Ok. Can’t lie. Had to attend a wedding tonight (not my co-3sob’er J. May’s wedding, but he surely gets all our best wishes), so I’m just now DVR’ing my way through this muddled mess of a game. Seven not-so-lucky-tonight things about this loss:Thing one: Well, Shawn Marion didn’t forget to set his clock back tonight. To like, 2005. 21 and 14 is a game like he might have had when there was a prime Steve Nash playing alongside him. Miller/Pondexter/Prince didn’t have the gas to stay with him this night…and he had a game last night too. Whoops. More on this in a moment.
Thing two: Zach Randolph, with a not-weird-but-weird-‘cuz-it’s-the-same-as-Marion 21 and 14 after a solid 16 and 10 the night before. Get the fires stoked down in the engine room and maybe the rest of the ship will wake up too. Good positioning, good fight, and even hit a couple FT’s.
Thing three: Mike Conley, leading scorer, again. This in and of itself does not constitute a problem, but the weight of being the scorer will grow and grow over the season, even on a young, sprightly pair of legs like Conley’s. Certainly worth noting that it’s great to see him be unafraid to bear said burden while hitting 9-10 FT’s and putting up a lovely 8/1 ast/TO ratio, but he shouldn’t have to be the one diving into the lane amongst the trees over and over again.
Thing four: Again with the clunky game start. “Gotta get it to single digits before the half” is just not something a purportedly elite team should have to say to itself much, if at all. Sure, it’s only three games in and there is a TON more work to be done on offense in-game than these players have had to do in the past…but the Grizzlies are quickly finding out that turning the ball over is a new thing of which they should not become enamored.
Thing five: Mavs hit five of their first seven threes. The team has given up 100+ in all three games. The Grizzlies put the Mavs on the line 46 times (although the Grizzlies 22-26 is perfectly acceptable taken on its own). Is it the extra energy being expended on offense? Is it scheme tweaks? Is it rust still working its way off? We’ll all find out as the season progresses, and if it’s choice “a”, this could be a long season. And not in a “hey we’re still playing in June” way.
Thing six: Conley/Randolph/Gasol with 24 of the Grizzlies’ 37 made FG’s. Not good. These three guys, as we all know, can score a TON of points against almost any matchup….but…wasn’t there supposed to be more of an emphasis on the three ball? Just to state the obvious…3-for-16 is not the sort of “emphasis” one would want to see from the Grizzlies.
Thing seven: TA hustled, Prince hustled, and MM hustled…but one can’t help but think that the first b2b of the season is a trap for a team with several high-mileage vets playing big minutes. It will bear watching over the season to see if back to back game sets turn into a real problem for the Grizzlies-this is YET ANOTHER reason that Calathes, Davis, Pondexter, and the rest need to become reliable and become it quickly.
Celtics Monday. C’mon Grizzlies. Get those turnovers under control early.