The Memphis Grizzlies were officially eliminated from In Season Tournament contention Tuesday night, as they collected loss number three of the inaugural competition (their ninth on the year as a whole) while on the road squaring off against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite coming into the contest with momentum following their recent triumph over the LA Clippers, it appeared many of the team's lowly habits still managed to shine on through and, in the end, aided in their 134-107 demise.
Though Memphis may have been without Ja Morant on the night, as he's still serving out his league-issued 25-game suspension, there still was an exciting star matchup being highlighted entering the event as attention was drawn toward the likes of stud bigs Jaren Jackson Jr. and Anthony Davis squaring off.
Aside from being two of the best frontcourt talents in the game today, a hot talking point amongst fans and media pundits revolved around the preseason quote by Davis about how he feels he's been "cheated out of a couple defensive awards" and how this could influence his play against the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in JJJ.
While the eight-time All-Star certainly put forth a valiant effort on both ends of the floor against the Grizzlies stud, during his postgame interview Davis revealed that this storyline had little to no impact on his efforts on the night.
Anthony Davis not motivated by Grizzlies big Jaren Jackson Jr.'s DPOY
""It wasn't a thing of 'oh he got it last year, let me try to show him up' or anything like that. I just go and compete, protect the rim, tell my guys to compete on the ball and funnel all the guys towards me and I'll take care of the rest. I just go out there and play as hard as I can on both ends of the floor but especially on the defensive end, knowing that I'm the anchor and got to protect all the guys.""- Anthony Davis postgame (11/14/2023)
Despite his comments on not being extra motivated against the league's most recent DPOY recipient, it was evident that Davis played like a man possessed on the less glamorous side of the ball during Los Angeles' blowout victory against the Grizzlies.
Logging just 26 minutes on the night, the four-time All-Defensive selection managed to finish with a stellar stat line of 19 points, 11 rebounds, and a whopping 6 blocks, 4 of which came against Jackson Jr., all while shooting a highly efficient 63.6 percent from the field.
Whether or not playing against Jackson added any motivation, during Tuesday's outing it was more than apparent that Davis was the superior option on the defensive end.