Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
The Grizzlies beat the Magic tonight in a game that was about as much fun as a sandpaper back rub.
That uh…that was pretty awful. The Grizzlies beat the 7 members of the Magic that played tonight 88-82, in a game that was not a lot of fun to watch. Admittedly I was nervous watching this game, not because we were facing a team with 15 wins, that was only going to suit up seven guys and the ghost of Al Jefferson, or because we were coming off an emotionally draining, hard fought contest against the Raptors, but because I was having to write the recap of a game that I attended with my 11 year old brother. For those of you who don’t hang out with 11 year olds that often, and I sincerely hope it isn’t that many of you, they make it hard to focus on details. As it turns out, this would have been a great game to miss a lot of details.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Zach Randolph added 16 and 14.
The game started off slowly, with Memphis again needing over 2 minutes of play to score its first bucket. They trailed 7-2 before taking a quick timeout, and starting to right the ship. The first quarter was closely contested and Memphis was up 22-21 after one, despite 5 first quarter turnovers.
The second quarter saw more of the same, as the Grizzlies struggled to distance themselves from any of the 7 players who came to play for Orlando tonight. They found a little breathing room and entered halftime with a five point lead.
Coming out a bit stronger after halftime, They were able to gain some momentum en route to a 14 point lead after the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw more of the same old Grizzlies offense, the one that struggles to score for long periods of time.
Orlando started the fourth on a 16-3 run, that’s right, the Grizzlies scored 3 points in seven and a half minutes of the quarter. Eventually, Memphis would make a couple buckets and few free throws to finally put things away.
Here are some things that stuck out to me:
- 1. Darrell Antwonne Arthur, whom I’d spent all week very publically defending, decided to make me look like a complete and utter fool tonight. He finished with 1 point in 7 minutes. Ugh.
- 2. No shot clock violations! At the end of the second and third quarters, the Grizzlies had the ball for the last shot, and they came away with 5 points and 0 shot clock violations. That’s right folks, that’s my silver lining of the night.
- 3. Memphis shot 17-29 from the free throw line, good for 59% on the night. 59%. That’s an F! That’s a failing grade, believe me, I know… Free throw shooting has been a strength for this team all season, but the last few games have been pretty brutal. Part of that may be All Star hangover, but we need to shore that up before too long, March has a very tough stretch of games.
- 4. Former NBA Champion Dexter Pittman got zero minutes of playing time tonight.
All in all, this was as ugly as a win can get. We commited 14 turnovers, shot 18% from 3, and I found out my favorite Grizz Girl has a boyfriend. But a win is a win, and as this team makes us say so many times, an ugly win is better than no win at all.