This was not a fair fight.
The Memphis Grizzlies thoroughly decimated a shorthanded Knicks roster 105-83 at FedExForum in an unfortunate contest that may or may not have resembled a meeting between two professional basketball teams at times. Here are my three takeaways from the beatdown:
1) Knicks Roster Limited By Trade and Injuries
Even at full strength, the New York Knicks are not a good basketball team. When you add injuries to Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Andrea Bargnani, they quickly become arguably the worst team in the entire league. Then, minutes before tipoff a #WojBomb dropped detailing a trade in which the Knicks lose Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, and waive Samuel Dalembert.
Yahoo Sources: New York's J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert on way to Cleveland, Dion Waiters to OKC, in three-way deal. http://t.co/JvzBFE9Z3u— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 6, 2015
New York Knicks center Sam Dalembert will be waived, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 6, 2015
After all of that, the Knicks were left with a limited roster in which Jose Calderon is probably the best player. This was a massive mismatch, and after letting them hang around for a quarter or two, the Grizzlies put their foot on the gas and took care of business.
2) No Grizzly Played More Than 30 Minutes
Memphis jumped on the Knicks early, and nearly the entire second half could be considered garbage time as a result. With the outcome already decided, the rookies and end-of-bench guys received plenty of run, and Marc Gasol led the team in minutes with only 28. The Grizzlies should be well rested when they take on the Atlanta Hawks on the road Wednesday night.
3) Highlight of the Game
Near the end of the second quarter, Marc Gasol swatted a shot, picked up the rebound, and led the break, resulting in an assist to Tayshaun Prince all in rapid succession as the Grizzlies went on a run to extend their lead before halftime.