To high heaven.
Like a pile of garbage on a hot August day.
Like the Wolf River Harbor at low water.
Just all-around stinky.
Y’know, I set out to write this recap and really throw some mud on the zebras about this game.
Then I came to my senses….
Yes, this was likely the worst-officiated of the over 250 (that ain’t an exaggeration) NBA games I’ve watched this season. There was an phantom offensive foul called on Rudy and an even phantomer call against Marc Gasol on Russell “I push off with the off-arm more than Wade, Shaq, and Lebron combined times ten” Westbrook, both while the game was very much in question late in the fourth quarter. Conley got jackhammered about 100 times…
…so what. Officials don’t cause a team to go down by 16 at home in the third quarter to a team who played overtime the night before and is missing its best player. Lack of hustle does that. Offensive discombobulation does that. Rudy Gay not waking up until the second half was well underway did that.
The Grizzlies were flat out of the gate, and OKC sensed that. Jeff Green and Westbrook, two of my favorite young players in the NBA, sensed it strongest and did what they do-play with the reckless abandon and young energy that they know might bring them success..and it did.
Oh. I need to mention something.
MARKO JARIC IS VERY BAD AT THE GAME OF BASKETBALL.
Ok. Back to the recap.
Marko Jaric played very poorly. He threw away several passes, again failed to score a field goal, and didn’t exactly stop Kyle Weaver, Westbrook, or even Earl Watson.
Ok, that’s harsh. He did ok against Watson. On D anyway.
OKC went to the guys whom they knew could get it done-Green, Westbrook,and….THABO? HUH??? This guy looked way too good tonight. I like his game, but he’s a defender. When Thabo drops 15 and 11on you, you suck. What Thabo really did was to use his size and strength to get around OJ, Buck, and QRoss and get in position to make a few shots and get around one jillion rebounds.He missed a lot of shotstoo, but he made way too many. Any is too many.
Darrell Arthur had a nice game, but only played 16 minutes…I’m sorta left to wonder why. He was stronger inside than Hakim (could someonepokeHak and wakehim up and tell him that Kyle being gone is going to be an ok thing????)and was on fire from the field-perhaps there was a mismatch issue that concerned Hollins or a minor injury. OJ had a few of his signature “wow” moves, but he CLEARLY let the lopsided officiating get inside his head, and that kept him from having a better game than he did.
Rudy Gay’s body language on the bench (Hollins pulled him early in the first in favor of Q) just screamed “this sucks and I wanna go home, they won’t get me any help, and they traded by bestest XBox BFF”. Mr. Gay needs to, as I’ve stated previously, discern that players as talented as he is don’t ask for help-they ARE the help. Stop lookin’ around Rudy, and look in that $%*&^#@ mirror. Once he got good and irritated in the second half, he started doing the things that can help his team win, but the calls going repeatedly against the Grizzlies clearly upset his game equilibrium as well. And Rudy, you don’t get to say it’s ‘cuz we’re a young team, blahblahblah.
Mike Conley also took a while to get rolling-like Rudy, once he got good and irritated, he ratcheted up his game and wound up with 17 points, but he too let the slow start and the foul abuse he was suffering at the end of Westbrook’s off-arm get to him.
Yep, I’ve got officiating-sour-grapes…and they taste horrible.