regular-season wins. The regular season doesn’t matter one bit in the playoffs, however. Each team has a clean slate, and Memphis is only down one game in a seven-game series. A lot of basketball is left to be played.

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Will Ja Morant and company find a way to even up this series, or will the seven-seed Minnesota Timberwolves be up 2-0 heading back home?