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Perhaps if the omnipotent David Stern would allow the Grizzlies to play three segments of sixteen minutes instead of four segments of twelve minutes, the Grizzlies would have a better chance now and again…’cuz that fourth segment is the killer.

This recap will center around a couple of very simple yet very astute statements made by my lovely wife during the game.

Statement one:

“They sure do need to practice the fastbreaks”

Ah, they sure do. Nine first-half turnovers, many from sloppy, lazy passes, a few of which occurred in transition or at “50-50” moments.

We can be encouraged by the fact that the Grizzlies were MUCH more careful with the ball in the second half…perhaps after the coaching change the Grizzlies will hear, heed, and, most importantly, execute halftime scheme and strategy adjustments? How cool would that be?

My wife’s charmingly simple statement can be extrapolated to cover the Grizzlies’offense in general in this game, especially in the first half-TONS of stationary players, with Marc Gasol getting stuck with the ball at the elbow looking for a non-existent cutter on more than one occasion. Rudy takes pass, Rudy dances with ball 26 feet from hoop, Rudy puts up shot over every opposing player on the floor (and a couple of bench players). Yes, this happened, as per routine-and Rudy led the team with 4, count ’em, 4, assists. Yes, he was victimized by the points, Warrick, Arthur, Gasol, and the rest of the team who missed shots he threw them as he was doubled or tripled…what I did see from Rudy that I liked was participation in a couple corner pick and rolls with Gasol, and a couple nice dishes to the perimeter as he drove to the elbow. Perhaps The Train Man will be able to ahem, “encourage” Rudy to work a bit more flowy with and WITHOUT the ball. OJ had a very nice second half after a first that saw him unable to find the range. His minor nagging injuries are bugging him, one can tell…but he’s still pretty much killin’ it on the offensive end.

Statement two:

“we don’t have one single guy who can get a rebound”

We sure don’t. It doesn’t seem that way, with Marc Gasol racking up double-doubles at a reasonable clip-and this statement reveals the toughest challenge that will face Lionel Hollins and his staff-how might a talent- and experience-challenged team learn tohit the glass, especially on the defensive end, and yet release a leaker or twoto start a break? Tough questions.

Statement three:

“they keep falling for that same stupid play”

Yep, the ol’ drive-and-dish to the guy standing around havin’ a glass of water in the corner waiting for the open shot, often a three-pointer. They alsowere victimized by Devin Harris and Disneyboy on the old-fashioned p-n-r right down Main Street. The answer?

Sure, at times the Grizzlies were chasing the ball around like the dustcloud that followed Pigpen in the Peanuts comic strip…but the real answer?

Laziness. A lack of desire to get and stay “on the string” to cover for teammates who have gone to help. The twochief offenders? If you can’t guess thisone, you haven’t watched the Grizzlies in the last three or so seasons.

It’s the taller two of the Three Amigos, what a shock. Rudy, Hakim, Hakim, Rudy. Darius got burned a couple times, but I’m givin’ hima pass, since he obviously can’t even play any more. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. “Independent” doctor, huh? WHAT A JOKE. Darius did have a couple of very niceblocks, and it’s cool to have a guy that’s been through it more than the rest of our players, but he’sstill getting his gameback. I have seen progress, but it’s still coming.

The Nets, for their part, hustled on the boards, did what Opie knew would work, and made enough of the gazillion open shots they were afforded to win the game. Special tip-o-the-cap goes to Ryan Anderson, who probably surprised those who haven’t seen him play much with his OWNERSHIP of Hakim Warrick on the glass and timely accuracy from the field. This was the guy about whom I was worried most leading up to the game, and he didn’t surprise me.

Next? Yet another new coach and the Denver Nuggets.

Help us Darko Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.

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