Memphis Grizzlies players are roaring through the first two rounds of the playoffs with impassioned play. Key players have wowed those unfamiliar with their prowess and a couple reserves have caught onlookers' attention.
The proudest performances are coming from the Grizzlies' core players, as Lionel Hollins has leaned hard on them. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are causing problems, as they're combining for 39 points per game. Mike Conley had a big first round and is continuing to punch it in the hoop like few knew he could before the Rudy Gay trade.
The Grizzlies' bench has been mostly quiet. Only Jerryd Bayless and Quincy Pondexter have jumped off their seats to score in double figures. Darrell Arthur is the only other Memphis reserve putting in double-digit minutes per game.
Follow along to see grades on every Grizzlies player who has put in significant minutes.
Stats are current through May 14 games.
Advanced metrics come from basketball-reference.com.
Marc Gasol is blowing up before everyone’s eyes. His 23-point, 11-rebound, six-block festival in Game 4 made apparent to the basketball world what should have already known.
That Gasol has only three 20-point, 10-rebound games this postseason might seem a bit tame, but remember that he’s deferential to Zach Randolph on the boards and sometimes dishes it out instead of rushing to the basket.
He’s strong on offense, throwing down 19.1 points and 3.2 assists per game. The Spaniard is producing 121 points per 100 possessions.
Recently being named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, his defense has been reliable, as he’s allowed 102 points per 100 possessions and blocked 2.1 shots per game.
While Zach Randolph was quieter than usual offensively this season, he’s stepped up the scoring to aid Memphis’ playoff run. Randolph is averaging 18.9 points per game, 3.5 more than he did during the regular season.
He’s shot better than usual, hitting 51.7 percent from the field, 4.6 percent better than his playoff career rate.
His rebounds are down a bit, as he’s averaging 8.8 rebounds per game, including 3.3 per game on the offensive glass. That pales in comparison to his 11.4 boards per game in the regular season. However, he’s done better on the glass against the Thunder, grabbing 10 rebounds per game.
Continued excellence from Randolph will help ensure that the Grizz can push their way to a competitive NBA Finals series.
After turning up his game to replace some of Rudy Gay’s scoring, Conley took it to another level when the playoffs began.
He’s scoring even more, dropping 18.1 points per game in the postseason after averaging only 14.6 per game to during the regular season. He has five 20-point games.
His shooting percentage has been lackluster. After shooting 42 percent from the field in the first round, he’s hitting 36.8 percent since.
Conley had an unusually high number of assists per game against the Clippers (8.3) in the first round. He's dished out 5.8 per game against the Thunder.
Conley has handled the ball well. He’s had two or fewer turnovers in eight of 10 playoff games. He has a 3.84 assist-to-turnover ratio. In the first round, it was five.
The 25-year-old has transformed Memphis’ NBA Finals chances by raising his offense. Since trading Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies have been among one of the more efficient offenses. With more shots now available for the taking, Conley has taken on a greater scoring role and increased his and his team's efficiency.
Tony Allen, always tough defensively, has been as tenacious as ever. He’s allowing 98 points per 100 possessions. In the first round, he was the only Grizzlies player staying strong on the defensive end throughout the series, allowing 104 points per 100 possessions.
Allen’s hands have been quite active, as he’s grabbing 2.3 steals per game and 4.3 percent of his opponent's possessions end with a steal by the Grizzlies.
He’s jumped on the boards, averaging 6.1 per game. He had 10 boards in Game 2 in Oklahoma City and nine in Game 3 against the Clippers.
Surprisingly, he’s helped the Grizz on offense. The Chicago native is averaging 11.1 points per game while shooting 43.7 percent from the field. His 73.3 percent free-throw shooting is flighty, which is a letdown for someone who’s taking 4.5 shots per game at the line (2.1 more than in the regular season).
Tayshaun Prince has given the Grizzlies just about what they’d expect from him—a quiet offensive presence and sound defense.
His shooting hasn’t thrilled. The former Detroit Piston is shooting 37.3 percent from the field, 28.6 percent from three-point range and 53.3 percent at the line on his way to 7.4 points per game.
Prince had three straight double-digit scoring performances against the Clippers, spanning Games 4 through 6.
The Compton-raised Prince has been used in 13.2 percent of Memphis' possessions during the playoffs. He handles the ball well when he does touch it. He has a 6.3 percent turnover rate and has coughed it up just six times this postseason.
He’s allowing 106 points per 100 possessions on defense.
Quincy Pondexter is giving the only sterling performance of any Grizz bench player thus far. The team leader in bench minutes per game, Pondexter is the only reserve with above-water metrics, with 112 points scored per 100 possessions and 106 allowed per 100 possessions defensively.
The third-year player is shooting well, scoring 6.6 points per game on 43.1 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from long range. He’s scored in double figures four times.
He lit a spark in Game 1 against Oklahoma City, putting up 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.
As was the case in the regular season, Jerryd Bayless has had his moments in the playoffs, but they weren't as frequent as hoped. He’s scored in double figures four times.
Bayless had two big games in the first round. He scored 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting in Game 1 and 18 on 6-of-13 from the field in Game 6.
He’s been quieter against the Thunder. The former Toronto Raptor is averaging 14.3 points per 36 minutes on 37.1 percent from the field in the second round, compared to 19.3 per 36 minutes on 38.3 percent shooting in the opening round. Bayless is playing 6.8 (23.3 to 16.5) more minutes per game, but taking only about one more shot per game (8.75 to 7.83).
Bayless has done a fine job controlling the ball. He’s turned it over 1.2 times per game. He’s coughed it up twice against the Thunder, both times in Game 3.
Bayless’ defensive performance has been up and down. He’s allowing 108 points per 100 possessions, allowing fewer than 110 points per 100 in six of 10 games. In Game 3, he joined the team’s grind by collecting a block and a steal and allowing 86 points per 100 possessions.
After an abysmal second half, Darrell Arthur was relegated to minimal playing time for a rotation player for the playoffs. He’s playing 12.1 minutes per game and making some effort to redeem himself.
Arthur has done minor scoring damage. He’s putting up four points per game. In Game 2 against the Clippers, he scored nine points in 18 minutes. While he’s shooting a reasonable 48.5 percent from the field, he’s had five games in which he’s hit 40 percent or less from the field.
Arthur has shown some presence on the boards. He has an 18.7 percent defensive rebounding rate and is pulling down 7.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. In Game 3 against the Clippers, he had six boards.
Lionel Hollins couldn’t ask much of Keyon Dooling, a late-season signee acquired to make up for the lack of a traditional point guard behind Mike Conley. Dooling has done a fine job as a caretaker. He has turned it over just 1.4 times per 36 minutes in the postseason and has a 12.9 percent turnover rate.
Aside from that, the veteran is giving Grizzlies fans little reason to notice him during his time on the court. He’s hit just a third of his shots on his way to 20 points while playing 8.4 minutes per game. The former Boston Celtic has four assists in his nine playoff appearances.
Dooling does little to impress defensively, as he allows 111 points per 100 possessions.