When it was announced that the Grizzlies would be sitting the core four for tonight's game against the Washington Wizards, this game was going to go one of two ways: They would either get run out of the gym or shock the world.
They got ran out of the gym. However, this did give those who have not played very much this season a chance to show out on national TV...which didn't turn out so well either.
Slightly less disappointing was that the usual Inside the NBA crew was not there either. But being on national TV does give me the opportunity to use the TNT crew as my guiding light through a crap-tacular game.
It also gives me an excuse to show this...the only SNL skit I have enjoyed in years:
Underrated EJ impersonation by Bill Hader. Plus I don't know how many times I have used that line about pirating a riverboat and losing a bet about Hakeem Olajuwon.
Grizzlies Report Card
Coach Dave Joeger
So the #sitConley campaign finally worked, huh? All it took was a near broken ankle and a terrible back-to-back game. I didn't even have to get started on my #sitGasol and #sitZBo schtick either. No sure why Tony sat tonight. Must be hard being awesome.
Grade: How about 2 Bill Hader EJs...
Beno Udrih: | 26 mins | 9 PTS | 2-7 FGS| 5 AST | 2 REBS | -15
Beno did not have a great night, although he did lead the way in assists. It's hard to pick up assists when the team shoots 38% from the field.
I had a conversation the other night about the slipping efficiency of Beno. Beno was so big coming off the bench while Calathes was on suspension. He was able to take the reigns of the offense when Conley was on the bench. Now there have been more and more single-digit scoring nights. Losing some of his minutes to a surging Nick Calathes is part of the problem, but how long has it been since Beno has played this many important games? Last season, he was on a terrible Knicks team that couldn't wait to cut him lose. Before that, he was on the Magic/Bucks for two seasons. He hasn't appeared in more than 60 games since 2011 with the Sacramento Kings, when Chris Vernon used to call him "Beno Oodder". And man he was a bona fide Grizz killer in those days, too.
So maybe the length of the season is starting to wear the ultimately positive Beno down?
Grade: How about one Marv Albert Toupee
Courtney Lee: | 24 mins | 9 PTS | 3-10 FGS| 2 AST | 2 REBS | 0-2 3PT | -20
I'd like to say that this was a bad night for CLee, but these numbers have become pretty standard for him for the past few weeks: single digits in points and bad three point shooting. Most nights, he gives you something else to put the team over the top, i.e., his defense on James Harden last week against Houston. Tonight...not so much.
Grade: Three Barkley's in heavy makeup
pictures via twicsy.com
Jeff Green: | 21 mins | 8 PTS | 3-8 FGS | 3 AST | 6 REBS | 1 STLS | -17
Unlike Courtney Lee, Jeff Green did have a bad game. He was pressing to be the first option on offense all night. It worked early, with the Grizzlies racking up 30+ points in the first quarter. As for the rest of the game, eight points is not really that impressive for a player of Green's talent when no one else is there to shoot or score or be athletic...or whatever it is that Green is good at on that particular night.
I don't think that the dip in the Grizzlies' season is Green's fault, just like their success after the trade wasn't any of his doing either. But this team has got to get Tony Allen more PT on the wing...so it matters not to me who takes a reduction of role or is out of the starting lineup. That's it.
Grade:Let's go with a KAZAAM!
JaMychal Green: | 32 mins | 13 PTS | 6-11 FGS|1 AST | 6 REBS | 1 BLKS | -16
If there was one guy who took advantage of his extra minutes tonight, it was JaMychel "Don't call me Jeff" Green. As a matter of fact, Green has a bit of another Green's game in him who is about to get PAIIIID this summer (Draymond). This guy has got some scrap to his game, which may come in handy for him getting more minutes in the future.
Grade: Three Sager Suits!
Kosta Koufus: | 24 mins | 10 PTS | 5-8 FGS| 1 AST | 4 REBS | 1 STLS | 1 BLKS | -13
NO REALLY...AIR KOSTA!!!!!!
One criticism: 5 fouls in 24 minutes. Dude, we all wanted this game to end. You wanted to go home eaaaaarly.
Grade:Two David Aldridges and half a Tony Kornheiser
Side Note...I love David Aldridge. I love him on the TNT show as a sideline reporter. I love him as a dugout guy during the baseball playoffs. I really dig his column on NBA.com on Mondays. But I really realized how awesome he is listening to the Tony Kornheiser Show. He is so funny and it's great that he just discovered the Rolling Stones.
THAT BENCH SQUAD!
Vince Carter: | 9 mins | 5 PTS | 2-5 FGS| 1-4 3PT | 1 REBS | STLS | BLKS | -3
Didn't think he would play long, if at all, tonight. Nice turn around on the post in the second quarter, but besides that there really isn't much to write home about.
Grade:One Van Halen III (Throwback to Thursdays Report Card).
Nick Calathes: | 28 mins | 4 PTS | 1-9 FGS| 3 AST | 7 REBS | -8
Lots of rebounds (which makes sense because the Grizz missed a lot of shots), but his usual line of good assists and steals just was not there tonight. 1-9 isn't cutting it either.
Grade:How about two Mike Fratellos?
No Mike...I said two....TWO.
Can't believe that guy still hates Memphis after all this time.
Jon Leuer: | 17 mins | 9 PTS | 4-8 FGS| 4 REBS | +3
Man...Kevin Seraphim ain't got no chill. Glad the Badger was ok.
Grade: One empty Mike Fratello Press Conference
Jordan Adams: | 20 mins | 4 PTS | 1-5 FGS | 1 AST | 3 STLS | -6
Three steals is good right?
Grade: One Reggie Miller head
Jarnell Stokes: | 22 mins | 13 PTS | 4-6 FGS| 1 AST | 8 REBS | 3 STLS | 1 BLKS | -8
Jarnell will smack the bald off your head dude— The Thread Killer (@TAismyhomeboy) March 13, 2015
You've been warned Gortat!
Jarnell was a pest tonight. Getting rebounds and put backs, boxing out well, and getting under the skin of everyone he came in contact with. The young bull tied the other Green for points tonight, and earned everything he got. He is really going to be something in the league before long.
Grade:THREE MORE SAGER SUITS!!!!!
Russ Smith: | 15 mins | 4 PTS | 0-3 FGS| 1 AST | 1 REBS | 1 STLS | +3
What it do Russ. Russdiculous finally got a little shine tonight. He looked like a young, developing guard. He wanted to make a big play so badly, but nothing really opened up.
Grade: One Shaq neckbeard!
Mike Conley: DNP Ankle
Zach Randolph: DNP-Popviched
Marc Gasol: DNP-Siesta
Tony Allen: DNP-Awesome
Come back soon fellas...