20 point, 20 rebound games never fail to impress. They imply a physical dominance in the paint that few stat lines can reach. No matter how high opponents jump or how strongly they push back, there would be no stopping this juggernaut from his or her goal.
Iowa Energy’s Jarell Martin accomplished this feat on February 23rd in an unfortunate 120-110 loss to the Salt Lake City Stars. Martin may seem undersized as the Energy’s 6’9” 240 lb. starting center, but the Stars countered Martin with the even smaller 6’8” explosive athlete Joel Bolomboy. Despite Martin’s uncharacteristic size advantage down low, Bolomboy’s 13.2 rebounds per game for the Stars this season proves how much of a war inside Martin was in for.
Bolomboy would play decently enough to accrue 15 points and 13 rebounds in the Stars win, but he would still pale in comparison to Martin’s 26 points, 22 rebounds effort for the game. Martin sprang up over Bolomboy and any other Stars player for 8 offensive rebounds and helped the Energy win the second chance points battle 25 to 19. Martin’s hops didn’t only serve him on the glass but also let him achieve a NBADL career high of 4 blocks.
Martin played with fantastic energy to not only fill the statsheet with rebounds, blocks, and steals, but to accomplish the smaller details of always hustling back on defense to prevent transition opportunities for Salt Lake City. He was able to constantly shift off-ball on the perimeter to ease a passing lane to him for his three point jumper, which he provided 2 out of 3 times for the game.
Martin has had a rough go on the court for the Energy prior to this 20-20 outburst with much of his issues stemming from his frigidity from beyond the arc and trying to adopt higher responsibility within the Energy offense while battling often bigger centers. Even if you count Thursday night’s performance, Martin is still averaging 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds on 39% from the field in 10 games with the Energy.
However, Martin still seems to have the faith of the Memphis Grizzlies organization, though, and should use that apparent faith and this dominant interior performance to build the confidence necessary to flourish in his role. Ever since the Grizzlies drafted Martin with the 25th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Martin has tantalized spectators with his potential blend of explosive athleticism and inside-out scoring versatility. These 26 points and 22 rebounds demonstrate just why that tantalization is warranted.