Apr 4, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies small forward Rudy Gay (22) exchanges words with a Dallas Mavericks fan during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Grizzlies 95-85. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
With the Memphis Grizzlies losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, many Grizzlies fans are looking to point fingers, and rightfully so, at someone -- or the someones -- responsible for our ousting. In a series that we should have won, a series which was taken from us after we fought our way to home-court advantage, it was a disappointment, for sure. Finger pointing is well within our right.
The main culprit of said finger pointing, for the most part, has been Rudy Gay, who recently took the time to speak with Fox Sports Tennessee, and made an interesting statement on his 2012 playoff performance.
"You learn in the playoffs that you have to take care of the ball every possession and score almost every time," Gay said. "And you have to play great defense. Every time you lapse, it can come back and bite you. People really pick up their level of play in the playoffs, but you've got to sustain. I think I did OK."
I think if you asked most Grizzlies fans how Gay fared in the playoffs they would say the same thing: He did OK. The problem is, if you're a franchise player -- and paid as such -- you need to do better than OK in the playoffs. OK won't cut it. Not against a team with two all-world talents.
Gay had two major "fails" during the playoffs -- he shot terribly from outside (4-of-19 from 3-point line) and failed to get to the free-throw line, showing up at the stripe fewer than 5 times in in 4 of the 7 games. Those two deficiencies read well for OK players, but not for guys who are touted as borderline All-Stars.
So, yes, you did do OK in playoffs, averaging 19 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, but you couldn't close out, you shot far too many threes, and outside of Game 3 you didn't get all that aggressive with the basketball. OK. Not "great." And unfortunately, we needed "great" to get past the Clippers. Heck, "good" probably would have done the trick.