I only have two problems with the Memphis Grizzlies right now. Coincidentally, the Grizzlies would be a much better basketball team if they corrected two problems.
Mike Conley is a problem. He is not very good. Marcus Williams plays bad defense, and he looks like vintage Eric Snow when you compare him to Mike Conley. The Grizzlies routinely get shredded by jumpshooters because Conley's poor defense leaves his teammates constantly cheating to compensate. On offense he alternates between brain dead over-penetration and timidly pulling himself out so the others need to play four on five. Four on five is usually the better scenario.
Coach Lionel Hollins is a problem. In a very winnable game he pulled Williams, who was having a better game overall than Conley, with only a few minutes left. Conley promptly missed, turned over, and then turned over, while Brandon Jennings closed the game against him on the other end of the floor. As possessions become more valuable, Hollins' offense degenerates into more and more bad isolations.
This loss is on Coach Hollins. He better not call out anyone else but himself. Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles handled him. The Bucks adapted to the conditions, while the Grizzlies stagnated and then started playing street ball under a complete lack and failure of leadership.
The standard recap coming over the jump, congratulate Brew Hoop on being willing to pay an actual NBA head coach. And be sure to drop a "Fire Hollins" below.
Rockness Monster: Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph all had a very good night. The front court has molded together nicely and is starting to play respectable defense. They work together on offense in sets, as they all seem to trust each other. Rudy, in particular, is beginning to look like a franchise player. He put up another double-double tonight with 10 boards, and hit the clutch plays.
U-Turn: Sam Young brought unexpected fire off the bench tonight, but Hasheem Thabeet has to be the U-Turn. He played around a dozen nice minutes last night; tonight, even against a talent-short Bucks front, Hasheem got the dreaded DNP-CD award. Whats the deal Hollins? Didn't want to put your #2 pick against Jennings?
Bitter Limon: Charlie Bell shot 5-10 from the corner three. All his threes were corner threes. None were covered. O.J. Mayo shot 0-6 from three. I think all were covered. Sounds to me like someone's skills are being used perfectly, and someone else isn't being used quite right. Hollins, care to elaborate?
Sleeping With the Enemy: If Coach Hollins's favored son Mike Conley, as of his tenure as interim coach at the end of last season, didn't get one more season to prove himself, then Brandon Jennings might not be in this section. He is in this section, because he dropped 26, sealing the second half with ice cold free throws and shots. Luke Ridinour also looked good against our abysmal perimeter defense. So did Charlie Bell, and Roko Ukic, and...