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Full Recap: Grizzlies Offense Stagnant in Loss to Clippers

The Grizzlies delivered their second consecutive ugly performance. But this time it resulted in a loss to their arch-rival LA Clippers.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Do we have to say it again?


One time is an off night. But two times in a row is a concern.

The Memphis Grizzlies offense looked completely stale on Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, as it did on Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

While they managed to escape with a win over the T-Wolves, but bad offensive performances are not gonna cut it against perennial playoff teams such as the Clippers.

The Grizzlies’ offense looked out of sorts, and they fell to the Clippers by a score of 99-88.

On the bright side, fans were treated to a very good point guard showdown between two of the best in the NBA. In more promising news, the Grizzlies did manage to hang tough with a good team, even on an off night.

Conley vs. Paul

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Conley and Chris Paul are, undoubtedly, two of the top ten point guards in the NBA, and they played like it tonight.

What a masterclass of point guard play that this was.

While Paul struggled with his perimeter shooting, going only 1-8 from downtown, he was stellar in almost every other department. Paul finished with 27 points, 11 assists, 6 steals, and 4 rebounds in 33 minutes of play.

Oh, and he only had one turnover. One.

As terrific as Paul was, he very well might have been the second-best point guard on the floor on Friday night.

Conley showed why the Grizzlies gave him $153 million in this game. Conley’s offensive game was dynamite against one of the best defensive point guards in the league in Paul. “The Conductor” finished with 30 points, hitting 7-of-11 shots from 3-point land, 10 assists, and 2 rebounds in 37 minutes.

And Conley finished with ZERO turnovers. ZERO. That is an incredible stat for 37 minutes played.

This was a classy showdown between two pure point guards that have little-to-no holes in their games. While it was frustrating for Grizzlies fans to watch this loss, they must feel good about Conley’s play against one of the best.

Randolph Settling into New Role

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Randolph’s Sixth Man of the Year campaign kept on rolling, even in this loss.

Randolph had another good day at the office, scoring 15 points, grabbing 9 boards, and dishing 2 assists on 6-11 shooting.

Before this game, Randolph was averaging 13.2 points and 8 rebounds per game, putting him right in the mix among great NBA bench players.

Randolph’s strength and energy has proved to overwhelm opposing reserve big men. His grind-it-out style has fit very well in his new role, as many fans hoped it would.

It also provides more offensive opportunity for Marc Gasol with the first unit, as more of the featured big man in that lineup.

Sloppy Offense

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

But Gasol has struggled with that opportunity in the last two games.

Fresh off of a 3-18 shooting performance on Wednesday, Gasol continued to struggle from the floor.

Gasol finished with 21 points, on 7-18 shooting, with 9 boards, 4 assists, and 2 blocks.

While 7-18 is a slight improvement on his full season shooting percentage of 33%, it is still not good. Gasol appears to be victim to an offense that has struggled to move the ball fluidly over the past few games.

That lack of fluidity may come from the struggling of the perimeter shooting. What else is new, Grizzlies fans?

While Conley was a sniper tonight (7-11 from 3), the rest of the team struggled. The remainder of the team shot 2-15 from downtown and only Gasol attempted more than 3 attempts from beyond the arc.

JaMychal Green followed up his good performance on Wednesday with a dud in this game. His offensive flow was nonexistent, as he was held to only 17 minutes played due to foul trouble. Green took only 3 shots in those minutes, and his offensive success is key for more efficient, free-flowing opportunities for Gasol down low.

The reluctance to pull the trigger from key players may lead to much more stalled offense, but Grizzlies fans can find solace in the fact that Chandler Parsons will bring his dynamic offensive game to the lineup on Tuesday.

Looking Ahead

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies fell to 3-3, but it is certainly not panic time.

The offense has been inconsistent, but the defense last night was quite good.

The Grizz held Blake Griffin to only 14 points on 13 shots, while also neutralizing JJ Redick, who had only 12 points.

The Clippers shot only 38% from the floor, and the Grizzlies must feel good about their defensive efforts in holding a good offensive team to less than 100 points.

While the Grizzlies are set to take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, it is expected that will be the final game without Chandler Parsons, who could certainly give the offense a, much-needed, shot in the arm.

While we saw a great point guard battle tonight, another one could be in store in Memphis’ next game. Conley will square off with Damian Lillard, who is playing at an MVP level right now for the Blazers.

That showdown will take place on Sunday night at the FedExForum in Memphis.

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