What a game! After some sloppy play in the closing seconds, the Grizzlies went to their big man, and he came up big, hitting a shot as the buzzer went off to allow the Grizzlies to escape with a 108-107 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets. The Grizzlies attempted to sabotage themselves, but in the end, Big Spain came up... well, big. It was a thing of beauty.
The Grizzlies move to 4-4 on the season and will kick off a road trip in four days, starting in Milwaukee. But for now, here’s a few thoughts about this game.
Parsons looks better, still not 100%
Chandler Parsons' second game in Beale Street blue was a big improvement on his first. After going 0-for-8 from the floor on Sunday, and looking all kinds of rusty, Parsons was finally able to score his first points. The first buckets came on some really good cuts along the baseline, and later Parsons was able to dribble into the lane and put the ball away with a nice dunk. He finished with 9 points in 21 minutes.
There's definitely still some rust with Parsons, and you can tell he just doesn't feel 100% yet. Multiple times the Grizzlies were able to move the ball to generate open looks for him from deep, but he elected to pass up the ball rather than pull the trigger. When he did take a couple of threes later in the game, he couldn't get them to go in. He finished the night 0-3 from behind the line. Parsons’ touch just isn't quite there yet.
It'll come eventually, but until then, it was nice to see Parsons able to generate points even without the outside shot.
Andrew Harrison continues to improve
The much-maligned Andrew Harrison, playing extended minutes with Wade Baldwin IV sitting out on a DNP-CD, showed some really positive things. Harrison hit two threes, came up with a couple of steals, played solid defense, and even managed to come up with a couple of big steals. Harrison shut down a two-on-one opportunity for the Nuggets, and on another possession he stripped the ball away as the clock was running down in the second half. He finished with a line of 10 points, 3 boards, 6 assists, and 4 steals.
There's been a lot of criticism of Harrison early this season (some fair, some unfair), but it bears repeating that he's still a rookie. He's played less than ten NBA games in his career. There's still a long way to go, and Harrison will still have his bad moments to go with his good (he managed to collect five fouls in this one, which wasn't ideal), but Grizz fans should be happy to see him improving with playing time.
Crunch time lineup
After his comments regarding Sunday night, it looked like David Fizdale might stick with Z-Bo in crunch time to face off with Denver's two bigs. Instead, with about four minutes remaining, JaMychal was inserted back into the lineup. From there, the lineups were a little more fluid, as Randolph came in and out during the closing minutes.
It’ll be interesting moving forward how Fizdale plays this, but for the time being it looks like this will change on a game-by-game basis, depending on the match-ups and how the offense is going.
- The interior defense continues to be an issue. Memphis just continues to bleed points in the paint, even while they continue to score there on the offensive end.
- The Grizzlies looked like they’d cleaned up the turnover issue in the first half, but at the end of the game, it became an issue that almost cost them the game.
- Memphis didn’t have a great shooting night. After it looked like Memphis was the new Golden State early in the season (kidding), the Grizzlies went cold from behind the arc, hitting just 7-of-24 shots (29.2%). They also missed six of their 19 free throws. Those points ended up proving big in a game that came down to the last possession.
The Grizzlies kick off a four-game road trip in Milwaukee on November 12 at 7:30 p.m.