Another night without Tony Allen, Ed Davis, Marc Gasol, and Quincy Pondexter hurt the Memphis Grizzlies last night as they fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-100. The Grizzlies lost for the first time this season when scoring 100 points or more. Memphis shot just .420 (34-of-81 FG) in tonight’s game.
“We struggled on the defensive end and the offensive end. It was both ends of the floor. They hit shots. They have a lot of offensive threats on their bench and in their starting five. That is one of the best teams in the league, but you still want to come out and play hard,” Zach Randolph said on tonight’s performance.
Mr. Randolph makes a good point. Did I expect the Grizzlies to win tonight knowing four of their key players wouldn’t be playing tonight? Absolutely not. Many people would have just hoped for a better performance.
The Grizzlies we’re passing up too many shots which caused turnovers and shot clock violations throughout the night. Another problem for this team was the Thunder dominated the boards. Oklahoma City out-rebounded Memphis by nine (42-33).
“It’s always been with me. I’d rather take an early shot that’s a good shot. You may not get another good shot, and you’re playing against very good teams”, Coach Dave Joerger on over-passing and the shot clock.
Holding a three-point lead (37-34) with 5:56 left in the second quarter, the Thunder closed the half on a 20-8 run to enter halftime with a 57-42 lead. The lead eventually turned into a 24 (87-63) late in the third quarter, and the Thunder never led by fewer than 13 points after halftime.
This was a game that you wished you had Gasol, Allen, Pondexter, and Davis because they would help the defensive side especially knowing Allen can handle guard Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook would fill the stat sheet with 27 points (7-of-12 FG), nine assists, and six rebounds. Durant continues to be one of the top players in the NBA with 18 points, six points, and 3 assists.
Key players for the Grizzlies were Mike Conley and Jon Leuer. Conley led the team with 20 points (7-of-13 FG). He entered the night as one of the only nine players to reach double figures in points in every game this season.
The roster is getting thinner and thinner and I believe it’s time to sign another player to this team. You don’t know if you can rely on Miller or Bayless to give you consistent shots every night.
The next three games are very important for Memphis so they can they gain some confidence. It’s very important that this team stays positive and Leuer agreed.
“We just have to stay positive. Everyone in this locker room has to stay positive. We are all about winning. Obviously a loss like tonight hurts. We can’t hang our heads on it,” Leuer said on moving forward.
This team is fighting through a lot of adversity right now and Joerger believes that they will continue to work hard to get past this.
“We just have to keep plugging away and coming to practice every day…I don’t want to come to practice every day and it be just a chore. It’s not fun. It’s not enjoyable what is going on out there. Losing by two or 22, losing at home, we take a great deal of pride playing at home. It hurts,” Joerger said after the game.
So I want to keep telling fans to hang in there. I know you don’t like the results right now and I don’t either but let’s hope things get turned around soon. Believe Memphis.