It would have been easy to think that you’d turned to a football score, huh? Like one team had three touchdowns and the other had somehow scored a safety?
23-2 is a Marianas-Trench-sized hole to dig, but the Grizzlies managed to do it.
Here come seven things, and some of them aren’t pretty…
Thing one: Miss a few shots, and it’s “darned bad luck”. Go 2-for-15 or whatever putridity (that’s my made-up word of the day) befell the Grizzlies’ shooting to start this one, and something’s wrong with what you’re trying to do as a team. “Out of sorts” is the proverbial understatement regarding Conley’s play this night, Ed Davis looked like a fish out of water, and most of the other Grizzlies looked like they were being given the wrong stuff to breathe as well. A lot of this is motivation, but a lot of it was due to…
Thing two: TOTAL MATCHUP INSANITY. Ed Davis, through no fault of his own, was forced to be more than ten feet from the basket, and that’s generally not going to end well. When the reason he’s more than ten feet from the hoop is Paul Pierce, it’s SURELY not going to end well. We also saw the unwelcome return of “Conley is vulnerable to big, post-up type guards” after a not-long-enough absence. Conley’s weakness this game was easiest to see when he was thrust into the undesirable duty of guarding Joe Johnson, who ended the evening going 8-13.
Thing three: To counteract said insanity, gotta be an athleticism thing to overcome all that size and strength, huh? Like, maybe, Ed Davis and James Johnson? Nope, not this night. To Joerger’s credit, he did see the problem and went small to match up…but…it was when Gasol and Koufos were in the game together that the Grizzlies were able to make a run. Funny how this game works. Or in this case, just won’t work.
Thing four: Tony Allen, one of the few bright spots. No, he didn’t bring the Grizzlies back in the game singlehandedly-his first stint led to an astounding +2-but his energy was entertaining if not game-saving. Not often one sees him under the basket boxing for rebounds (not boxing out, boxing), but he was everywhere. Sort of provided a glimpse of why he might be better suited as a bench player.
Thing five: Hide your eyes from the Conley/Lee combo. 2-for-15, with a thankfully rare zero in the made field goals column for Mike Conley. Sure seemed like Lee took more than seven shots, and even though most of his attempts were open-ish pullups that he can usually make, it was obvious for Lee, as it was for the rest of the team, that being run off the court on the defensive end was significantly affecting his ability to properly execute on offense.
Thing six: Seemed like something was missing for the Grizzlies. Oh, yeah. Ol’ number fifty. Get well big fella. Z-Bo’s absence was the reason that the Nets were able to succeed to such a degree playing a teeny ball lineup. No excuse for a rather shamefully unmotivated performance for the team as a whole, though, and it shows how vulnerable the Grizzlies are, on both ends, without the offensive anchor. Gasol surely picked up as much slack as he was able, but the low-block double-drawing postup just wasn’t there.
Thing seven: The Grizzlies were outshot 51% to 43%, and turned the ball over 21 times leading to almost thirty Net points. Tough if not impossible to win a game like that, especially considering the 23-2 (mindblowing, isn’t it?) deficit the Grizzlies faced to start the game.
On to Chicago, where the Grizzlies will need to rediscover some offensive motivation and execution.
Gasol v. Noah. Can’t wait to watch that…