This edition of the Report Card...like the last one...has a musical theme. Each player is rated by an appropriate Christmas song. Check out the legend at the bottom and the accompanying soundtrack
Losing this game really sucked...
...but have some egg nog and a cookie (or seven)...use the play list...relive Sunday's game and think about the upcoming holiday.
Cavaliers 105- Grizzlies 91 Report Card
Coach Dave Joerger
Grade: Elvis Presley- Blue Christmas
HCDJ had a difficult task tonight, being without the the team's best defender toughest guy, and the team was soft on defense tonight. However, he gets high marks for one of the most important tenets of NBA coaching: If you're getting blown out...pull everyone out. No Grizzlies played over 30 minutes in this one, and even the rookies got some run.
And I leave this without comment:
Congrats to David Blatt for leaving key players in an extra 3 minutes after Memphis conceded the game. He's the new Lionel.— Matt Hrdlicka (@theRealHrdlicka) December 21, 2014
Mike Conley: 25 MINS | 11 PTS | 5-13 FGS | 5 ASTS | -6
Grade: I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas
I want a guy who shoots the ball for Christmas
Only a guy who shoots the ball will do
Don't care if he's a jerk
Or can't even defend
Just need someone to take the ball and shoot it now and then
I can see us now in May or June, whether or not its fair
When they over play a screen
And then Marc is double teamed
I find my shooting hero standing there...
Twas a tough night for Mike, with the bad shooting and the "getting scorched by Kyrie on the way back down the floor after a miss." He could have used some help though. I wonder if Conley were offered straight up for Irving, not counting actual contract value, who would blink first?
Courtney Lee: 24 MINS | 4 PTS | 1-5 FGS | 0-0 3PA | -9
Tayshaun Prince: 22 MINS | 2 PTS | 1-4 FGS | 2 REBS | -3
Grade: Dan Fogelberg- Same Old Lang Syne and The Yoko Ono Part in Happy Xmas
Boy, these guys were both dreadful tonight. On a night where the Grizzlies as a team shoot 1-16 from the three point line, Lee, who is second is three point average in the league, takes none of them. Zero. Goose Egg. That is a Tayshaun Prince level of non-shooting.
And as much as I hated these guys performances tonight, it is almost not far to compare them to the two songs as their grades. I despise these two songs. Same Old Lang Syne is a festive song about two singles that meet up in a grocery store, get drunk in a car, and go their separate ways. That screams Christmas to me. I can say this without reservation or hesitancy: If you like this song, you are a psycho.
And everything within me should like Happy Xmas/War is Over. I am a honest to god Beatles fan. I own Beatles t-shirts. I heard the White Album and wanted to play guitar. And yet when I get to the chorus of this song, I would rather be tied to a chair and kicked down some stairs than listen to her sing. (Rant Over)
Jon Leuer: 30 MINS | 16 PTS | 7-14 FGS| 7 REBS| -14
Grade: Otis Redding- "White Christmas"
How about Johnny Transition Layup tonight, huh? Leuer took advantage of his first start of the season, and played Kevin Love well. There was a stretch in the 3rd quarter where Leuer made three straight layups and added another jumper. The problem with his game is rim protection, which is not his forte. But a surprisingly good performance tonight.
Marc Gasol: 30 MINS | 23 PTS | 10-17 FGS | 11 REBS |-11
Grade: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Marc was great tonight, with his 7th double double of the season. It was also great that he did not have to play over 30 minutes in this one. Gasol continues to impress on the biggest stages night after night.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is my favorite Christmas song. To me there is no better embodiment of the Christmas spirit than this song. n one of the holiday Simpson episodes. Marge says, "Christmas carols only have one verse. Well, they may have more, but the second verse is where they get all weird and religiously." Well indulge me for a moment while I get all weird and religiously...
The third and fourth verses go like this:
And in despair I bowed my head/there is no peace on earth I said/ for hate is strong and mocks the song/ of peace on earth and good will to men.
Then tolled the bells more loud and deep/ God is not dead nor does he sleep/ the wrong shall fail, the right prevail/ with peace on earth good will to men.
