It’s just not easy,
sometimes ever, to watch a team missing its two most important players.
Note the lack of “arguably most important” in the previous sentence. It’s becoming move obvious with each passing day and game that these two guys are SO sorely missed (get it? “Sore”?).
Gotta do my best to make “DirkDirkDirkDirkDirkDirkDirk” the seven things about this game. Won’t be easy but it will be done. Thing one: Dirk. Sure, this guy’s an everyteam-killer, and maybe it’s just that the Grizzlies have to see this guy at least four times a season, but his midrange game killed the Grizz this game, especially in that first half.
Thing two: Not having Conley is kinda like doing calculus. It’s hard, and if you make a mistake in the first couple steps, it doesn’t matter how nice it looks, the result is gonna be wrong. When the initial pass of an offensive set is made to the wrong man, that man is in the wrong place, the player movement triggered by that pass is off in terms of timing, speed, or placement/spacing…you get the drift. Bad passes at the outset of a possession lead to, guess what, missed shots on the inside. But…
Thing three: Randolph and Allen played hard. Can’t deny that. They knew this night that the burden of supporting whatever meager hopes the team might have of winning a game fell to them, and they did what they could. TA hit the more-points-than-shots mark, however, as did Z-Bo. Painfully inefficient, and they weren’t the only ones…
Thing four: When your team takes TWENTY MORE field goal attempts than the other team and gets blown out, you’ve eclipsed “stunk up the joint” and moved on into “a totally sludge-a-licious performance”. You’ve also not only not played intense defense, you’ve also failed to execute principles against a team that you’ve ostensibly/purportedly been studying over the last few days. I’m not in the “oh the coach is the problem” camp, but the schemes’ messiness are what leads to the “oh well I may as well not guard Calderon ‘cuz it doesn’t matter” behavior.
Thing five: The Grizzlies suck right now.
Thing six: Hey, Ed Davis went 6-11, and looked darned good on offense doing it. Everyone remember DA and Greivis syncing nicely? Well, Calathes and Davis aren’t that good and aren’t sharing the court as much, but Davis is starting to show a better ability to put himself in position on offense to receive a pass or screen for a cutter to either score or make a quick dish.
Thing seven: Bayless struggled mightily again, and perhaps Joerger’s worst decision of late, IMO, is making Bayless start at PG, a position for which he is VERY ill-suited…while he’s already mired in a seemingly-interminable slump. Can’t blame Bayless for opting in, but the Grizzlies brass has to be secretly wishing that he’d not done so. Yes, I think starting Calathes would be a better idea.
And next…the Knicks. That game will be interesting in sort of the same way that looking at the decayed flesh on a root canal file is “interesting”. Y’know…unique, but vomit-inducing.
Gotta think that even the pride of the front office regarding the coaching choice is starting to wither. Would a loss to the Knicks start making Joerger’s chair glow orange? Not saying it should, but my purely unsubstantiated guess is that it might…IF HALF THE DANG TEAM WEREN’T INJURED.
If it wasn’t for bad luck…