|2013/2014 NBA Season|
|November 9th, 2013|
|FedexForum in Memphis, TN|
|7:00 PM CDT|
|Fox SportsSouth/ 92.9 FM ESPN|
|Mike Conley||PG||Stephen Curry|
|Tony Allen||SG||Klay Thompson|
|Tayshaun Prince||SF||Andre Iguodala|
|Zach Randolph||PF||David Lee|
|Marc Gasol||C||Andrew Bogut|
|2013/14 Advanced Stats|
|103.0 (2nd)||Pace||94.7 (27th)|
|103.3 (7th)||OEff||99.0 (19th)|
|90.1 (2nd)||DEff||105.8 (28th)|
Line: Golden State by -1; O/U: 198.5
Opponents Blog: Golden State Of Mind
Injury Report: Memphis: Jerryd Bayless - Questionable (Knee); Zach Randolph - Probable (Personal); Golden State: Stephen Curry - Questionable (Ankle); Festus Ezeli - Out (Knee)
Marc Gasol's Hibernation
Big Spain has looked uncharacteristically lackadaisical to start the season. Many have noted that he 'just doesn't look right.' He looks mentally and often physically exhausted, which could be a result of lack of rest. After the Grizzlies flamed out of the Western Conference Finals as one of the last four teams playing, Gasol spent much of his summer playing in the EuroBasket tournament. Some NBA players don't come back full strength with a full offseason of rest, so it's hard to imagine what Gasol is feeling. He looks categorically resigned as he trudges through the motions on the court. The Grizzlies offense flows through him, so him being 'out of it' so to speak is a huge issue.
It isn't as if the Grizzlies haven't given Gasol ample opportunity to rouse from his hibernation. Through five games, he is averaging more close touches (7.6) and elbow touches (15.2) than any other big man in the NBA. Thus far, Gasol has not capitalized on these opportunities. Too often to start the season, Gasol has looked timid and frustrated by far inferior players. Coach David Joerger and Grizzlies fans are waiting for that moment when the big fella finally kicks it into first gear and begins imposing his will on defenses as someone with his skill level should.
In the video below, notice Gasol's lack of aggression and timidness on every play. He seems uncertain of himself. The most important question might be why is he shooting fade away jumpers against mediocre defenders rather than bullying them at the rim?
Now check out the juxtaposition of the next video where Marc Gasol dominates and gets to the rim at will. This is what the Grizzlies need and expect. Now, he just needs to do this more often. He can be involved in the offense a ton, but asserting himself on defenders and being involved are two entirely different things. Every Grizzlies fan has seen what Gasol is capable of, and they certainly expect more of what he's doing in the video below for the rest of the season.
Turnovers have been an enormous issue for the Grizzlies through five games, committing 14, 20, 17, 18, and 18 respectively. That's far too many turnovers for a Grizzlies team that already struggles enough with offensive efficiency without them. They've turned the ball over just about every way imaginable, and until they stop giving the opponent easy points, it will be tough for them to win many games. Check out the collection of turnovers in the video below. Many of the turnovers the Grizzlies have committed are on poor entry passes. The Spurs created the defensive blueprint against the Grizzlies, and every team is copying it now. The Grizzlies lack of shooting leads to a break down in spacing, and they just don't have room to make entry passes right now because defenses are collapsing towards the paint so much.
Deal with Steph Curry
It's no secret that Curry can light up any team from deep at any time. After sitting out the Warriors loss against the Spurs on Friday night as a precaution for his bruised ankle, he will be back in the lineup against the Grizzlies. Stopping Curry doesn't guarantee victory though. With so many weapons, it's no wonder the Warriors are near the top of the league in offensive efficiency. This game will be an excellent test for the Grizzlies backcourt. Mike Conley and Tony Allen vs. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will make for some juicy matchups. If Conley and Allen can get the best of them, the Grizzlies' chances to win increase exponentially.
- The Warriors lost to the Spurs on the road on Friday night, 76-74. That's without Stephen Curry though, so it's hard to place a lot of weight on that result.
- The Grizzlies defense only has 16 blocks through five games, the least in the league.
- Grizzlies are 9-1 in the last ten 10 matchups against the Warriors.
- Zach Randolph and his wife gave birth to a baby boy, Zachary Jr. He weighs 7 pounds, 4 ounces.
- Ed Davis leads the team in FG%, shooting 53.3%.
- Stephen Curry almost matches the Grizzlies number of three point field goals made by himself. Curry has made 18 by himself while the Grizzlies have made 26.
The Grizzlies have struggled mightily through five games, and while a team with this much talent won't continue their run of putrid performances forever, it will be difficult to stop the run of bad play against the Golden State Warriors, who are currently one of the best teams in the Association. The Warriors look like world beaters on both ends of the court right now, whereas the Grizzlies are woefully underperforming. Expect the Grizzlies to snap back to their winning ways, but not against a tough Warriors team.