Well, the string of “acquitted themselves well on national TV” games for the Griz had to come to a halt at some point.
In the first quarter, it looked like it was going to come to a screeching, crashing, damaging halt…but the Griz came back from a 27-11 deficit to make it a game the rest of the way.
They scrapped, they fought, but it just didn’t work out just right. Why, oh why, did it not work out just right?-It wasn’t free throws. The Griz went to the line 31 times, hitting at almost 81%. Three Clippers with four or more fouls (and Conley fouled out for the Griz on a couple of legit calls and a couple of HORRENDOUS ones), so it can’t be said that the Griz weren’t trying to get to the hoop.
-Rudy-Jekyll Gay-Hyde. Yes, yes, he had a tough time guarding the much larger Primadonna Griffin, so that affected his game (but not in the first quarter). Yes, yes, yes, he went 9-18, far eclipsing the Grizzlies’ overall shooting percentage, but had six turnovers, especially the two horrible passes he threw out of bounds in that wretched first quarter were part of what buried the team in a huge hole out of which they had to climb. The first pass a bouncer to Marc Gasol on a tightly-spaced p-n-r near the left elbow with Rudy as the ballhandler, and the second was a pass to Speights with Rudy as the..ballhandler on a p-n-r/give-and-go on the opposite side. That pass almost winged its way to West Covina.
-Mike Conley, to no one’s surprise, had a tough time with Chris Paul. He held him to 3-11, but CP3 went to the line 11 times, and held Conley to 2-10 shooting. This was destined to be a tough one for MC, ‘cuz it’s just tough anytime anyone has to play Chris Paul, whether CP is coming back from injury or not.
-OJ Mayo tried to audition for every team in the league on national TV, and the result was fail. His effort on D was exceptional, but the continuous hoisting leading to a terrible 5-19 from the field hurt the team for sure. With the Griz playing small with Rudy at 4 for a good portion of the game, OJ took shots with alarming frequency (an average of well under two minutes’ game time between attempts) and they just weren’t dropping.Conley and Mayo, a combined 7-29. Ooof.
In all my years, I’ve not seen a player with a greater sense of entitlement than Blake Griffin. A positively absurd physical talent, no doubt-but his ego is larger than a human can estimate. As the national TV announcers repeated last night, he’s got a long way to go.
Phoenix next. Time to get it back between the lines, Griz.