The game looked a little different up close and personal. Doof was in attendance and right next to the Grizzlies bench. Here is his report.
via Photo by Doof
There was an exhibition involving magic and bears at Amway Arena in Orlando last night. Hmmm… Maybe they should have played that game in a petri dish, with all the experimenting taking place, and with Dave Joerger at the controls playing the role of mad scientist.
Lineup experiments may have been necessitated by injury and illness. No sign of Tayshaun Prince. He was not with the team, not in uniform, and not on the bench. Kosta Koufos was not available to play, apparently out for a week with a leg injury, but was dressed out and on the bench. Kosta did not warm up with the team; and, with the bench quite full with all of the invitees, he sat on the "extended bench" around the corner on the baseline. But he was there.
Tayshaun "Waldo" Prince was not, unless he was somewhere in the crowd wearing a red and white striped shirt and glasses. I was there, and I looked for him. The latest thing in Grizzdom is the new game called: Where’s Tayshaun? How much longer can his absence be explained as a stomach flu?
Starters: No Q-Pon
Mike Miller was in the starting lineup at the three, accompanied by the expected regular starters: Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Zach Rndolph and Marc Gasol. The faster pace was not as evident in this game as it has been in the previous preseason games. That is not only because Jerryd Bayless played a lot of point guard, but that is part of it.
The defense is starting to look better.
While the starters by and large played most of the first quarter, by the second quarter, the experimenting was in high gear. We saw an awful (yes, awful) lot of Jerryd Bayless at the point. Ugh! We saw Mike Conley play the two with either Bayless or Nick Calathes at the point. With no Koufos, Jon Leuer played backup center, leaving most of the backup power forward minutes to Ed Davis. We saw combinations that included Bayless and Calathes at the guard spots, with a Davis and Leuer frontcourt, and either Mike Miller or Quincy Pondexter on the wing. Experimenting.
A point of emphasis for this game was, apparently, to determine whether Jerryd Bayless will be playing any backup point guard once the regular season starts. He played there a lot. They tried him in lots of different combinations, including with Conley or Calathes as the other guard. It would be very generous and kind to say that the results were mixed. The offense bogs down with Bayless at the point. He calls his own number a lot, although he does score the ball. More on that later.
With the starters in the game, things are beginning to gel, although Tony Allen’s role in the offense needs to be ironed out. Mike Conley and the bigs look pretty solid. Mike Miller can and does contribute a lot more than three point shooting, but he played way too many minutes. Nick Calathes can run the team. He can shoot, out to about 15 feet, but his three point shot looks pretty bad.
Jon Leuer continues to impress us. Ed Davis continues to underwhelm us, despite what was his best game stats-wise. Quincy Pondexter played a solid game, but nothing too spectacular. Jamaal Franklin got some minutes late. Looks like he has the green light to shoot the three. While it is hit or miss, he is working to get open looks and his shooting form looks pretty good.
Takeaways From This Game
More details of this game and its takeaways can be found over at BealStreetBears, if you are interested. Takeaways include Bayless as the backup point guard, Tony Allen’s role in the offense, the overuse of Mike Miller, Calathes running the team, details on Ed Davis' performance. And, oh yeah, a little about the other guys, the Orlando Magic.