After dropping a close game to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, the Grizzlies took to the Las Vegas hardwood one last time, facing off against the Atlanta Hawks. It was a rough game for Memphis as Atlanta used their size to their advantage and wound up taking this one by a final score of 89-79.
The game started with Memphis struggling early on. Andrew Harrison was able to get into the lane pretty frequently and find open shooters, but shots wouldn't fall. When they did start falling, Atlanta moved into the paint to choke off Memphis' drive and kick game, and the offense stalled out. On the defensive side, size continued to be a problem for the Grizzlies as Atlanta's length afforded them much better looks in the paint. But, thanks to some tough defense and a small run on offense, including a Steffeck three, the Grizzlies were able to cut the deficit to three at the half.
Atlanta's front court continued to be an issue in the second half, though, as Memphis just didn't have the size to deal with Ashley and Tavares inside. Even when Memphis managed to find its offense temporarily and close the gap, sloppy play on the offensive end or a run by Atlanta stretched the lead back. Memphis attempted to press in the later part of the game, but Atlanta had no problem making them pay for that strategy. In the end, Atlanta just had too much offense, and Memphis couldn't find a way to keep pace.
This loss means that the Grizzlies will finish their summer with a record of 2-3, which included a tough win against the Bucks and a blowout loss to the Nuggets. Overall, the results weren't what Memphis or its fans were looking for, but they were able to get at least some playing time for a few of their younger players. It was disappointing to not see Davis, or to have such a limited look at Stephens, but hopefully the Grizzlies were able to get a look at some other players.
Andrew Harrison was asked to carry a large offensive load throughout the entire game. The young guard out of Kentucky spent over thirty minutes on the floor. Early on, he succeeded at working his way into the lane and finding the open man, but later, Atlanta worked to close down the driving lanes, and Harrison struggled to find outlets at times. Harrison wound up with 5 assists, but he struggled from the floor, hitting just 3-of-18 shots and 4-of-6 from the free throw line on his way to 11 points.
Levi Randolph led Memphis in scoring. The 23 year old amassed 16 points over almost 33 minutes on 6-of-11 from the floor and 1-of-2 from three. Randolph also collected 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
Unfortunately, fan favorite DJ Stephens saw no playing time for the second straight game, in spite of being listed as active. It's a shame that fans weren't able to get another look at his amazing athleticism, but hopefully Grizz fans haven't seen the last of Stephens in a Memphis uniform.
On a side note, Jon Barry said the Grizzlies were gonna have a tough time making the playoffs because Jon Barry hates the Grizzlies and is dumb.
Jon Barry really just said the Grizzlies are gonna have a tough time making the playoffs in the West.— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) July 16, 2016