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Grizzlies lose to Hawks, 111-96

Not much to say about this game but ugly. Except there is lots to say, you'll just have to find it over the jump.

Remember how defensive Rudy Gay looked about his shots last season when O.J. Mayo came around? Double that this year. He is really making bad decisions out there. Yes, he gathered 5 assists this game, but he forced some really awful shots and never looked focused until the ball was in his hands.

On a more general note, I'm beginning to worry about whether these young Grizzlies understand how a fast-break offense works. They seem to be confusing it with street ball. Turnovers have not just been a worry in every preseason game, they've been a momentous issue. Mike D'Antoni, who gets a rap as a free-flowing dude, actually uses strict coaching in appropriate spacing and reactionary, non-verbal cues when on the break. I don't see evidence that the Lionel Hollins has indoctrinated this team in a similar way. Maybe he's trying and the Grizzlies aren't there yet, but they're definitely not there yet.

In a few shining moments DeMarre Carroll continues to impress with his effort and efficiency. Zach Randolph had his first good game, getting involved in the running a bit tonight as well. When Hasheem Thabeet was in the Hawks were slightly less likely to get layups and dunks; even though he had no blocks, he too played within himself and really pretty soundly. Also the Grizzlies rebounding looked like it was in season form -- boxing out and hitting the boards is the best point of communication for the Grizzlies right now.

The defense. It was atrocious. A team that even vaguely understands spacing and the pick-and-roll will kill the Grizzlies if they keep this up. It's not really a lack of effort even, nor is it confusion. The Grizzlies players are resolute in deciding either to stay home, show, or outright double every time. The problem is that they're almost always dead wrong. Don't let the boxscore confuse you, when it counted the Hawks shot 60% from the field.

Peep the NBA.com boxscore if you don't believe me.