I don't believe that there is another team in this league that is as bipolar as this Memphis Grizzlies team. Depending on which week you decide to tune in, you may see a team that suffocates their opponents, gets several transition buckets, and dominates the paint, or you may see a team that refuses to guard the 3 point line, ignores the mismatches on offense, and gives up way too many points to their opponents bench. If you tuned in tonight, you got to see both of those teams play.
The first half Grizzlies didn't do much right at all, including trying to use Mr. No Show himself Zach Randolph to guard Iman Shumpert. New York came out hot, taking advantage of the mismatch. The Knicks defensive specialist had 13 points in the first quarter, a quarter that saw them shoot 76% (!!) while scoring 37 points. Zach Randolph scored the Grizzlies first bucket of the game in this quarter, and then didn't score again the rest of the game.
It wouldn't get any better in the second quarter, as the Knicks would double up the Grizzlies 32-16. The Knicks made 11 of the 21 3 pointers they took in the half, and scored 69 points, far and away the most points the Grizzlies have allowed in the first half this season. New York shot 61% in the first half, and held the Grizzlies to 41% shooting as they headed to the break with a 28-point lead. Memphis also committed eight turnovers in the half.
The second half Grizzlies decided it was time to grind. They outscored the Knicks 29-17 in the quarter. Starting the quarter on a 16-4 run, they drove to the basket, got defensive stops, and forced turnovers. Memphis also shot 10 free throws in the quarter, making all of them. In the fourth, The Grizzlies would cut it to as little as four points, but a Jason Kidd three pointer and foul, where video replay shows him kicking out his leg to draw the foul, would ice the game, and they would never get it to a one possession game again.
Game Notes from the Legend-Diary
- Zach Randolph scored the Grizzlies first bucket of the game, and then didn't make a field goal again. He finished with three points, four rebounds, and three assists. Just flat out awful. There is no excuse for this type of disappearance from the big fella. None.
- JR Smith erupted for 33 points, and was 10-11 from the free throw line.
- The Grizzlies have now lost two consecutive games when Mike Conley scores 20 or more points after being undefeated dating back to last season.
- This was the third consecutive opponent the Grizzlies have allowed to eclipse the century mark, after only allowing it five times before all season.
- Ed Davis did not see a minute of playing time tonight. I know he needs to muscle up, but for Lionel Hollins to not play him at all was just weird, and for Austin Daye to get more minutes than anyone, is just ignorant.
- Jerryd Bayless had 24 points on the night on 8-17 shooting. Stay hot young fella.
- The Grizzlies are now 0-5 on the season when I hear my designated loss song, Carry On, before a game.
This was the Grizzlies third loss in their last four games, and keeps them firmly cemented in fifth place in the West. They'll return home to play Houston on Friday night, and they'll need to decide which team they want to be and to defend the 3 point line and start gritting and grinding, or James Harden, Chandler Parsons and the Rockets will run them out of the Forum.
Update 11:16 PM A lot of Knicks fans took offense to my referring to their team as thugs, and some even called it racist. I deleted the comment, but I won't do so without clarification. Is it completely outlandish to call a team with that many techs and ejections, and a team that not only argued every call that went against them, but got right in the refs faces and swore and pouted and got all pissy, thugs? It's debatable, but to imply that I meant it in a racist way, is not fair to me, or to Kevin Federline, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, or even the new Justin Bieber. Still, I know nothing about the Knicks as human beings, so I'll retract my comment on them being thugs and just state I don't care for the way their team handles themselves on the court. Not to take away from their record, or the fact that they flat out beat us tonight, which I already said, but feel like needs to be stated again. They are a great team, and they can hang with and beat anyone in the league.