Marc Gasol started and played 28 minutes despite spasms in his neck. There's no rest for the Wendigo.
Fearless leader, can you sum this one up for us?
GD MFING ISH.— Chris Faulkner (@FaulknerMemphis) November 6, 2015
First, let me remind you that this year's Trail Blazers are not last year's Trail Blazers. They lost four starters in the off season. They're not supposed to be good this year. And they probably won't be. And yet...
After struggling to stay abreast for two and a half quarters, the Grizzlies got hit with a tidal wave in the third, a 28-9 run led by Damian Lillard and exacerbated by lazy defense, a stuttering offense, and a visible disengagement that's starting to worry those of us with a rooting interest. They proceeded to lay down as they've done already too many times, catching their third 19+ point loss in this young season.
Courtney Lee was the lone bright spot, finishing with a team-high 18 points and three of six shooting from the arc. Randolph notched a double double with 16-10, and JaMychal Green drained two threes in garbage time. Lillard led the Blazers with 27 points and seven made threes in 11 tries.
The closest the Grizzlies came to aggressive in this one was a verbal exchange between Meyers Leonard (really?) and Zach Randolph. Apart from Lee, the starters looked tired and even disinterested throughout the game, with their shooting problems thrown into sharp relief. The bench, including an interesting and athletic Udrih / Lee / Green / Barnes / Wright line-up in the second quarter, is starting to develop some chemistry but still lacks defensive cohesion.
I'll save the doomsdaying for tomorrow's in-depth recap, but here are some odds and ends:
- The Grizzlies shot 44% from the paint in the first half, in line with their season average. Not good.
- All five starters finished with negative double digit plus/minus ratings.
- Marc Gasol was a lowly 4-13, but did have a savage dunk off a pick and roll with Mike Conley in the first quarter.
- Portland won the rebounding battle 35-47, which should not happen.
- Meyers Leonard might die in suspicious circumstances soon.
- Unfortunately, this ridiculously high-arcing buzzer beater from Jeff Green did not actually beat the buzzer:
Awwwww man. Wish this woulda counted.... pic.twitter.com/JgMXybnbNy— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) November 6, 2015