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New York Knicks defeat Memphis Grizzlies: 111 - 104

Rose buries the Grizzlies with key floaters down the stretch.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at New York Knicks Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Knicks in New York 104 - 111. Memphis played without several of its key players, and Mike Conley was limited to six minutes in the first half. The Grizzlies failed to capture the lead for the game’s duration, and tied the Knicks just once.

Memphis got off to another slow start, struggling on both ends of the court and allowing the Knicks to jump out to an early lead.

While the Grizzlies cut the lead to single digits late in the fourth, and employed the “hack-a” strategy with three and a half minutes to go, the Knicks made enough free throws and Rose connected on a pair of floaters over defenders in the lane to ice the game.

Dave Fizdale committed to pulling Mike early, and gave the bench an opportunity to develop with decent minutes despite trailing as much as 12. James Ennis had a nice game, connecting on quick-trigger threes, handling the ball, and finishing through contact at the rim. Also, since when does Jarell Martin make threes?!

A lot of us laughed when Derrick Rose said the Knicks would be a superteam on par with the Warriors, but he and Joakim Noah didn’t totally stink tonight. Noah’s stat line isn’t eye-melting, but his infectious passion for the game elicited “Joakim Noah” chants several times throughout the game.

Derrick Rose also had a nice game despite non-spectacular stats, taking less deep twos and ill-advised threes, and finding the rim with his athleticism. The Grizzlies’ new defensive scheme is a work in progress, as Rose and others easily found the rim for uncontested layups.

Due to injury, the Grizzlies played without Tony Allen, Brandan Wright, and Chandler Parsons. Mike Conley also played with a minutes restriction as the Grizzlies began their first out of four games in five days.

The Grizzlies limited Mike’s minutes tonight, and will likely limit Marc’s tomorrow. Now, more than ever, organizations are aware of the physical toll an NBA regular season takes on a player’s body.

You can’t anticipate the “black swan” nature of injuries in basketball, but Coach Fizdale’s decision to limit Mike’s minutes is a step in the right direction. Not only do we reduce the mileage Conley garners in a season, but younger players get opportunities to develop and add depth to the bench by the season’s end.