Memphis lost a third game in a row after falling to the Celtics in overtime. The Grizzlies, who led by as many as 17 points, collapsed defensively in the second half and couldn’t get away with the victory.
Those tight games that previously fell in the win column for the Grizzlies are now going the other way. After a discreet first half, Boston point guard Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 44 points.
I don't remember seeing a bigger defensive difference from one half to the next from the Grizzlies. 1st half amazing, 2nd half/OT shocking pic.twitter.com/oUQwsruTwU— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) December 21, 2016
Troy Daniels: A-
24 points in 35 minutes (+3)
Daniels had an excellent shooting performance after going scoreless against Utah last Sunday. He made 4 out of 7 from downtown and gave the Grizzlies a much needed spark off the bench. His defense still leaves a lot to be desired, though.
Tony Allen: B+
10 points, 8 rebounds in 37 minutes (-8)
Another solid performance by the Grindfather. He’s making things happen on both ends of the floor, and his offensive rebounding ability put the Grizzlies up by one with a little bit over a minute left in the overtime. Allen is averaging 3.3 offensive rebounds a game in December, ranking thirteenth in the league.
Marc Gasol: B
24 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists in 37 minutes (-9)
The Grizzlies' offense ran through Gasol often and the plan paid off. After a poor showing against Utah last Sunday, he had a good all-around game and made three triples. Big Spain had 24 points after three quarters but he went scoreless in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Celtics have done a great job of making Marc's shot attempts uncomfortable down stretch. Can't get to his preferred spots.— Matt Hrdlicka (@theRealHrdlicka) December 21, 2016
Mike Conley: B
19 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists in 35 minutes (+5)
Conley came alive with 12 points in the fourth quarter. He connected on clutch shots and reminded everyone he is getting back in shape. He’s not attacking the rim on a regular basis yet, and his defense on Isaiah Thomas was not there in the second half.
Welcome back, Captain Clutch. pic.twitter.com/rlEyRXUFZH— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) December 21, 2016
Jarell Martin: B-
3 points, 8 rebounds in 17 minutes (+6)
Martin is gradually gaining Fizdale's confidence. The coach picked him over JaMychal Green down the stretch. The second year player doesn’t have flashy performances but he shows every game that he belongs.
Jarell Martin getting crunch time minutes for the second straight game.— Peter Fleischer (@Peter_Fleischer) December 21, 2016
JaMychal Green: C+
7 points, 12 rebounds in 30 minutes (-12)
Green was again the top rebounder and hustled as usual. His outside shot is definitely not happening at the moment, and Fizdale cannot use him as a stretch four as much as he would like to.
Vince Carter: C+
6 points in 14 minutes (+1)
Carter had two triples when Boston was making a run at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters. Now that the Grizzlies are getting healthier, his minutes are limited.
James Ennis: C+
5 points in 17 minutes (-4)
Ennis started the game last night. He may be under a minute restriction but looks healthy to me. Since his return from a calf injury, his energy has been noticed and he is contributing on both ends of the floor.
Zach Randolph: C-
9 points, 5 rebounds in 20 minutes (+7)
Randolph went 4 for 14 from the floor and could not make a big impact against a small Boston team. Z-Bo was ejected late in the game for an elbow on Kelly Olynyk.
Andrew Harrison: D
2 points, 3 assists in 18 minutes (-4)
Harrison suffered Isaiah Thomas's red hot hand in the second half. In the most controversial play of the game, the rookie was called for a shooting foul with 27 seconds left in regulation which led Boston to tie the game and send it to overtime. His shooting woes continue with a 0 for 4 performance from the field last night.
David Fizdale: C-
It is never great for a coach to see his team blowing a 17-point lead. Memphis had no answer for the Boston offense in the second half, especially for Isaiah Thomas who had 8 points at halftime and totaled 44 points in the game.
Even if the Grizzlies scored over a hundred points, the offense looked stagnant at times. In addition, Fizdale did not draw a good last play at the end of regulation and had Mike Conley dribbling in circles and shooting a difficult shot.
The Grizzlies coach called out on the team's leadership in the press conference. This may seem disproportionate considering how the Grizzlies have overperformed this season but I take it as a wake-up call.