With Mike Conley back on the court for the Grizzlies, Memphis welcomed the Kings to town for the Dave Joerger-Kosta Koufos-Matt Barnes Revenge Game (NOT PICTURED: Rudy Gay). It was an ugly game, filled with fouls, ref-hating, and general slop, and it concluded with the Grizzlies ending their six-game home win streak.
To put it bluntly, Friday night was an ugly game that came to an ugly end. Here are your quick takeaways.
This game was slop and not in a good way
If you want to know how things went for Memphis in the first half, here’s a pretty good summation:
"There can be no michrphones or children" @brevinknight22 talking about the Grizz halftime locker room— Fletch (@BeauregardJones) December 17, 2016
There was a moment, late in the second quarter, just after the crowd had broken into a spirited “REF YOU SUCK” chant, when I actually thought I was going to see David Fizdale commit murder in the middle of a basketball court, which I’m guessing would have been an NBA-first.
The first two quarters of this game were ugly, especially for the Grizzlies. The offense couldn’t find any sort of rhythm, and there was a lot of fouling on both ends (though the Grizzlies appeared to be on the short end of most of those calls). Sacramento just moved the ball better on the offensive end, too. It didn’t help that Conley appeared at a level less than his peak, though the fact that there’d be some rust to shake off is hardly surprising.
With all that said, Memphis was lucky to get to the half down just ten.
Things didn’t get much better in the second half, either. Memphis committed dumb fouls at times, and they weren’t given the benefit of the doubt by the refs. Also, Andrew Harrison fouled out for the second straight game (related question: what’s the record for consecutive games fouled out in?), while Boogie fouled out for the Kings.
Greek Freak 2: The Koufosing
As it turns out, we were wrong. Tonight wasn’t the Dave Joerger Revenge Game at all; it was the Kosta Koufos Revenge Game.
Koufos was a thorn in the Grizzlies’ side all night, scoring at the rim and pulling down rebounds on both ends. Koufos was almost as much of a problem as DeMarcus Cousins on the night, which isn’t something I think most people would’ve expected going into this game.
Koufos is a good guy, but it’s probably going to be a long night if The Other Greek Freak (this is the new official nickname of Kosta Koufos, thank you) winds up putting up the sort of game that he put up on the Grizzlies tonight. He finished the game with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added 13 rebounds.
The Grizzlies had a bad night, and that’s okay
The refs were bad tonight, and that didn’t help the Grizzlies, but the Grizzlies also didn’t get spectacular nights from their best players. Marc looked less aggressive than he’d been with Conley out, and Conley looked like he was clearly shaking off the rust, which should’ve been expected. (Conley also took one of the ugliest attempts at a game-tying three that I’ve ever seen, but let’s not dwell on that.)
It just wasn’t good enough. The Grizzlies finally dropped a game that got within five points this season, and, if we’re being honest, they probably shouldn’t have been that close. They didn’t play well enough to win.
And you know what? That’s fine. Fizdale has shown before he’s able to refocus this team, to get them to clean up their issues the next time out. They’ll get back on track. Conley and Gasol will be better, as will the rest of the team. This was just one of those nights where the Grizzlies didn’t have their best game, and it cost them.
Now they’ll try to fix their issues and get back to winning on Sunday against the Jazz, who are making their first trip of the season to FedExForum.