Note: While the Grizzlies were down 16 in the 4th quarter...I had already started to write my review of this game...I was going to give everybody D's (short of VC...who was getting an F) and talk about Guardians of the Galaxy for like a thousand words. Very glad to have had to scrap that one. -Matt
Grizzlies Report Card
Grizzlies 120- 76ers 115 OT
Coach Dave Joerger:
HCDJ continues to impress me in how much he trusts his guys, even when they are behind...by like a lot. When everyone was ready to give up in this one, just like against Sacramento, DJ just kept plugging guys in until he found the right lineups. His usage of Calathes and Udrih in the 4th was quite inventive and gave Mike Conley a chance to rest , which surely paid off. His two out-of-timeout plays late in the game were phenomenal, even if the second one was not as smooth.
Mike Conley: 43 MINS | 36 PTS | 13-22 FGS | 9 ASTS | 5-9 3PM-A | -6
We so aren't. Let's run this one down...
-Career high 35 points
-16 points in the 4th. This was in 9 minutes...after playing the ENTIRE 3RD QUARTER!
-8 points in the last minute
-4-5 from 3pt in the 4th quarter
-FGs for 76ers in 4th quarter: 8 Conley: 6
-Game tying buzzer beater
-Scored as many points as the 76ers did in OT
Just amazing. Sure, he got cooked on defense early in the game by Michael Carter-Williams, Hollis Thompson, and Tony Wroten. But when he was needed, Conley came up BIG. He truly is the most under-rated PG in the NBA, and absolutely should be an all star.
One more note...he did all this in front of Will Smith
Courtney Lee: 37 MINS | 19 PTS | 7-13 FGS | 5 ASTS |+20
Man oh man was he terrible early in this one. But he helped the Grizzlies hang around and win a game they had no business winning. His 8 points, including two big threes, in the 41 point 4th quarter kept the Grizzlies in it till they could win it. BTW...the Grizzlies scored 41 points in the 4th quarter. They had 43 at halftime.
Tony Allen: 19 MINS | 2 PTS | 1-2 FGS | 5 PF | 1 TOS | -5
T (for tired)
There are a lot of fair weather Tony Allen fans out there. With the Grindfather, you simply have to take the trick with the treat. This looks like a "I just played 46 minutes the night before guarding Kemba Walker and then got on a plane and flew to Philadelphia, lost an hour, and played a game that my team mates really didn't give a crap about until the last 17 minutes" kind of feel. Plus...five fouls in 19 minutes is Boogie Cousins-esque.
Zach Randolph: 33 MINS | 24 PTS | 10-14 FGS | 11 REBS | +23
T (for thirsty)
Lost in the well-deserved Mike Conley mania was the immaculate night Z-Bo put together. With Noel having to guard Gasol for most of the night, Randolph was left to wreak havoc on any number of future D-League all-stars that the 76ers kept sending out there.
Earlier this week on the Chris Vernon Show, Verno and Chris Herrington were talking about the the way that HCDJ has been distributing minutes among Gasol, Conley, and Z-Bo. As a group, the Grizz Three* are at their lowest minutes played rate in their time with the Grizzlies, including the year the Z-Bo was injured and only averaged 26 minutes per game in 2012-2013. When asked about his minutes this season, Z-Bo said that he understood what DJ was trying to do, but thought he should be averaging closer to 40 a game. Well, the last two nights, he nearly got his wish. Stay thirsty Z-Bo.
*trying that one out...not sure if it works
Marc Gasol: 37 MINS | 18 PTS | 6-11 FGS | 9 REBS | +7
Marc had two long nights against two guys most players would hate to bang against (Jefferson and Noel). Gasol started off both halves quite well, with 7 points on 3-5 shooting in the 1st quarter, and 8 points in the 3rd. But a donut in the 2nd quarter, and 1 point in 4th in only 4 minutes played show the signs of a guy who was tired.
Interesting note - this is the first time I have seen Nerlens Noel play. He is an intimidating presence on the blocks who can mature into quite the defender. He also has ZERO offensive game, and with those long arms and the flat top, he kinda looks like Groot.
Beno Udrih: 20 MIN | 5 PTS | 2-5 FGS | 5 ASTS | +20
Nick Calathes: 11 MIN | 1 PTS | 0-2 FGS | 6 ASTS | +3
Beno played some big time minutes in the 4th quarter alongside Calathes and Conley, can hit a big shot, and is an honest-to-God back up point guard, something that is so rare for the Memphis Grizzlies. Calathes can't seem to put together much offense at the moment, but his assist game and ability to keep the offense going while he is in the game is impressive. The points will come.
However, neither of these guys plays much defense. So while I gave them an A, they have to split it...they both get a C.
The rest of the bench I can't be that positive about tonight. From this group came a grand total of 15 points on 6-24 shooting. As much as I would like to follow the old adage of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," I am a professional and shall press on.
Vince Carter: 16 MINS | 6 PTS | 2-8 FGS | 2-8 3PM-A | -7
I was watching the game with the 76er feed, and the announcers kept noticing that VC kept shooting terribly deep threes during the 2nd and 3rd quarter. I did not realize till after the game that ALL HE SHOT WAS THOSE WAYYYY BEHIND THE THREE POINT LINE THREES!!!!!!!!!!!! He only gets the + on that D because he made two of them.
I know he is hurt, and I know the SNOAB2B sucks. It is getting awful close to time to shut him down for a while. Maybe he needs rest. Maybe he needs surgery. Maybe he needs some feet donated to him. BTW...I wear size 13 Chuck Taylors and would gladly sign up to donate to him. Just sayin'.
Tayshaun Prince: 17 MIN | 6 PTS | 3-7 FGS | 4 REB | -20
For a guy who had a pretty amazing week, the shots were just not falling again tonight. Plus, he looked not so good against a very athletic, if under-talented, 76ers team.
Kosta Koufos: 12 MINS | 3 PTS | 1-3 FGS | 2 REBS | -6
Not his night against a team with athletic wings and no real post presence for him to D-up.
Jon Leuer: 9 MINS | 0 PTS | 0-5 FGS| 1 BLKS| +7
Bad night for Johnny Tacklebox (s/o Jonah Jordan) with the goose egg in points and the quick hook early on. He even got replaced shortly by...
Jarnell Stokes: 1 MINS | 0 PTS | 0 REBS | -4
CT for Club Trill
Speaking of quick hooks, Jarnell was out before I even realized he was in. Interesting move by HCDJ to literally throw the kitchen sink out there and see what worked. Unfortunately, this one didn't.
Quincy Pondexter: 13 MINS | 0 PTS | 0-1 FGS | -11
Because they won and I want to stay positive, I am leaving this one alone...
Jordan Adams: DNP-IOWA