54 to 43 at halftime. Griz shooting something like 69%. Thunder somewhere in the 30% range. It might have been one of the Grizzlies best 2nd quarter of basketball this year. The Griz were rolling. The Thunder were floundering. The Griz looked like the Lakers. The Thunder more like the Detroit Lions. It was a good time to be a Griz fan.
Then came the 2nd half and what transpired was the Griz worst loss of the year. Such a bad loss, I’m actually a little speechless. Being outscored by 19 points in the 2nd half, at home, to the 1-16 (now 2-16) OKC Thunder is sure to spark an outcry of “Fire Iavaroni” chants around the town. This trainwreck of a loss has the potential to have a lasting impact for the entire season. I’m pissed. I’m sure you are pissed. Hopefully the coaching staff, front office and players are pissed.
It’s the 4th quarter and the lead is slipping away. The Thunder, with their big men in foul trouble most of the game, go small. Coming out of a timeout, Ivy matches the small ball with extra, super-duper small ball.
PG – Kyle Lowry
SG – OJ Mayo
SF – Greg Buckner
PF – Jarvis Crittenton
C -Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay at freaking center?!?!?!!? And even though the Thunder went small, their players are tall for their position with Durant and Green.
Tonight had the some of the same elements we’ve seen over and over again this year.
–Mayo is simply sensational. His killer instinct. His sweet jumpshot with perfect trajectory. His ability to create space even against tight defense. Mayo finished with 30 points and the only way he isn’t teh Rookie of the Year frontrunner right now is because Memphis isn’t recognized by the NBA as an actual city. Mayo also had 7 boards, was perfect from the line and 3 for 6 from beyond the arc. The downside is Mayo and Gay again played 40+ minutes on their way to killing their legs by January.
–Rudy with up and down play. He scored 16. Made some great drives and jumpshots. Had a spectacular block and dunk. But had too many lapses. 5 turnovers. Forgot to play defense sometimes. I’m not trying to dog on him too much, because he was alright, but we need more consistency from him and for him to be focused more of the game. We’ve seen this many times this year.
–The coaching staff is seemingly out coached in the 2nd half as they make none or the wrong adjustments at halftime. Maybe I’m missing something, but when time and time again the other teams improve after halftime and the Griz don’t, I suspect the coaching staff is dropping the ball. Again.
–The Griz shot a great shooting percentage despite the loss. There have now been 3 times this season when we shot over 50% and lost. Oh boy.
The Griz should have been up more than just 11 at halftime. Too many turnovers and too many fouls kept the Thunder in the game. The Thunder shot 38 FT’s and 18 turnovers for the game.
I’m not even sure if I can start to put into words how the 2nd half went to hell-in-a-handbasket. I think the main problem was likely on the defense end. But I’m just too pissed to think rational. I’m mad at Ivy’s rotation and strategy. I’m mad our players would not man up and stop the Thunder. I’m mad at losing to the worst team in the league. Outscored by 19 points in the 2nd half at home to the worst team in the league?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?! Fouling enough to put the Thunder at the line 38 times!?!?!?! Play defense! Turning the ball over 18 times! Allowing Russel Westbrook 5 offensive rebounds?!?!? He is a midget! Blowing a game that should have been a cake walk?!?!? I’m disgusted. I hope someone, hopefully many, within the organization are to.
Worst. Loss. Of. The. Year.
Tip in: J-Critt got some burn tonight due to Ross being injured. He was kindof out of control, had iffy passes on his drives, but showed the ability to get to the line, which is probably his best aspect of his game right now.