Well, that didn’t go well. Not too upsetting, and not that surprising, but still not good.
Lockout rust ain’t no excuse,either-level playing field and all.
There was one phrase that kept cycling through my mind and past my lips during the third-quarter meltdown for the Griz, and the phrase was…..
…”an unconscionable lack of effort at taking care of the ball”. Sure, the Spurs will always be a great defensive team-but 24 TO’s and you lose, almost without exception. They did it inside, outside, by travel….if you could think of a way to turn it over, the Griz did it.
Make the combo of 24 TO and 25PF’s, and you will CERTAINLY lose. Unconscionable.
A couple of things I watched tonight in particular:
-Conley’s D on pick and roll plays. Nice steal on the first defensive possession of the game, but as the game wore on, he was abused on D, losing his man and giving Ginger about ten yards of free space to line up a three. As a usually quick guard, he also lost Tony Parker multiple times…a bit uncharacteristic for Conley. His decisions whether to switch/fight/go under were not horrible, but his second efforts on the p-n-r’s were bad.
-Rudy’s effort and game fitness. Yep, we all saw him grabbing his shorts a bunch of times-but guess what? 19 and 10. Sounds like Rudy Gay to me. Great effort on the rebounding front-positioning and timing were both very good, taking several rebounds from guys taller and bulkier than he. Worst thing about Rudy tonight? Some not-good body language. Frustration? Yep. Could that become a concern if he begins to direct it toward his teammates? Yep. Do I think that will happen? Nope.
-Speaking of body language, I think we’ve all been waiting with bated breath to check out how OJ Mayo will slide into his now-familiar role. He was a bit of a shrinking violet, with only 4FGA in 17 minutes. His defense was characteristically sketchy, but he didn’t handslap too much, and guarding Ginobli on this night was just gonna be tough. Just ask Tony Allen, who had perhaps his worst game as a Grizzly. Four turns, four fouls, and as many offensive trainwrecks as he had possessions. Bottom line for OJ? Be selfish. It’s a contract year, and on top of that, it’s his job to score.
-The new guys, for the most part, acquitted themselves well. It was easy to see the jitters-a handslap foul on Cunningham within his first few seconds, some jittery attempts at lane moves by Pargo. However, Pondexter and Cunningham combined to go 7-11, with DC hitting several patented Darrell Arthur pick/pop jumpers. Love that, and his effort was good defensively-he took a NICE help-side charge against Timmy D (about which, of course, Duncan complained. Sources: water is wet.) and calmed down as he got more minutes due to ZBo having a tough, tough night. Pondexter showed good athleticism, and a pretty good nose for the ball.
Not that upsetting, and not that surprising. Everyone knew that it would take a bit to reintegrate Rudy, and the ball-stopping that was seen a bit from #22 tonight should fade into memory as the season progresses.
This game actually looked a bit like early-season Griz teams of the last couple years-leaving guys open for three more than makes one comfortable, some unpalatable offensive droughts, etc. etc.
If you dare, and if you can count high enough to understand the Griz’ turnover number, check out the boxscore .
Gotta get it together guys. See everybody Wednesday. Bring all your crazy, ‘cuz we need to show the Griz we’re gonna be there to support ’em like they deserve.