Grizzlies fans got the best news of the week when TA let us know through a series of tweets that he’d be back for this game.
Ed Davis returned as well, and it was great to see both of them back in action.
The two of them will, needless to say, factor into our seven items regarding this, the first Grizzlies road game in what felt like forever.Thing one: Insert joke regarding the elimination of third quarters and how that might benefit the Grizzlies here….and not to pick on Ed Davis, but after he entered the game at 62-68 (with the Pelicans already in the midst of a good run), the wheels came all the way off. As it turned out, the second half of the third saw ZERO field goals for the Grizzlies. Sure, we’re all used to the patented Grizzlies scoring drought, but good grief. That’s just uncalled for. The players (Bayless, Davis, Miller…even new fan favorite Jon Leuer) just stood idly by if the first offensive option was gobbled up.
Thing two: It’s just….it’s like…they turn into cousin Eddie from National Lampoon’s Vacation at halftime, and someone turns on a microwave (y’know, they forget who they are for about fifteen minutes). 27-11. Wow.
Thing three: A bright spot, perhaps…Conley with another good scoring effort, albeit an inefficient one. It’s good to see Conley giving all he can to be the team leader in Gasol’s absence, but it’s kinda like when QPon led the team in scoring in the Spurs series-if Conley is your leading scorer, you’ve likely had an otherwise unproductive offensive outing.
Thing four: Disinterest. It’s creeping down the bench, and it’s not hard to see. The body language of the Grizzlies has been taken over by a ghost of Rudys past, and if you mapquest disinterest to disdain, that’s like a one-mile five-minute trip. Morale is going to be something to really watch for the Grizzlies over the next few weeks, led by the morale of…
Thing five: …the coach. One must appreciate the candor it takes to say things like “it’s not fun out there”, but he’s got to know that he’s the one holding the wheel, and the ship is listing. Taking on water even. He’s either planning poorly (bring in the assistants on the blame train in that case) and telling the team the wrong things to do, or he’s unable to light the fire/pull the team from the doldrums when it’s needed (that’s on him squarely-“motivator” is near the top of the list of necessities for an NBA head coach).
Thing six: Why not throw Franklin at Gordon for a while? Sure, with Gordon on fire like that, it’s not that likely that even a 100% TA could have stopped him fully…but Prince is merely a shadow of the shell that he was of himself last season, Miller’s defense is still Miller’s defense, QPon’s not a factor, and Bayless is lost at sea…why not?
Thing seven: Heck, 40-80 from the field, 6-15 from three. Last season, we’d have been unutterably thrilled to see that kind of offense from the Grizzlies, because…we could count on the defense. The Grizzlies just could not (did not?) stop lane penetration by the Pelicans. They let guys wander around the midrange area and shoot open shots. Terrible defense.
Bonus: the Grizzlies’ bench outscored the starters. That, friends, just does not happen…not when the Grizzlies win, anyway.