After defeating the D-League Select team on Friday evening in their Las Vegas Summer League opener, the Memphis Grizzlies matched up with the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night. The two teams played each other close for one quarter, after which the Grizzlies imploded and got run off the court. Over the last three quarters, Memphis was outscored by a score of 78 to 34 and ended up losing by 44 points. It was very bad.
In the first quarter, the Grizzlies and Nuggets traded buckets and finished the first frame tied at 28. Memphis managed to capitalize on fastbreak opportunities, while Denver was able to score its buckets inside. Play wasn't particularly sharp, but it was competitive.
After that, things really fell apart for Memphis. Shots stopped falling from the outside, and Memphis couldn't get good looks inside. Meanwhile, Denver continued to funnel the ball inside and supplemented that with outside shots. Leading the Nuggets' three point shooting was former BYU standout Jimmer Fredette. Jimmer, who the Grizzlies should definitely try to sign, scored 19 in the first half on 4-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to 26 points, which lead all scorers.
The Grizzlies entered the locker room down 65-38, and things didn't get any better from there. Memphis was outscored by eight in the third, and managed to score just eight points during the fourth quarter.
It was hard to watch this game and come away with anything really positive. Memphis got out rebounded 55-34, they turned the ball over 12 times, and their two point guards who were supposed to be fighting for a roster spot combined for 16 points on 4-of-18 shooting with 5 assists. It was NOT GOOD.
Fortunately, Memphis will have Sunday off to look at this game and make corrections. Unfortunately, they don't have an entire week to fix everything that went wrong. Hopefully Fizdale and crew can pull a few lessons from this one, and the team will look sharper on Monday night.
- There was sloppy ball handling from both point guards. Harrison and Baldwin both threw balls away, and Harrison added a dribble out of bounds in the first quarter.
- New Grizzlies prospect Wade Baldwin did manage to make this play in the paint. One of Baldwin's biggest issues coming into the league was finishing in the paint, so this is a positive.
- Baldwin led the scoring for Memphis. He did so with ten points. Yeesh.
- DJ Stephens played 16 minutes and scored just two points on 1-4 shooting, which included going 0-3 from beyond the arc.
- Defense was bad for Memphis, particularly in the paint. The Nuggets got easy looks there continuously, particularly early, and wound up outscoring Memphis 50-32 in the paint. Memphis also allowed Denver to collect 15 offensive rebounds.