Many cringes. Many fouls. Many episodes of baseline volleyball.
Just a preseason version of the seven things I noticed this game…
First: Ed Davis’ one-on-one D was awful. It wasn’t tentative or preseason-y, it was just not that good. Sure, Booz and Gibson make life hard on lots of guys-but Davis did not act like he knew the tendencies of these guys, both of whom he’s seen plenty of times. Made his first four FT’s, showed some good positioning on offense, but that D…oooof.
Second: Bayless is glad Hollins is gone. In other breaking developments, he was trapped a couple times, hit a couple threes, and positioned himself weirdly to receive passes from teammates from time to time. Familiarity is not breeding contempt here, far from it-his status as a known quantity for the Grizzlies provides somewhat of a scoring hitching post for the second unit.
Third: No Prince, Gasol, TA, QPon, and that’s just fine. Moving right along…
Fourth: MIIIIIIKE MILLLLLLERRR FOR THREEEEEEE. Also, the dreaded Miller jump pass made its return. Yes, Mike, that was a travel. So strange to see something so decidedly un-fundamental from him, but we know he likes that pass, heaven knows we saw it plenty in his first stint as a Grizzly. Deng lit him up on D, his lateral mobility isn’t wonderful, but the effort is there just like it always was. Great to see him back.
Fifth: Calathes is NBA-ready, but that slow offensive initiation ain’t gonna work. The GV comparisons seem spot on, and that’s not a bad thing. Great eye for open teammates while moving with the ball-now it’s just gonna be up to his teammates to learn where Calathes’ and Grizzly X’s preferred spots converge.
Sixth: This game should serve to temper everyone’s expectations as regards Jamaal Franklin for the season, and that’s ok. He looked a bit lost, and that’s ok too. It’s a rare occurrence that a rookie doesn’t look lost in his first quasi-real NBA game. The energy is there, and that’s what we need to see from him. His stated willingness to learn from the Grindfather and the coaching staff will carry him far this season. He’s got time.
Seventh: The Grizzlies lost, and lost pretty big. Even in a first preseason game in an unfamiliar setting, that’s not what you want, but whatever. We got to see Conley start to shake off the rust, Bayless too, and some guys fighting for jobs got to, well, fight for jobs.
Ok, eighth: ZBo was just idling the motor, y’all. Don’t worry.