After Rabb turned in three quality performances in a row, coach J.B. Bickerstaff suggested the second-year big man would remain the Grizzlies' starting center for the foreseeable future. Rabb certainly didn't reward Bickerstaff's faith Tuesday, as he posted as many fouls as rebounds while ceding extensive playing time at center to Jonas Valanciunas (21 minutes) and Joakim Noah (18 minutes). Noah probably won't be a mainstay in the rotation the rest of the season, but Valanciunas (23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists) excelled in his team debut and could carve out an expanding role moving forward, even if he sticks in a bench role. Those that scooped up Rabb shouldn't panic just yet, but a bounce-back performance Wednesday in Chicago would assuage some of the concern heading into the All-Star break.
Rabb started his third straight game in Saturday's win over the Pelicans and had 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 FT), nine rebounds and three assists as he continues to showcase well with the departures of Marc Gasol and JaMychal Green. Jonas Valanciunas -- just acquired from Toronto -- was expected to step into the starting role, but coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after Saturday's game, "I think he [Rabb] has earned it." Things could change fairly quickly, but Rabb will be among the Grizzlies' starting five, at least for the time being.
Rabb finished with 15 points (6-8 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-3 FT), nine rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal in 31 minutes during Thursday's 117-95 loss to the Thunder.
Rabb contributed in every category and was highly efficient offensively while drawing his second straight start. Given that the Grizzlies traded two big men (Marc Gasol and JaMychal Green) and acquired only one (Jonas Valanciunas), it's very possible Rabb will be a regular part of the rotation going forward this season. Either way, he's been solid lately, reaching double figures in scoring in four of the last five games while making 26-of-39 field goal attempts across that same span.
Rabb supplied 19 points (8-10 FG, 3-6 FT), 11 rebounds, two steals, one assist, and one block across 33 minutes during Tuesday's 108-106 win over the Timberwolves.
Rabb drew the start in place of Marc Gasol (rest) and accumulated a career high scoring total while matching his career high in steals and matching his season high in rebounding. The Grizzlies were dealing with injuries to big men even beyond Gasol, as Joakim Noah (heel) and JaMychal Green (knee) were also held out. Nevertheless, Rabb made the most of his chance to shine, contributing his second double-double across the last four games (and third in his last nine appearances). Thursday's matchup with the stingy Thunder defense will probably prove to be a much tougher test for Rabb in the event that he's thrust into a prominent role once again.
Rabb will start Tuesday's contest against the Timberwolves, David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
With Marc Gasol (rest) out, Rabb will draw the start at center for a depleted Memphis team. It will mark his first start of the campaign. In the three games where Rabb has seen at least 20 minutes, he's averaging 12.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
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