It didn’t go nearly as badly as the Clippers loss on Halloween night, but it was a very up-and-down night for the Grizzlies.
A note before I forget-loved hearing “I Got Five on It” by Luniz on the PA. Great tune.
Also-I’m sure everyone noticed, but Darrell Arthur was in uniform on the bench. No idea whatsoever why, since he’s likely still weeks from being game ready and fully recuperated, but it was nice to see him out on court doing warmups and sitting on the bench getting the vibe of the game.
The Grizz sure could have used him, since….…he’s the best p-n-r defender on the team, and the Grizzlies were sliced and diced like the Coke can in a Ginsu commercial by Curry and Co.
That deserves the top spot on the “what really mattered” list for this contest:
-IF THE GUY IS ON FIRE, DO NOT LEAVE HIM. EVER. Holy mackerel. Sure, the guy is quick, but the “make another guy beat you” cliche has to come into play at some point. It wasn’t just one player, either-several guys failed to rotate/switch/fight a screen to stay with him.
-Interesting thing: the Griz had three guys with four fouls apiece, but only gave up 17 total FTA’s, while taking twice that number and shooting a very-acceptable 82% in doing so. If you must foul, don’t hurt yourself too badly doing it, I suppose. The officiating in this game was, shall we say, not in playoff form (both teams had plenty of calls about which they might complain), but the Griz’ having four guys with at least 5 FTA’s is a very nice sign of offensive balance and aggression. Rudy Gay had an uncharacteristically bad night at the line, but his great work in terms of getting his own shot (more on that in a moment) more than made up for it.
-Ok. More on Rudy Gay. Over the first two games (and let’s not make too much of such a ridiculously small sample size), he’s shown more desire to get his own shot than ever before. No, 7-18 is not optimal-but it’s nice to see him not sleeping on offense for long stretches. Eighteen attempts is just fine for him. HOWEVER, the “gets frustrated and pouts” Rudy Gay reared its unwelcome head, so much that he earned a T from Ken Mauer (in Rudy’s defense, Mauer just showed up at my door to T me up just for saying his name). I’m sure Coach Hollins grows rather fatigued with this side of Gay’s on-court demeanor…will it ever go away? Not if it hasn’t by now…just keep scoring Rudy.
-Tony Allen gave us a late Halloween performance, with some now-well-known trick-or-treat action. There were several times in this game when he tried to do WAYYYYYY too much with the ball…and there were a few plays where he guarded three dudes at once on the perimeter. All he wants in the candy bucket is a win, though, so I’m sure he came away happy.
-Gasol and Conley had much more consistent offensive games this night (yes, it helps that Deandre Jordan and CP3 weren’t anywhere near the arena). A combined 12-21 from the field, 12 ast to only 4 TO’s, and 15-16 from the line. Love it. Neither Gasol nor Randolph are quite rounded into form as far as attacking the hoop from the block, but it’ll come, and if Conley can get into the lane regularly and make more passes like he did this night, things will go even better.
-I’d like to hereby announce that Wayne Ellington had his first decent game as a Grizzly. A couple threes, and a couple very nice assists, one in particular that was a perfectly-timed pass to a twisting ZBo for a layup against the defense of the dirtiest player in the NBA. Hint: he’s from the southern hemisphere.
Zach Randolph is ANGRY. I like it. Keep it up big guy.
See y’all Monday. Get ready.