Santi Aldama delivered a big performance in his first NBA start for the Grizzlies, Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal notes. Filling in for injured Jaren Jackson Jr., the 2021 first round pick supplied 18 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes while guarding the Knicks’ Julius Randle. “It was more about knowing his game, knowing his tendencies and being ready to absorb contact,” Aldama said. “It’s not easy, but I think I did a pretty good job overall.”
We have more from the Southwest Division:
- Ja Morant signed a five-year max extension this summer after being named the league’s Most Improved Player. The Grizzlies’ star guard now has the Most Valuable Player in his sights, as he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews on the NBA Today show (Twitter link). “MVP for sure,” he said. “I’m not an individual goal guy but that’s … pretty much everyone’s goal in this league.”
- The Mavericks’ collapse against Phoenix in their season opener was a downer but Christian Wood‘s performance was uplifting, Tim Cato of The Athletic writes. Acquired from Houston early in the summer, Wood showed he might be Luka Doncic‘s best co-star to date while pumping in 25 points. “It’s just a trust thing,” Wood said. “I have to build my trust on this new team. Once I do that, I’m good.”
- The Spurs waived Alize Johnson late in training camp but they still want him in their organization. The G League’s Austin Spurs acquired his returning player rights from Toronto’s affiliate, Raptors 905, in exchange for Jaylen Morris, Ky Bowman and Jarrod Uthoff, Blake Murphy of Sportsnet tweets.