UTAH JAZZ

Lauri Markkanen Massacres Grizzlies In Halloween Blowout

Oct 31, 2022, 10:53 PM | Updated: Nov 1, 2022, 9:53 pm

Lauri-Markkanen-Utah-Jazz-Ja-Morant-Memphis-Grizzlies...

Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz blocks Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies (photo: Deseret News, Ben B. Braun)

(photo: Deseret News, Ben B. Braun)

SALT LAKE CITY – Lauri Markkanen turned in an All-Star-worthy performance as the Utah Jazz downed the Memphis Grizzlies for the second time in three nights.

Ja Morant returned for the Grizzlies after missing Saturday’s loss to the Jazz and scored 37 points on just 18 shots, but it wasn’t enough to change the outcome of the game.

With the 121-105 victory the Jazz moved to 6-2 on the season.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Markkanen Massacres Grizzlies

Markkanen has had higher-scoring performances and better rebounding games, but there’s an argument to make that he’s never had a more complete performance than he did against the Grizzlies.

The Finnish forward dominated both sides of the floor for the Jazz scoring 31 points and grabbing 12 rebounds while setting a career-high with four blocks.

He also did so while shooting a mega-efficient 11-15 from the floor and 4-6 from the three-point line.

Most impressive however was when Markkanen opted to take over the game.

The Grizzlies opened the third quarter on a 15-9 run to trim their deficit to just 10, feasting off the energy of Dillon Brooks chaotic style of play.

When the Jazz appeared to be on the verge of a total collapse, Markkanen put the team on his back.

The 25-year-old scored 15 points, matching Ja Morant in the quarter while adding five rebounds, a block, a steal, and an assist.

“Lauri was playing at the five and I thought that his ability to drop and protect the basket was very good,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “We were able to create some turnovers in that quarter.”

The stretch allowed the Jazz to stem the run, and build a 23 third quarter lead, their biggest of the night.

Markkanen has shown glimpses of his star potential throughout his career, but he’d never laced together his size, shooting, playmaking, and defense over a sustained stretch like he has for the Jazz this season.

“He’s an All-Star,” teammate Malik Beasley said. “I’ve preached that and I want him to get that this year.”

Through eight games, Markkanen has made it clear the Jazz are his team, and he’s led them to a shocking 6-2 start.

Is Jarred Vanderbilt A Three-Point Shooter?

One of the major knocks on Jarred Vanderbilt after the Jazz acquired him in the Rudy Gobert trade was his lack of ability to score outside just plays near the rim.

Even at the hoop, the bouncy big man isn’t as efficient as his shot profile would suggest.

But Hardy and the Jazz have added an intriguing aspect to the forward’s game, giving him the opportunity to shoot corner threes when he’s open.

So far, it has paid off.

Vanderbilt is 4-9 from deep this season, knocking down an impressive 44 percent of his threes, good for second on the team behind Kelly Olynyk.

“We trust Jarred to make the right play,” Hardy said.

It’s a radical change for the Kentucky product who prior to joining the Jazz had knocked down just 3-22 three-attempts in his first four seasons in the NBA.

Vanderbilt is averaging more than one three-point attempt per game this season, up from a total of 22 attempts in 166 appearances.

“We talk about different options that he has in our offense based on our spacing, and one of those options is for him to shoot,” Hardy said. “He’s done a great job, he’s knocking them down.”

The 23-year-old probably won’t ever be even an average NBA scorer, but his rebounding and defensive versatility will keep in him the league for a long time.

However, if he can continue to knock down open threes that the opposing defense seems content to let him shoot, his value will only grow.

Jazz Shooters Are Shooting

It’s hard to imagine that with the Jazz surprising 6-2 start, the team is still getting better.

While Kelly Olynyk’s lights-out three-point shooting (64 percent entering Monday’s game) is destined to drop, Markkaken, Mike Conley, and Malik Beasley are starting to find their stroke.

Markkanen started the season just 8-33 (24 percent) from downtown in his first five games of the season but has connected on nine of his last 21 (38 percent.)

Conley meanwhile shot 6-22 over the first four games of the year but has made 12-20 (60 percent) over the last three games.

Beasley, arguably the Jazz best true shooter, opened the season shooting 10-33 over his first six games, but has since knocked down 8-15 (53 percent) over his last two games.

None of those three players is likely to keep up those types of hot streaks over the remainder of the season, but they’re equally unlikely to drop to the lows they saw to begin the year.

Even with their 6-2 start, the Jazz have only the 15th-best offensive rating in the NBA. If Conley, Markkanen, and Beasley continue to see their shooting numbers rise, their offensive performance will surely climb.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Dalton Knecht #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Draft Prospect: Tennessee F Dalton Knecht

Tennessee forward Dalton Knecht is projected to be selected in the lottery of the 2024 NBA Draft where the Utah Jazz own a top-ten pick.

2 days ago

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson celebrates an in-season tournament win highlights...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Player Highlights: Utah’s Other Veterans In 2023-24 Season

Although Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton stole the show for Utah, some other Jazz veterans played key roles in the 2023-24 season.

2 days ago

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers...

Ben Anderson

Donovan Mitchell Denies Frustration With Cavaliers Teammates

It's been a rough 24 hours for Donovan Mitchell and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates after being eliminated from the playoffs.

3 days ago

Bronny James Utah Jazz 2024 NBA Draft...

Chandler Holt

Utah Jazz Reportedly Have Interest In Working Out, Drafting Bronny James

According to Yahoo Sports, the Utah Jazz have expressed interest in working out Bronny James and selecting him in the 2024 NBA Draft.

3 days ago

Ron Holland #0 of G League Ignite...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Which Wing Fits Jazz Best In Draft?

Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where every week our NBA insiders answer your questions on social media about your favorite team.

5 days ago

Dalton Knecht #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz 2024 NBA Mock Draft Round-Up: Post Lottery

The NBA Draft is just over six weeks away and with the lottery in the rearview mirror, it's officially mock draft season for the Utah Jazz.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Lauri Markkanen Massacres Grizzlies In Halloween Blowout