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Well, the Grizzlies have come back to Earth.

And they’re still sinking.

First off-whatever Rudy Gay’s “personal matters” were/are, I do hope that it’s nothing disastrous family- or personal-wise for him. The Griz need him, but basketball just ain’t everything.

So…the smart coaches seem to have “sorted out” a formula for beating the Griz. How’d Doug Collins get it done?

He’s surely a great coach (about right now, I’d  like to be listening to him commentate on games…), and he did what  Pop, Karl, and McHale have done. Clog the paint, but don’t over-clog it.

Let ZBo and Marc do what they do (which they did-10-18 and 9-15 respectively), and don’t dedicate too much in the way of help and/or doubling onto them, and dare the other Grizzlies to provide enough extra offense to win.

Mike Conley did not exactly have his best game of the year, to put it mildly. Take a listen to Conley’s remarks after the game, and see if it’s not what we all might have to say about the current slump.

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Good job on accountability and not pointing fingers-but saying and doing, obviously, are two different things.

Perhaps the Grizzlies need to take a closer, longer look at playing small more-it’s something touched upon by Conley, and it’s something that is a league-wide strategy and tactic, especially a banger-oriented team like the Grizzlies. Also, “banger-0riented” means “can’t shoot very well from outside”. I’m thinking that if Hollinger really has Pera’s and Levien’s ears, the trade rumblings are sure to begin growing louder. As balanced as the Griz appeared in November, the season’s second month has not been to sure-footed.

Getting outdone regularly in transition is becoming an unwelcome hallmark of Grizzly (grisly?) losses. The tally this game was 16-2 (TWO fast break points??!?!?!?!?!?!?), and it leads to the cursory but important glance at offensive rebounding-sure, the Grizzlies took that stat 15-8, but offensive rebounding leads to guys not being in position to get back in transition. Coach Hollins used the term “outquicked” in describing this game, and that’s a great term. It happened in the paint and especially in transition. He sounds rather close to disgusted with the Griz’ inability to have five players executing at once in the game:

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Would this game have turned out differently had Rudy been available? Perhaps, perhaps not.[soundcloud id=’72686215′]

As Marc Gasol says, it’s just about stepping up to the challenge when the Grizzlies know that teams are coming into the game with strong ideas about ways to surmount the Grizzlies’ advantages. When teams play a man like Thad Young at the 4, it’s gonna mean a lot of quickness with still-decent size and range from that position (as well as four of the Sixers’ embarrassingly-high twelve blocks). Rudy Gay has the size and length to play the PF position for stretches, but his rebounding numbers are not strong when he does so, and his post play is not a strength, although his ability to draw an opponent out of the paint can be of great help.

The team has to get back to the drawing board a little bit. Biggest things that have to improve?

-Interior spacing. The “best interior passing team there is” has not looked like it at all. A bit Keystone-Kop-ish, actually.

-Wayne Elllington can’t play 30 minutes and take one three-pointer (and miss it, at that).

-Getting back on defense in transition has to be more of a priority, even if offensive rebounding suffers.

-Further into defensive possessions, second and third efforts off pick-and-roll plays and helping the right way (i.e. not leaving your man in the corner when he’s a known three-point shooter).

Denver comes in Saturday and the Grizzlies have to get it sorted out quickly-we all know what has happened the last two games against the Nuggets.


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10 Responses to Dorrell Wright? Really? Sixers 99, Grizzlies 89

  1. AussieGNo Gravatar says:

    Very bad loss. :(

  2. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    I’m getting pretty tired of saying “at least the W/Ls aren’t backwards like it was in years past.” There’s still 50+ games to play, but the team NEEDS to quit talking about getting back to Grizzly B-ball and just man up and DO IT. I still think the ship can get righted and return to being a “scary good” team, but it has got to happen sooner than later. Otherwise, the games fly by quickly and we’re either a one-and-done in the playoffs or left out.

    I’m not trying to sound negative and cynical. What I heard on the post-game tonight, the team gets what’s wrong. They simply have to get back to smart basketball, embrace being a target of other team’s best efforts, and respond by being better.

  3. KoricNo Gravatar says:

    If Mike Conley takes 17 shots that generally a failure for the team. The Grizzlies suffer from proper offensive hierarchy. There is almost no scenario where he should be the second or first offensive option. He’s a good point guard, but he frequently takes more shots than anyone on the team other than Rudy.

  4. mtigerdiehardGrizzliesDieHardNo Gravatar says:

    Evan, Mike Conley has never consistently finished in the paint his entire career so why should we expect to do it now. Conley is an ok pg who is going through his annual season slump which usully last 20-25 games. I am still on record as sying we can’t win a series with Bayless and Ellington as our backup guards as both players look terrible. I really miss Grievas Vasquez.

  5. DJNo Gravatar says:

    Marc gasol with/without tony Allen expiring contract for Demarcus cousins and Marcus Thornton.

  6. DJNo Gravatar says:

    Why not? They have too many guards. And I’m sure they would love to get rid of Cousins

  7. DJNo Gravatar says:

    Hell go sign Gilbert arenas and Tracy mcgrady to go along with Q and Mo and Darrel. Now that would be a bench. 2 guys who actually can dribble and create for themselves and others. Get rid of bayless and Ellington

  8. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Operative phrase: “They’d love to get rid of Cousins.” Why would Memphis want to trade a top 3 center (and the best passing one at that), for a young hotheaded knucklehead. Don’t get me wrong — I have tremendous respect for the redemptive powers of playing in Memphis, but let’s not get carried away. Trading for Cousins right now would be blowing up the team simply by subtracting Marc Gasol . . . to say nothing of what would happen when Cousins tried to pull some crap on Lionel Hollins.

    As for bench scoring . . . I cried inside when Jamal Crawford went to the Clippers. I would have LOVED to have that guy. As for who’s out there now? I like Marcus Thornton; Redick would be nice. Wes Matthews in Portland. We still don’t quite have that “game changing” SG/SF off the bench.

    All that said, I’m skittish about making a trade. I mean just 30 days ago, we were romperstomping the league. Even now, we’re playing .500 ball in December. Given what happened in December for the Brooklyn Nets (3-10), that’s no reason to blow up this team. I think the Bears will find their way again.

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