Well, that’s how it goes when you don’t play as hard as the other team.
It’s really quite simple how this happened…
The Clippers wanted it more. That could be the end, but I’ll expound on it a bit.
-Horrendous shooting. Were these guys rattled by the big stage after being on it (and an even bigger one) last season? Sure seemed it, especially the backcourt. Mayo/Conley/Allen/Arenas a combined..wait for it…6-for-33 from the field. WOW. I’m sort of led to wonder if VDN was watching NBATV the other night when Almighty Flopper Kevin Martin was on as a guest and revealed the “big secret” about how the Rockets had such success against the Griz all season-by packing the paint. When you do that, you beat the Grizzlies. The end. With a couple minor exceptions, the Grizzlies were not able to execute inside at all this game. They just didn’t play like they thought they could win, even after coming back to only be down one at the half after being down ten earlier in the 2nd.
-Fatigue. Gasol and Conley, in particular, have been banged up and still playing a lot of minutes over the last month or so. However, in the biggest game of these young players’ lives, they should have been able to reach deeper than they ever have. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t-but it wasn’t enough, whatever it was or wasn’t. Mayo, Arenas, Pargo, Selby. DANG IT GREIVIS WHY DID YOU HAVE TO HELP OFF HARDEN IN THAT TRIPLE OVERTIME GAME????? It not only lost us that game, but this series.
-I’m going way out here, but I’m gonna use the words “hubris” and “Hollins” in the same sentence. Subbing by the seat of the pants might be ok (kinda seems more fun than the Hubie “programmed” sub patterns), but not as in the game where he was WAY too conservative with Gasol’s foul trouble, and this game where he left ZBo on the bench for an inordinately long time in the fourth quarter when the team needed offense in the worst way. By doing the thing that many coaches do in the playoffs-tightening the rotation-Hollins left out Cunningham for all practical purposes, and he was KEY to many Griz wins over the course of the season. By many accounts, the lack of D by GV last season drove Hollins to push for him to be traded, and Pargo had evidently been given a promise at some point. That did not work out well at all. Joerger is possibly gone, as he has been mentioned as a candidate for the Bobcats job and has interviewed for other jobs in the past….and I’m inclined to think that he’s the only one that gets Hollins’ ear with regularity. Does Lionel operate with *too much* autonomy? One of the many questions for the Grizzlies’ offseason.
Watch this space for many discontented pontifications regarding what will be a very interesting summer for the Grizzlies..
oh, and also, bye OJ. We’ve enjoyed your company.