The first game without Marc Gasol, due to injury, ends on a bad note for the Memphis Grizzlies as they fall to the Houston Rockets 93-86. Grizzlies had a lead of 44-32 at halftime and things looked promising until the Rockets scored 38 points in the 4th quarter. This is a 4th quarter without James Harden playing, due to injury, and no Dwight Howard on the bench.
“We had a great game plan. We did it for three quarters. They just turned into a different team once they sat their starters” Tony Allen said after the loss.
So this leads to the question to many fans….WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED?!
Houston scored 38 points in the fourth quarter on 14-of-20 shooting (.700). The Rockets scored 32 in the entire first half and 55 through the first three quarter. Memphis scored just 23 points on 5-of-15 shooting in the fourth.
The Grizzlies were up by eight (63-55) at the start of the fourth quarter before Houston went on a 20-6 run. The Grizzlies never came within four points for the rest of the game. This would be due to keeping the starters on the bench too long in many people’s opinion.
“I was trying to hold out as long as I could. I was trying to win it. I didn’t want to put them in too early and then they run out of gas with two minutes left to go. We ran out of gas when I had put them in anyway. I was just trying to hold it together as long as we could” Coach Dave Joerger on bringing the starters back in.
For a good amount of the second half the group of Calathes, Bayless, Miller, Davis, and Leuer was making too many turnovers and not getting open shots. I’m a big supporter of Nick Calathes and always will but this was not his night.
The continuing struggle with this team is the outside shooting they need desperately. Jerryd Bayless is continuing to struggle. Considering Mike Miller had two 3-pointers he’s still not the shooter fans want out of him. And Quincy Pondexter didn’t play tonight as well.
I’ve been pushing the Bayless to the shooting guard spot for weeks now so he doesn’t have to call the plays and let him shoot and it finally happened. It just may have to take some time for it to get going with Calathes running the point. And I believe Coach Joerger believes that too.
“What we need is playmaking. We need scoring off the bench. I think Jerryd Bayless by moving him to the shooting guard and telling him he needs to get more shots up. He was not being himself as a scorer. I’m going to move him over to shooting guard, he will play someone. We will try to get some playmaking out of Nick Calathes who needs some time and just getting better and better with him” Joerger said on rotation.
On a positive note Kosta Koufos was excellent as the starting center for the Grizzlies replacing Marc Gasol. Having 8 points and 13 rebounds, Grizzlies fans can hope this is a reoccurring game for him. I had hoped they would feed him the ball more in the fourth quarter. #Feed41?
In the end this was a much needed win since James Harden wasn’t playing and now these next two wins at Boston and back home against Brooklyn are so important now. Joerger needs to find a way every game for Zach Randolph to get his touches cause stats show whenever he is their leading scorer they end up winning the game.