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First: Ryan Hollins thinks he’s finally playing with the big boys. He’s still not NBA good.

Ok, now on to the game. A super seesaw of a game, kinda like that little bunching of games these two teams played at the end of last season, you may recall that set of seven contests.

The Griz made some dumb early-season plays (couple shot clock violations, a 3 sec call on ZBo, etc.), but they showed flashes. It’s the same team, and it should be…’cuz it’s mostly the same team.

So how’d this all go down?

-The Grizzlies’ defense was good, but not that good. Sure, the Clippers had over 20 turnovers, and the run in Q2 was fueled by some very nice classic helter skelter Grizzlies D, but the transition defense for the Griz was about a hundred light years south of horrid. Useless. Non-existent. The Griz defense, for the most part, was bad. Like, Blake Griffin bad (see what I did there?). Poor Wayne Ellington had to guard Crawford, which is a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Conley had to guard Chris Paul, who is healthy and amazing. Jordan and Griffin made swiss cheese out of the Griz’ interior D early in the game, but fouls and chumpiness, respectively, took Jordan and Griffin out of the game later. Giving up 51% is not like the Griz….at least it better not be going forward.

-Conley struggled. No two ways about it. It’s like CP3 is his kryptonite (not that Conley is a superman PG, though he’s certainly above average). Was it the two early fouls? Ah, maybe. But 2-8 (until he missed two desperation threes with the game running out) is not due to fouls, it’s due to…who knows. Jitters? After this many seasons, I’d hope not. The Clippers did do a great job shrinking the lane on him when he did get close to the hoop, and Conley’s turnover numbers and lack of assists showed it.

-I always say I’m not big on this stat, but ZBo had a big ol’ -25. That’s interesting, if not important, ‘cuz he had a ZBo game except for his horrid shooting (a flaw shared by the whole team save for Rudy and Gasol). Besides getting into some schoolyard chippy business with Griffin, his defense was lacking. Fitness? Lack of focus? Who knows.

-Rudy Gay had the most encouraging opening night (offensively) I remember since his rookie season (sure, you remember-that triple-OT game against the Knicks where Rudy and Lowry started to make a name for themselves?). On several occasions, he just took the ball, found space, and made a shot. He did have 3 assists too, which was nice, as his lone-ranger style of scoring this game did nothing to ease the concerns of many regarding his ability and/or willingness to play a team game.

Tough loss, but aren’t they all?

At least I didn’t have to look at Matt Barnes.

 

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16 Responses to Another Opening Night, And What Result? Oh, I Can Guess, Can You?

  1. grizzfanNo Gravatar says:

    Marc Gasol had 20 points in the third and finished with 20. I’m not sure why but it seems when something is working we dont continue to impose our will on the other team.

  2. Counte (@Reggielegendary)No Gravatar says:

    Tough loss but a very good game. I saw some things I liked.
    - Rudy going to paint and using his size to get easy shots when offense stalled. He brought the team back on several occasions. Same with Marc.
    - Team got down early and withstood runs and answered Clippers runs with runs of their own.
    - Zbo had a “terrible” game yet he finished with 15 and 16. If he makes those layups, we’re talking about a 25 and 16 game and a win. I’m gonna assume he makes more layups than he misses going forward.
    - Bayless had a bad shooting night but he fought hard off the bench to give Conley a rest. Conley getting into early foul trouble or having bad nights doesn’t scare me as much as it did last year. We have a capable backup now.

    Overall, the game was ugly and we lost but there were some bright spots. It’s one game and not every team has CP3. Still thinking the Grizz will finish in the top 3 of the West. We’ll win our division.

    • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

      Disappointing loss, but fairly well played (minus turnovers & allowing points in the paint).

      One thing I did notice: It is just one game, and it was the hated Clippers but….

      Was it just me or did our guys seem kinda nasty last night? As in Detroit Pistons Bad Boys nasty? Particularly Rudy. They seemed to have more of an edge to them.

