Grizzlies 103 - Sixers 77
Zach Randolph : (B-) 26 MIN 14 PTS 5-11 FG 2 REB 3 AST 2 STL, +20
Struggled early on defense against 3-point shooting Thaddeus Young, also played with complacency that resulted in several easy misses and out-hustled by the hungrier Sixers. Finally took the initiative at the end of the 2nd quarter with a nice flourish to take the Grizzlies to a decent halftime lead, had a big hand in continuing the momentum during the 3rd in which the Grizzlies would never look back.
Tayshaun Prince : (C+) 25 MIN 7 PTS 3-4 FG 2 REB 3 AST 2 TO, +12
Didn't stand out in any way but sank his shots when they were available to him. Part of the sleep walking starting unit that was matching the Sixers in turnovers and general sloppiness. The lack of energy to start the game has been a problem for the Grizzlies starters as they are the worst 1st quarter scoring team in the NBA. This could potentially be a big problem come playoffs time so if Prince is here to stay he will need to be more assertive with his passing and rebounding to help bring some energy at the start of games.
Marc Gasol : (C+) 28 MIN 11 PTS 3-6 FG 4 REB 6 AST 3 STL 2 BLK 5 TO, +11
Was essentially snoozing at the post to start the game, made no effort to seal his man on the entry or was simply not making eye contact at all which resulted in multiple giveaways. When he actually caught the ball, defenders were unable to handle his bulk and array of post moves. Multiple high-low passes to Zbo for easy finishes amongst other dimes during the 3rd quarter finished off the Sixers.
Courtney Lee : (C+) 29 MIN 6 PTS 3-6 FG 4 REB 2 TO, +13
Identified that there were no shot blockers this game and promptly took advantage by taking the ball all the way to the rim on his first opportunity. Picked his spots thereafter and play a solid game overall. Every Grizzlies starter will need to look at the tape of the 1st quarter to relive the horrid entry passes that would have gotten them into a whole heap of trouble against any other team in the NBA.
Mike Conley : (A-) 23 MIN 19 PTS 5-9 FG 4 REB 4 AST 1 STL 2 TO, +16
Came off second-best with his duel against Carter-Williams in the 1st half, but redeemed himself in a big way during the 3rd quarter. 15 points on nifty drives and back-breaking threes were too much for the Sixers to handle. Finally an efficient outing in reduced PT with his inside and outside game both in high gear.
Tony Allen : (B) 17 MIN 9 PTS 4-6 FG 1 REB 2 STL 2 TO, +14
A good bounce-back game for the Grindfather as he took advantage of a turnover prone and defensively challenged Sixers squad. Feasted on easy looks and bad passes and generally enjoyed his time out on the floor. Was matched up against ex-Grizzly Tony Wroten in which they ended up sharing the spoils.
Nick Calathes : (B) 26 MIN 8 PTS 3-6 FG 2 REB 6 AST 2 STL 3 TO, +12
Played extended minutes as Conley's services were not required during the 4th quarter. A typical Calathes game in which he was able to set up his teammates and had efficient drives to the hoop. Jump shooting, free throws and floaty passes are still issues that needs improvement.
Mike Miller : (C-) 6 MIN 2 PTS 1-3 FG 1 REB 1 AST 1 TO, +4
Was shelved pretty quickly as soon as Joerger realised that the Sixers weren't protecting the rim, so elected to play with penetration players instead. Good opportunity for Miller to take some much deserved rest with the next four days off.
Kosta Koufos : (A-) 14 MINS 8 PTS 4-7 FG 8 REB 1 AST 2 TO, +15
Back to his hyper-active, efficient play. Cleaned up all garbage in sight and swiped away all the loose balls he could get his hands on. Would be playing 30 minutes a game on a lot of team but accepts his role with grace and is thriving in it.
Ed Davis: (B) 20 MINS 6 PTS 3-4 FG 11 REB 1 AST 1 STL 2 BLK, +9
I'm as surprised as you are when Ed was the first big man to come off the bench. I thought it was a no-win situation to play Ed. If he plays well, it would only compound the "lack-of-JJ" problem, and if he plays poorly, it would hurt is psyche even further. After a few butter finger moments and cringe worthy missed FTs, he actually settled in well and contributed to the game with a put-back slam, solid rebounding, blocks and good energy in general. Still hard to see him playing on a regular basis but it goes to show how ridiculous deep the Grizzlies are (let's not completely forget about Pondexter as part of our depth chart).
James Johnson: (B-) 15 MINS 7 PTS 2-4 FG 1 REB 2 AST 1 STL 1 TO, +4
Came in with the game essentially over so was given a license to roam freely. Played with some degree of anger as he definitely wanted to show coach Joerger that his recent lack of PT is unjustified. Started with 3-point attempts but later realised that dunking would be a better way to vent his frustrations. An overly-determined last second play where he tried to embarrass the Sixers with a monster dunk was not well received by the Sixers nor the fans. Don't think he cares at this stage.
When you come on at the same time as Udrih, you sir are playing garbage minutes. Leuer would be used to this by now as he has been yo-yoing in and out of the rotation all year long. Handles it with class and plays hard regardless. As much as I like to see Leuer play, it will be a struggle for him to find playing time in this current Grizzlies make-up, which unfortunately means he may never show his true potential in a Grizzlies uniform.
Philadelphia 76ers : (E)
I've been noticing the Sixers' blow-out losses lately and was skeptical on how bad they can possibly be. Oh yes, they are truly terrible. Probably D-League level right now. First of all, they can't shoot to save their lives. Secondly, they can't finish around the rim effectively. Lastly, their passing is just downright amateurish. If not for the Grizzlies sleep walking through the 1st quarter, this could have been a 40 point blow-out. Not all is doom and gloom for them though, as their current make-up is completely by design. Two likely high draft picks plus the addition of Nerlens Noel will make the Sixers exciting to watch in the future, and rebuilding a contending team can definitely be fast tracked in the weak East.