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Grindin': Suns Pummel Grizzlies 109-95

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Was the Grizzlies miracle charge into the seventh seed in the West too good to be true?

Every Grizzlies fan, and Grizzlies management, needs to be asking that question with the trade deadline looming.

One of the highlight wins of Memphis's spectacular run was against this Phoenix Suns team at home and on national television on MLK Day. Last night, the team that beat the Suns before was nowhere to be found.

The Grizzlies shot just 36 percent from the field and blew just about every short shot they took. Marc Gasol was just 4 for 12 from the field and only hit 3 of 11 from the line. Zach Randolph was 7 for 17. Rudy Gay was 7 for 19.

I would like to say that this was a tough loss, but I'd be lying. Memphis looked downright bad and deserved to lose to the streaky Suns.

Shooting wasn't the only problem though, if you peruse the box scores it's obvious that there was either rust or a lack of effort. Nobody on the Grizzlies did anything above or beyond their duty; check out these lines:

  • O.J. Mayo - 15 points and 3 three's, but just 1 rebound and 2 assists with 3 turnovers.
  • Rudy Gay - 21 points, but only 2 boards and 1 assist. He shot 6 three's and made just 1.
  • Zach Randolph - 18 and 15 sounds good, but not with 0 assists, 1 steal, and 0 blocks.
  • Marc Gasol - Also notched 0 assists and 5 personal fouls.

I would like to note here that Mike Conley had 11 assists and took 12 shots. That's a high amount of possessions used by mini-Mike.

And even though Conley played really soundly, limiting Nash's looks at the basket and making some nice dishes, it's probably not out of line to wonder if Conley, as  the worst starter on the team, should have the ball in his hands that often.

I'm not saying that the offense stagnated solely because Conley was running it, but the offense with Conley as team general isn't the same as when O.J. and Marc Gasol are doing lots of the passing. Maybe I'm wrong and having a true point guard will actually set the Grizzlies free, but tonight it seemed to put O.J. and Marc in a role that they're less comfortable playing.