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Grizzlies/Timberwolves Quick Thoughts

The Grizzlies may not have pulled this one out last night, but there was plenty to learn from last night's game.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

- Know the scouting report. Tony Allen tried to play gaps and go under screens multiple times against Zach LaVine early, and it cost the Grizzlies. LaVine’s on an insane hot streak, and finding himself with that added bit of space helped him find his rhythm early.

- Nobody on this team can finish at the rim at a high rate on anything other than dump-offs and put-backs. Every ball-handler on the team is capable of getting to the rim via a straight line drive, but once they get there they don’t have the finishing mentality necessary to go up and convert through contact. Watching this group has made it very apparent how much Mike Conley is missed.

- I’ve been impressed with Briante Weber’s effort. He goes 100% all the time, and he’s going to at least give you value on the defensive end. He has a knack for swiping for the ball as soon as it leaves the ball-handler’s hand for the floor, maximizing the time he has to get in there and knock it loose before it returns to the ball-handler’s palm. That might not seem like a big deal, but that makes a huge difference to a ball-handler’s psyche over the course of the game.

- Zach LaVine’s gonna be a really good player. He can do it all offensively now. He’s converting off of down screens, he’s circling back, playing some of the two man game, spotting up, isolating. There’s not much he didn’t do offensively last night, and if he can continue to shoot the ball well he’s going to be a joy to watch for some time.

- I don’t understand Jarell Martin’s bounce. He can sky for alley-oops and put-backs, but there are plenty of times where his feet barely leave the floor when he jumps and it doesn’t seem like it’s by design. I think some of that has to do with him still getting his lift back, but his possible ground bound game around the rim is a slight concern to watch going forward due to his size.

- Alec Stepheson’s one NBA skill is not super helpful when he’s really bad at everything else.

- Weber has awful shot mechanics. They are compact in the worst way. He shoots closer to his chest than he should, and he doesn’t extend his arms up so he ends up pushing the ball to the rim with little arc. He needs to work with a shooting coach to open that up and develop a more fluid motion that allows him to shoot rather than catapult the ball toward the rim.

- Isolations for Lance Stephenson are fun. Several times a game when nothing is working or when Joerger senses the unit is tired, he will call for several side iso’s in a row until the defense adjusts enough to enable the Grizzlies to exploit other areas of the floor. Now if Stephenson could just give his teammates crossover lessons.