Ouch. As if the news of Marc Gasol being out for the season didn't hurt enough, the Grizzlies limp into this one with Tony Allen, Brandan Wright, and Chris Andersen all nursing ailments. Jordan "The Great Hope" Adams remains sidelined as well.
These injuries forced Dave Joerger to start P.J. Hairston in his second game as a Grizzly against Toronto. When you're starting P.J. Hairston, you're going to have a bad time. With Vince Carter on a hot streak and Mario Chalmers playing very well alongside Mike Conley, it will be interesting to see what direction Joerger takes with the starters tonight.
Lance Stephenson looked good in his Grizzlies debut, and Memphis will need his playmaking and tenacity to stay competitive while the team heals and gels.
"What, it makes a shitty season less shitty?"
-Kobe Bryant, in response to a question about the Lakers breaking a recent losing streak
Good thing the Mamba has created some buzz around this Lakers team, because it's pretty miserable otherwise.
They have some interesting young pieces in D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, but head coach / confirmed caveman Byron Scott steadfastly refuses to give them opportunities to learn and develop. Scott also has a wistful nostalgia for the NBA of the 90s, stubbornly rejecting modern basketball analytics in favor of inefficient mid-range jump shots.
The Lakers have some incentive to let Kobe continue to chuck it at a woeful 35% rate: they lose their first round pick to Philadelphia if it doesn't fall between 1-3 in the lottery.
Kobe's Curtain Call:
This will be one of the more in demand regular season tickets of the year for the Grizzlies, as Kobe bids good bye to the Memphis faithful. At least Kobe has put his alarmingly massive salary to good use: he made a big donation to Shelby County Schools kids prior to his final game in FedEx Forum. Begrudging props to Kobe for that generous move.
- In spite of Geoff Calkins' hypothesis that there will be fewer than 500 Kobe jerseys in the stands, a sizeable contingent of Fakers fans show up and annoyingly cheer for LA.
- A hobbled, mid-orientation Grizzlies team stumbles against this terrible excuse for an NBA team, inciting panic and hysteria across our fair city.