The Memphis Grizzlies have nothing to be ashamed of tonight.
They played a Dallas Mavericks team that, I think, most experts would consider far superior in almost every facet of the game on paper. And, honestly, they looked great again even though they lost.
Now after these past few games against elite teams, it's becoming increasingly clear that the one facet of the game the Grizzlies don't get beat up for in the national media is the thing that's killing them. No, I'm not even talking about defense. I'm talking about three-point shooting.
Mavs Moneyball has more analysis on the way, and be sure to stop back tomorrow for a more elaborate discussion of the topic over the
The Grizzlies only attempted 8 threes, which was a good thing since they only made 2 of them. But it's a bad thing when the other team gets 3 points from a possession 6 times to your 2 times. In close games like these you don't notice it, to be honest, but the three-point differential is constantly lurking.
Anyhow, time for awards now, time for the real recap and analysis later tomorrow.
Rockness Monster: Zach Randolph made a compelling case, scoring 27 with 14 rebounds, but he failed to facilitate any offense despite seeing double-teams for almost the entire second half (only 2 assists), so I've got to give it to Rudy Gay. Rudy scored 22 points and double-doubled with 10 boards, plus he was the only starter with a positive +/- in the loss. He absolutely carried the second unit against Dallas's superior bench.
U-Turn: Hasheem Thabeet's minutes have been down, and his production has dropped with them. Coach Hollins can't play every starter as hard as he has lately. The bench needs to step up, and it starts with Thabeet and veteran Jamaal Tinsley.
Bitter Limon: O.J. Mayo's little hot-streak seems to have died off. He attacked the basket and got to the line to score tonight, which is a plus, but he also shot just 4-14 from the field and looked out of control. I like O.J.'s aggressive play because it's getting him assists and free throws, but he's got to be more efficient from the field.
Sleeping With the Enemy: Jason Terry learned that a game against the Grizzlies is pretty much guaranteed to be a great way for any scoring guard to get out of a shooting slump. The Mavericks moved the ball well and all had confidence in each other, executing and spreading their offense. Dirk Nowitzki played his game but didn't need gaudy scoring numbers to get them the win.