The Grizzlies wiped out again in Vegas, as they fell by a score of 69-58 to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ summer squad on Sunday evening. The loss brings their record to 0-2 thus far, but since they won the third quarter and tied the second, they will get 1.5 points towards the Summer League seeding. To say that nasty shooting numbers have plagued the Grizz is becoming a tired exercise at this point, but it’s amazing that even the summer crew is having such trouble finding a way to get the ball through the twine, shooting 23.7% from the field. They face the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday after a day off from play.
Tony Wroten: PG, 6’6, 208, 20 years old, Washington
Statline: 7 points, 2 assists, 1-14 FG
Wroten continues to display his ability to get to the charity stripe, here in Las Vegas, but also continues to be shaky when it comes to shooting the freebies. Today he went 5-11 from the line. Similarly he has gotten into the lane at will, but has been just a bit off in terms of converting. For a guy whose responsibility is to set the table for his team, he disappeared frequently against Cleveland. To be fair though, he would have had more assists if surrounded by more capable teammates. Defensively, he performed better against the Cavaliers than he did vs. Chicago, using his athleticism to get in the lanes and even smack a highlight block off the glass. 3 Shades of Blue asked him about the game, afterwards.
On the vibe after losing the first two games:
TW: “Gotta get some wins. We gotta come back tomorrow ready to go to practice.”
On his defensive play:
TW: “I did alright, but it doesn’t matter. We’ve gotta get some wins.”
Donte Greene: SF, 6’11, 226, 25 years old, Syracuse
Statline: 5 points, 1-8 shooting, 11 minutes
Greene followed up his 0-fer performance on Saturday by going 0-fer in the first half of Sunday’s game as well. Greene’s reputation as a shooter has to be what drew Memphis to signing him prior to last postseason, but his jump shot has escaped him thus far. Going 1-8 from the floor in only 11 minutes of play is not going to help him get that contract guaranteed.
Willie Reed: PF, 6’9, 220, 23 years old, St. Louis
Statline: 4 points, 6 rebounds, 0-4 FT
Add Reed to the list of Grizzlies players that struggled to make the most of his trips to the free throw line, as he went 0-4 in his chances. He showed that he can score the ball around the basket, and managed to pull down a few boards, but was unable to offer much else to the table.
Janis Timma: SF, 6’7, 226, 21 years old, Ventspils (Latvia)
- Statline: 2 points, 7 fouls, 0-7 3pt
Timma had another rough go of it on the shooting front, and struggled to keep his body in front of his matchup, defensively, as he racked up 7 fouls in the game. The hope was that Timma could bring some shooting to the roster, but the fact that he went 0-7 from three does not inspire much confidence in that regard. His only basket of the night came in the form of a finger roll layup in the early going. After the game, we caught up with Timma.
On how he feels two games in:
JT: “To play, it’s a new way for me. It’s not a long time that I have been playing with these guys because we don’t know each other too good. I think that we will be better. We need to start to make those shots and we will win the game.”
On whether getting the shots to fall will make the rest of the game easier:
JT: “Yeah, for sure. It’s been a little bit frustrating.”
Jack Cooley: C, 6’9, 244, 22 years old, Notre Dame
Statline: 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks
Believe it or not, Cooley was far and away the best player on the court for the Grizzlies against Cleveland. He spoke yesterday of looking to show off his shooting touch, and backed it up with a handful of nice jumpers. He also told 3SOB yesterday that he planned to play physical ball and make use of the 10 foul Summer League limit, on which he definitely delivered, hammering out 5 by the 4 minute mark of the second quarter, and 7 for the contest. He may not have much of a chance to make the roster with the Grizz re-signing Jon Leuer for similar purposes, but Cooley really fits the Grizzlies DNA, and if he keeps this up should at least be deserving of an invite to training camp. It also warrants mention that he was one of two Grizzlies players to connect on all of their free throw attempts (the other being Donte Greene). After the game, we caught up with Cooley to gauge where he was at.
On the game:
JC: “It felt good to go out there and play again. It’s good that we’ve got all these games back-to-back-to-back, we can make improvements from day-to-day. It’s pretty disappointing that we didn’t get the win, but we looked better today than we did last time. I felt good out there.”
On getting his jumper going:
JC: “Yeah, it felt good. As a team, we weren’t really hitting anything, but Coach ran some really nice out of bounds plays for me to get going a little early and then the guards were doing a great job of finding me on pick-and-pops. Tony did a great job of kicking it back to me for those threes, and it felt good because I was open.”
- Matt Howard: PF, 6’8, 225, 24 years old, Butler - Howard posted a pretty pedestrian string of minutes against the Cavaliers, complete with his trademarked workman-like hustle, but couldn’t rack up more than a few fouls on the score sheet.
- Vander Blue: SG, 6’5, 197, 20 years old, Marquette - Blue looks very comfortable trying to make things happen with the ball in his hands, and there is an undeniable swagger with which he plays the game. I’d have swagger too, if my name was as cool as his.
- Laurence Bowers: PF, 6’8, 205, 23 years old, Missouri - Bowers did not see much of the court against Cleveland, and did not get to do to much with the limited time that he logged.
- Gerald Robinson: PG, 6’1, 177, 24 years old, Georgia - Robinson basically barreled towards the rack with a full head of steam whenever he got the chance. He plays his behind off on the defensive end of the floor, though.
Game 3 info:
Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns
When: Tuesday, July 16th, 7:30 PM CST
Where: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
Watch: NBA League Pass
Stay tuned on Twitter @StevieDanziger for continuing updates of Grizzlies Summer League action.