      If they can add a healthy mean streak to the tough, grit & grind, this can be a really interesting season….

  3. mtigerdiehardNo Gravatar says:

    Its is definely you because Rudy didn’t get nasty at all. In 2 season we have gone from a bench of Grievas Vasquez, OJ Majo, Sam Young, and Darrell Arthur to Jerryd Bayless, Wayne Ellington, Quincy Poindoxter and Mo Speights. We need to give Wroten and Selby a chance because Ellington and Poindexter suck.

    • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

      Tiger,
      I dunno, we’ll see . . . Rudy seemed kinda pissed off last night. I have wanted the team to have at least one guy who gets pissed off and then takes over the game. Of course, Zach got pissed off, but if Rudy can elevate his play (and 25 pts, 7 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block is VERY solid), then methinks it’s good for the team.

  4. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    Good game, but the opening night jinx continues. Marc looked pretty solid and Zbo rebounded well. He missed some point blank shots that may have changed the game. Conley had some early foul trouble but I felt like we were okay with Bayless out there. He didn’t have a great shooting night but did have some early assists. Rudy was very impressive and efficient as well. I really like that pullup 12 footer he shoots in the paint. He can get that shot when he wants, and he did last night. Would have liked the win, but Lionel will address the turnovers. High hopes for this squad this year.

  5. mtigerdiehardNo Gravatar says:

    Lets get another thing straight. Mike Conley is average not above average. I no longer am content with having an above average or average point guard. We need a star in the backcourt

  6. JoeNo Gravatar says:

    People need to remember it isn’t April anymore, this wasn’t game 8 of a 9 game series, it was 1 game of 82. Conley and Z-Bo had rough nights, they were playing Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Those two weren’t particularly strong either. Jamal Crawford won’t go off like that again and our new guys will settle in, if you guys were Lakers fans you would’ve jumped off a bridge already. Call me at the All-Star Break if we’re still struggling…

    • AlexNo Gravatar says:

      Correction: Jamal Crawford has the ability to go off like that in any game he plays. Such a good scorer, but never can stay with one team.

      • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

        I never figured that out either. Guys like him, Kevin Martin, heck even Zach Randolph. They produce everywhere they go, don’t stick.

        Now that I think about it, those guys all had the misfortune of playing on losing teams. Their skills are valuable, which makes them trade bait, thus they move around a lot. If the Grizz hadn’t started winning, Z-Bo would be posting 20-10 somewhere else.

        • JoeNo Gravatar says:

          I would be willing to bet he will not go 9-13 and score 29 in 31 minutes again this season when he comes off the bench. He is good, but those are Durant-esque numbers and if he were that good he wouldn’t bounce around so much.

          • JoeNo Gravatar says:

            OR be on more winning teams.

          • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

            Joe:

            Maybe the other night was your first time paying attention to Jamal Crawford. That guy has been doing that for years. Granted 29 points was exceptional, but you can almost pencil him in for 16-18 points as soon as he checks in. When he was lighting it up in ATL, I was hoping he’d get to Beale St. sometime soon.

            But for whatever reason, he’s not viewed as a guy you build around (or keep). If I was naming a starting five of players who get traded too much:

            Andre Miller, PG
            Jamal Crawford, SG
            Caron Butler, SF
            Zach Randolph, PF
            Sam Dalembert, C

            Sixth Man? Vince Carter.

  7. JReisedge #30No Gravatar says:

    Tough game for Z-bo and Bayless but Marc and Rudy looked good

  8. JoeNo Gravatar says:

    I know very well who Jamal Crawford is, and can appreciate him scoring 16-18 off the bench. 29 will not happen again, at least not against us. And if O.J. Mayo doesn’t fit our scheme, Jamal Crawford sure won’t.

    • Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

      Crawford went for 27 last night against Golden State. The difference between him and OJ would be consistency & embracing the bench scorers role.

      OJ went for 30 points including 7 threes in 31 minutes. Sure it was Charlotte, but still.

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