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Recap: Still Shorthanded Grizzlies Lose to Timberwolves 114-108

A great effort, but the Grizzlies fall short for the third straight game

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It was an ugly game, but a bad first quarter could not be made up by inspired play out of Lance Stephenson and Matt Barnes.  Minnesota gets their first win in Memphis since 2013.

It Was Over When...

Karl-Anthony Towns turned into late 90's Shaq and bullied his elbow and his way into a double-double and the game clinching basket.

Three Stars

* Zach LaVine- 28 points on 6-10 shooting from three in 40 minutes.  Still stole the dunk contest trophy from Aaron Gordon.

** Lance Stephenson- 24 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists on 8-18 shooting in 35 minutes off the bench.  See below

*** Matt Barnes- Double-double (14 points and 10 boards) for Barnes who was the major contributor on offense from the starting lineup.  He was the spark in the nearly successful comeback late in this one despite his 6-21 shooting.

Quick Thoughts

- Let's never think about the defense in the first quarter of this game again.  Just poof.  Erased from our memory.

- Karl-Anthony Towns is tall.  Zach LaVine is good at basketball.  Andrew Wiggins has confusing hair.  Did I leave anything important out?

- I really like Briante Weber.  His defense was outstanding in this game, despite over-helping on some possessions.  But he worked over some Timberwolves in the late third and early fourth quarters. Speaking of a guy he worked over...

Ricky Rubio looks like a guy who was in a boy band that broke up, got a haircut, and made an album of heartfelt love songs about a girl that broke his heart.  And I swear I'm not talking about Timberlake.  I swear.

But he could cry me a river.

- Sigh...Blog Confession time.  And I'm going to put this is bold so everyone can see it clearly

I WAS WRONG ABOUT LANCE STEPHENSON

He is the most gifted offensive back court player the Grizzlies have had in a very long time.  He has an innate ability to get to the basket like very few people I have ever seen.  He is officially a "thing happener," as in when he gets the ball, things happen.  Does he work really well with this offense in what is essentially a "contract year" for him?  Abso-frickin'-lutely.

The most mystifying thing about the Lance era here in Memphis is that we really won't get to see him with most of the team because of injuries.  Everything out of the front office said this trade was going to happen whether Marc had gotten hurt or not.  So watching him play in this offense as guys come back will be fascinating at best, and the decision on whether or not to pick up his option will be even more fascinating.

- It was fun to watch Tayshaun Prince work with the youngin's on this TWolves squad late in this game.  It would have been nice to see the same from Vince Carter if not for the injury.  A lot of the newest Grizzlies probably had VC posters on their wall.

- In the end, the Grizzlies had three majors flaws that kept them from winning this game

  1. Errybody was hurt and did you see their starting lineup?
  2. The huge deficit built up in the first quarter really put some distance between the two teams.  Memphis would have to play perfect down the stretch to get back into this one, but...
  3. The Grizzlies had zero rim protection.  This is understandable due to injury to their top three post players.  But Minnesota has too much talent to not be able to defend them at from three or at the rim. 

- As far as the playoffs are concerned, I am working on possible playoff position probabilities with the remaining Grizzlies schedule for tomorrow.  Should be fun.  Keep the anti-depressants close.

- Algonquin for the "Good Land" in less than 24 hours.  The Clippers on Saturday.  Strange days indeed.