Always a signal of hope for me. Always...
Did it just get dusty in here? *sniff*
Plus...do you know how hard it was not to give him a "Donde Esta Santa Claus?"
Beno Udrih: 19 MIN | 2 PTS | 1-4 FGS | 5 ASTS | -8
Grade: The Vandals- Oi to the World
Not a bad night for Beno, just not what we are used to. He has been more of an offensive spark for the second unit this season, and tonight that role was played by Nick Calathes.
Vince Carter: 21 MINS | 12 PTS| 5-9 FGS | 0-3 3PA |-14
Grade: Run-DMC- Christmas in Hollis
Vince had his fourth straight double digit scoring night, even though he was 0-3 from three. Conversely...the guy he was swapped out for here in Memphis:
Mike Miller: 17 MINS | 0 PTS| 0-1 FGS| 0-1 3PA| 4 ASTS
Thank you. Taylor...
Kosta Koufos: 25 MINS | 8 PTS | 4-8 FGS | 3 REBS | -7
Grade: The Temptations- Silent Night
Kosta was also surprisingly solid tonight with Z Bo out of the lineup. He was aggressive and tough and everything you want out of your back up center. Hopefully he didn't play too well for the team that desires him the most...
Quincy Pondexter: 23 MINS | 5 PTS | 1-4 FGS | -4
Grade: I Farted on Santa's Lap (Now Christmas is Going to Stink for Me).
Was it just me...or was QPon good at defending Lebron? At least for a while...or until that stupid call when James flopped after Pondexter touched his face and drew a foul. However, he did continue his shooting slump (now 2-19 in his last four games....FART SOUND). So maybe the answer to QUINCY, WHAT DO YOU DO is "defend Lebron a little?"
Nick Calathes: 15 MIN | 4 PTS | 2-2 FGS | 4 ASTS | +5
Grade: The Drifters- White Christmas
Don't look now Beno, that's the Nicky Buckets train looking over your shoulder. Calathes was aggressive with the ball, played well in tandem with K2, and was juts a half second late on that three pointer to end the first quarter, which was as close as the Grizzlies would get tonight.
And yes...I chose White Christmas for Leuer and Calathes strategically.
Jordan Adams: 5 MIN | 4 PTS | 2-3 FGS | 0-1 3PA | +2
Jarnell Stokes: 4 MIN | 0 PTS | 0- 3FGS | 4 REBS | +1
Grade- The Chipmunk Song
Good that the young guys got some play in the blow out. It is also good that while they were in Iowa, they went to the "Vince Carter Shoot-the-dang-ball-everytime-you-touch-it-or-you'll-end-up-back-here-in-Des Moines School of Offense."
Tony Allen: DNP-Corneal Abrasion
Zach Randolph: DNP- Swollen Knee
A+: Anything from the A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector and A Charlie Brown Christmas
A: Stevie Wonder- Someday at Christmas, Otis Redding and The Drifters- White Christmas, Mariah Carey- All I Want for Christmas
A-: Elvis Prseley- Blue Christmas, Bruce Springsteen- Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Chuck Berry- Run Run Rudolph
B+: Run-DMC- Christmas in Hollis, Otis Redding- Merry Christmas Baby, Donny Hathaway- This Christmas
B: James Brown- Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto, The Temptations- Silent Night, Bing Crosby- Silver Bells
B-: Clarance Carter- Back Door Santa, Brenda Lee- Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, The Jackson 5- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
C+: The Vandals- Oi to the World, Dean Martin- Baby Its Cold Outside, The Chipmunk Song
C: Willie Nelson- Pretty Paper, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, I Farted on Santa's Lap (Now Christmas is Going to Stink for Me)
C-: Donde Esta Santa Claus
D+: Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.
D: Wham- Last Christmas
D-: Taylor Swift- Last Christmas
F: Dan Fogelberg- Same Old Lang Syne, Band Aid- Do They Know It's Christmas?, The Yoko Ono Part of Happy Xmas(War is Over), Christmas Shoes.