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Report Card: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Grading out the individual performances in last night’s dumpster fire of a loss to the hated Floppers of Los Angeles

Woof. That was rough. I’d prefer not to re-live that miserable display, but in the spirit of self-deprecation, let’s have some fun with it.

A-

Mike Conley: 37 min, 30 p, 10 a, 2 r, 2 b, 1 s, +4

An oasis in the desert of ineptitude, Conley actually looked great. He was particularly sharp shooting from long range, going 7 out of 11 from three point land to set a career high. The fruits of sitting out the end of last season look to be paying off, because Conley looks as quick and springy as ever. Here’s hoping Fizdale’s conservative, Popovichian approach to minutes distribution keeps our floor general this fresh throughout the season.

C-

Tony Allen: 19 min, 4 p, 4 r, 1 a, 1 s, -15

The Clippers were happy to let Tony fire away with long twos, which (unsurprisingly) proved to be a smart strategy. I find the collective groan that emits from the Forum every time he loads up for a jump shot to be pretty amusing, and usually Tony makes up for those (quite literal) misfires on the defensive end — not last night. The Clippers back court tore us up. If Tony isn’t a force for disruption on that end and isn’t cutting backdoor or grabbing offensive rebounds, then he isn’t going to contribute to wins.

B

James Ennis: 36 min, 9 p, 11 r, 2 a, 1 s, 1 b, -9

I LOVE the way that Ennis crashes the boards. His combination of size (relative to his position), speed, and strength sets him up well to make an impact there, and he takes advantage of all the opportunities he gets there. With rebounding foreboding as a concern sans-ZBo starting, Ennis can help to make up for some of that gap.

One wonders if his versatility, motor, and overall skill set might land him in the starting five even after Parsons returns. There have been a few Grizz Twitter voices calling for it:

D-

JaMychal Green: 17 min, 2 p, 1 a, 2 b, -10

Ugh. JaMychal. Buddy. Let’s talk.

We know that you were supposed to be the fifth option among the starters. And we get that you were tasked with stopping Blake Griffin, not an easy assignment.

But dude. You have to contribute something. Even if you aren’t scoring, you have to rebound. Grab loose balls. Make the smart pass. Box out. Not foul every other trip down the floor.

Green is capable of doing a lot more than he showed last night. He’ll get back to form, but he needs to be more consistent in his production.

C+

Marc Gasol: 37 min, 21 p, 9 r, 4 a, 2 b, 1 s, -4

After an extremely rough first half, Gasol bounced back to put up solid numbers last night. However, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin torched him on the boards, and his offensive contribution wasn’t enough to make up for that.

Gasol is still figuring things out after coming back from a major foot injury. The encouraging thing is that he looks right physically: moving well, running smoothly, jumping willingly. Assuming that trajectory continues, he can return to All-NBA form in due time. Hopefully that’ll be sooner rather than later.

B-

Zach Randolph: 28 min, 15 p, 9 r, 2 a, +3

Zach has traditionally had a lot of success against his nemesis, Blake Griffin. But their shared time on the court was few and far between, leaving Zach out against Wesley Johnson and other smaller, quicker players. He made his mark on the scoreboard, knocking down some jumpshots and getting some ZBounds, but his defensive failures were on display as well as the Clippers bench exploited the Grizzlies second unit.

At least we get this gem:

C+

Vince Carter: 23 min, 5 p, 7 r, 3 a, +0

Meh. Vince looked fine. He’s playing an outsized role for this late point in his career, but our myriad of injuries are thrusting him into more of a sixth man slot. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Vince at this point is his willingness to do whatever is asked of him. Sometimes is scoring, sometimes it’s shutting down a particular player, last night it was crashing the glass. The future Hall of Famer does so happily, which says a lot about him.

VC also had quite possibly the worst foul ever called in the history of the NBA on him. And I wish I were exaggerating.

D

Wade Baldwin IV: 14 min, 2 p, 2 r, 2 a, -10

Oh no, Wade. He looked like a rookie last night, making unforced errors and pushing way too hard at times. It’s good that he’s getting the reps and experience, but last night he hurt us way more than he helped. Luckily, it seems like Fizdale is willing to wait through these growing pains. Hopefully they pay off.

C

Jarell Martin: 13 min, 0 p, 4 r, 1 b, -9

Jarell has had some really bright moments this season, but yesterday’s game was not one of them. He still looks good, moving well for a big guy and not getting pushed around on the blocks. But what is he? A hustle big? A stretchy 4? A block banger? He doesn’t really seem to have much of an identity as a player, which makes him super intriguing as a prospect but still very much a work in progress.

D-

Troy Daniels: 6 min, 0 p, +0

In 6 minutes of action, Troy Daniels managed to accomplish... nothing. Didn’t we bring him in to make threes? In order to contribute, he needs to actually, uh... ya know, make threes. And not get burned on defense. Color me super skeptical of his future as a rotation piece at this point.

C

Troy Williams: 6 min, 0 p, +7

Same for the other Troy, who also put a lot of zeroes up in the box score. But at least he hustles and belongs athletically. There’s some upside here, but without consistent playing time it’s doubtful he’ll get an opportunity to realize it.

F

Andrew Harrison: 3 min, 0 p, -10

I hope Andrew enjoyed his time in the starting lineup, because he won’t be seeing it again. He is firmly entrenched in the doghouse, and I don’t see much of a pathway out when he plays like he did last night when he does make it onto the court.

C-

Head Coach David Fizdale

Errr... not a great performance by the head ball coach. We know he’s still figuring out rotations and trying to work through guys returning from injury, but some of the moves last night were not consistent with what he says he wants to do (look at Mike and Marc’s big minutes) and the offense sputtered. A lot of ugly basketball being played by the Grizzlies, and at least some of that has to lie on Fizdale’s shoulders.