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Well, wasn’t that just terrible.

This game told me four little things…

-This team is lost without Mike Conley. After the Cavs withstood a medium-strength initial punch, they showed no fear of the elite Grizzlies. And they had no reason to show such. Rudy, ZBo, and Gasol went a combined 21-31…and we’ll not speak of the rest of the team. These three guys know how to do it themselves, while the rest rely on a PG to help them…and Bayless’ rhythm was clearly off by a mile. A guy like Bayless gets used to coming off the bench after being able to put a finger on the pulse of how the game is flowing. This night, JB was responsible for getting that rhythm going, and it did not suit him.  Floor spacing was resoundingly bad all night, with several plays resulting in players actually bumping into one another on offense.

However, the jumper by Bayless to make it 82-78 brought out the Tag Team, and he was thereby absolved of all sins committed previous to that point in the game.

-The “finding ways to win” cliche applies rather readily to this contest. A now-veteran team ratcheted up the defense in the fourth quarter and made the already three-happy Cavs start chucking in frustration, with rebounding monstrosity Sideshow Bob even trying one for fun. Put another notch in the Griz’ collective belt as far as turning opposing teams into frustrated piles of shot-jacking muck (Knicks, Heat, Lakers, etc…).  The Grizzlies’ offense was not horrid shooting-wise, but only 16 ast on 33 made FG’s again tells us that the movement and spacing was not good.

-Anderson Varejao is my kinda player. He’s not skilled too much offensively, but he’s every bit as good a rebounder as is ZBo. He does it differently, though-he runs around like a chicken without a head chasing the ball and gets all up in the middle of every missed shot by either team. Only thing is…he’s not the young player he once was. Will his style of play last into his 30′s? I hope so, and it will be interesting to see whether it can.

-Once again, the starters were all a positive plus-minus, and all the bench players were a negative. Sure, Pondexter had a huge fourth quarter, and Arthur is still working into shape, and Selby needs more D-League seasoning…but the season is young yet, and this team cannot go into another April with Conley and Gasol running on fumes. Speights, I believe, is becoming discouraged with himself and is hearing the footsteps of DA fast approaching. He’ll need to rectify his current slump if he hopes to maintain any PT once Arthur gets closer to full strength. Only five game minutes for him tonight, and that’s a trend I could see continuing if he doesn’t start showing more effort on D and on the glass. Ellington is in a dry spell, and this game was not one to encourage fans that he may be due for another Miami-game outburst any time soon.  Conley, we hope, will be well enough to play on Wednesday, and he’ll be well in a few days in any case-but seeing Selby/Ellington/Gay function as “point players” was unsettling to say the least, although the extended play-initiating leash that Gay’s been given this year was serendipitously helpful this night (yes, I just modified that word for my needs). Will Tony Wroten be a viable 3rd string PG this season? Will he not? Time will tell.

No game is without its warts, but this one looked like it fell into a vat of toads.

Got a feeling that the Grizzlies might wind up bearing the marks of Lionel Hollins’ shoe soles in some tough spots over the next day or two…

 

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16 Responses to Grizzlies’ Teeth Have No Skin Remaining. Grizzlies 84, Cavs 78

  1. Steve DickinsonNo Gravatar says:

    Ultimately, great to grind out a win. Varejao is a hell of a rebounder. This Grizzlies team struggles against elite rebounders (Faried and Vaejao), but didn’t stumble this time.

    • DanielNo Gravatar says:

      That’s a good point about the struggles versus elite rebounders. Grizzlies could use an enforcer to push those guys out of the way, a Reggie Evans-type.

      • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

        Agreed…But in a lot of ways, we already have a buffer against that: 1. Most teams don’t really have a junkyard dog type rebounder. 2. Those that do have one have ONLY one. Assuming that guy is rasslin’ with Zach or Marc, it theoretically frees up the other guy to have a good rebounding night.

        Still, nothing beats putting a butt on a guy & boxing out….

        • EvanNo Gravatar says:

          This.

          I can’t even put a number on how many times Varejao was surrounded by 3-4 Grizz players and STILL came down with the rebound.

          We MUSTTTT learn how to box out properly.

  2. grizzguyNo Gravatar says:

    Hard not to say that Mike is the most important Grizz player after that game. Bayless was clearly trying to play point the way Hollins wants and it didn’t suit. Even his big shot late in the game drew a fuming reaction from Hollins, makes me thing he was hot dogging and not running the offense the way he was supposed to. Personally, I’m on the “Free Tony Wroten” petition commitee…might as well get the rook some on the job training…

    • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

      Bayless will be fine…he’s a pro, just new to Hollins’ system, that’s all….Wroten, though talented, wouldn’t do any better. But Hollins did send a shout out to all the Mike Conley haters in his postgame remarks…

  3. Anonymous Grizz FanNo Gravatar says:

    There’s something to be said for playing by far the worst game we’ve played this year and coming out with a W. They all count the same.

  4. KyleNo Gravatar says:

    Varejao had to have ball magnets on his hands because that is the only way I can explain how some of those rebounds got to him… I mean at one point there were four grizz players around the rim and varejao runs out by the three point line and the ball just lands in his arms… He was just a monster last night… But I guess I should be used to it with zbo

  5. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    Ugly, ugly game. I’m sure my neighbors were petrified with the amount of obscenities coming from my living room.

    What a win, though. So proud of my guys.

    GO GRIZZ! I’m really hoping Bayless will become a Raps-killer starting Wednesday!

  6. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    Probably a good game for Bayless to get big minutes and become more acclimated to keying the offense in case we don’t have Conley (God forbid) for any reason. Good job by the Grizz hitting the accelerator when we had to, and nobody singled out how dominant Gasol was down low. You play to win the game, and that’s what we did.

  7. stevedNo Gravatar says:

    I feel for Josh Selby. It must be frustrating to be a small 2 guard. Without developing enough PG skills to get by as a back-up PG, he won’t stick in the league for long.

  8. oldmanGrizzNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t believe the Grizz are lost without Conley. I think this was simply a matter of a veteran team that knew they should win a game against a young and inexperienced challenger. The same thing happened to the Heat against the Cavs Saturday night. No matter how many times it happens to a veteran team, it will continue more times than not. The Grizz used to be in the Cavs position. It’s nice to be on the other side now. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the same thing happen Wed. or Fri. this week.

    • John CaldwellNo Gravatar says:

      You’re right. There is no reason I can see for this negativity. Even the best struggle at times and the mobility of opposing front lines i.e. Cleveland and creates occasional rebound imbalance. Bayless is who he has been all season..a somewhat triggerhappy hard working point who compliments Conley’s style that any team would be glad to have.

  9. Tony AltoNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s my three cents…1-After that opening night loss in L.A. NOBODY saw us being 10-2 with the best record in the league @ this point…2-There are gonna be nights you struggle or the other team is red-hot or a combo of both…3-As fans we can help push our Grizzlies to 34 more wins here in Memphis & to our out of town fans go support the Grizz in or near your city!!!

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