The Grizzlies got blown out 113-93 in a game that didn't even feel that close at times, dropping the team to a disappointing 0-2 start that has us wondering just where exactly the grit and grind has gon— oh wait, it's still the preseason? And the only purpose of these games is to evaluate how lineups play together and to get a feel for rookies and newcomers? And you're telling me rookies Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes were both awesome, posting 11 points and 12 points, respectively?
Oh, well I guess that's not so bad after all.
Here's what we learned from the Grizzlies' second preseason game:
What We Learned
1) Joerger might not know who his starting wings are
Courtney Lee and Tayshaun Prince got the start tonight at the shooting guard and small forward positions, showing that head coach Dave Joerger is still experimenting with putting different players in the starting rotation at those spots. Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter were the players in those positions Wednesday night in Milwaukee, and while he hasn't appeared in the lineup yet, Vince Carter is another player that could potentially be a starter come opening night. The idea of Tayshaun Prince returning to the starting lineup is one that likely causes confusion/frustration/rage in many Grizzlies fans, but I wouldn't read too much into it. It seems that Joerger is still playing around with these lineups, and is just trying to see how everybody looks in some real game action.
Here's the good news for the fans who don't want Prince to start: that lineup was TERRIBLE. The Rockets went up 16-9 by the time Memphis made its first substitution, and the offense was entirely non-existent outside of a few makes from Marc Gasol on the first couple of possessions. It is worth noting that the Grizzlies were pretty terrible all night, but the starting lineup certainly didn't help.
2) Jon Leuer still has some issues to work out
Jon Leuer had a solid eight points and five rebounds in 15 minutes, but for the second night in a row, getting into foul trouble was a problem. Through the first two preseason games, Leuer has racked up a total of 11 fouls, and if he plans on becoming a staple of the regular rotation like many anticipate him to, then that's going to be a major issue. If Leuer can't get the fouls to come down then Jarnell Stokes could play his way into the regular season rotation.
3) Preseason back-to-backs are the worst
I don't know if the Grizzlies playing this poorly was a direct product of it being the second night of a back-to-back, but I'm pretty confident it didn't help matters. This game was just plain hard to watch more often than not. Memphis shot 39 percent from the field while turning the ball over 21 times, and the Rockets contributed sloppy play of their own in the form of 28(!) turnovers. This was a bad basketball game.
What We Didn't Learn
About Vince Carter
Just like Wednesday night against the Bucks, Carter sat out the entire 48 minutes. You wouldn't expect VC to see a ton of minutes in preseason since he's a seasoned veteran and the Grizzlies already know what they have in him, but it is a bit peculiar that he hasn't logged a single minute in the first two games. Perhaps he's nursing some minor injury and the coaches are just being careful with it, or maybe they're just saving him for later on in the preseason.