The Memphis Grizzlies got one step closer to .500 with a loss to the Chicago Bulls in Chicago. The loss was full of poor Grizzlies' defense and no production from their star players.
Derrick Rose looked like the Rose of old as he cruised to 19 points and 5 assists. Mike Conley struggled to contain him as he drove to the basket over and over again. The Grizzlies struggled with their help defense when he'd fly by Conley on the perimeter.
It wasn't just Rose, the Grizzlies defense as a whole wasn't good. Doug McDermott went off for 17 points on 6-12 shooting, while the only one stopping Jimmy Butler was Jimmy Butler. He scored 24 points on 10-22 shooting, but missed some open shots. As a team the Bulls shot 44 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three.
McDermott's 17 points was one more point than what Conley and Marc Gasol combined to score. It looked like Conley was going to bounce back from a string of poor games, but he hit a new low against the Bulls. Conley only scored 8 points on 3-14 shooting from the field and 1-8 shooting from three and he snagged 7 rebounds. It wasn't just his poor shooting, he only had 2 assists the whole game.
Gasol almost had a triple-double with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, but he only continued his streak of taking fewer than 11 shots in Grizzlies' losses and didn't shoot a free throw. He also turned the ball over 3 times and had 4 personal fouls.
Memphis isn't going to win with those two struggling to produce. The rest of the team needs them because nobody else has the ability to carry the team, Zach Randolph can't do it anymore.
Randolph finished with a double-double, 10 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists, but he can't dominate a good defensive team like he used to be able to. Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol caused all kinds of problems for the Grizzlies' former star forward. He was limited to 9 shots, but did distribute the ball well.
Courtney Lee was the only other starter producing for the Grizzlies. He was hitting from inside and outside the three point arc, shooting 8-11 from the field and 2-2 from three. The Grizzlies' wing finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Memphis bench has struggled lately, but JaMychal Green stepped up with 11 points in 14 minutes to go alongside Randolph. Mario Chalmers had 8 points in 4 assists in 27 minutes while James Ennis showed a bit of what he could do with in 9 minutes.
The Grizzlies may have to move away from their new starting lineup if it means the bench is going to keep struggling, which would force the starters to play too many minutes.
Next up: Grizzlies at Mavericks on Friday night at 7:30PM CT.