The Grizzlies, who hadn’t seen action since New Year’s Eve, spent Tuesday night in Los Angeles looking incredibly rusty. Behind a poor defensive effort and an unbelievable shooting night from the Lakers, the Grizzlies lost, 116-102.
It was a disappointing night for Grizzlies fans overall. The effort level appeared to be at lows to rival that of the game against the Magic just a week or so prior. Hopefully it was just another blip on the radar and the Grizzlies manage to look more interested in playing tonight agains the Clippers.
Here’s the grades for tonight’s loss.
Marc Gasol: B
Gasol led the team in scoring with 22 points on 15 shots, with 7 assists and 6 boards. More encouraging was the fact that he was able to move fairly well on the ankle that he twisted just days ago against the Kings. Unfortunately, Marc was also -14, the worst margin of any starter, though that was partially a byproduct of playing the most minutes in a bad game.
Mike Conley: C-
Conley chipped in 21 points and 4 assists, and his offensive contributions are what keep him from being scored worse here. D’Angelo Russell had a nice night (6-9) from behind the arc, and Conley’s defense was a key part of that.
Conley's closeouts - or lack thereof - on D'Angelo Russell are a big problem tonight.— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) January 4, 2017
JaMychal Green: B-
Green had a quiet night with just 3 points and 6 boards, but he also played only 22 minutes due to getting hit in the face. Fortunately, it does not appear that he will need a new face, a la Mike Conley.
Chandler Parsons: :(
Parsons continues his trend of looking better at moving around on the court while still throwing up enough bricks to build everyone in Memphis a nice new barbecue pit. Tonight’s effort: 2 points on 1-6 from the floor and 0-2 from beyond the arc. Let’s just hope he gets there eventually.
Tony Allen: B-
Allen’s -5 in 24 minutes were the best +/- of any Grizzlies starter, and Allen chipped in 8 points on 3-4 shooting, which included a couple of nice cuts from the basket. He also chipped in three turnovers to lead the team, and contributed to this:
We all handle stress in different ways. pic.twitter.com/YX6cNNF4LQ— Kevin Lipe (@FlyerGrizBlog) January 4, 2017
Z-Bo, Andrew Harrison, and Vince Carter were the only bench players in double figures, and Troy Daniels went 3-7 from beyond the arc. Beyond that, the rest of the bench was pretty miserable. Both Jarell Martin (who is starting to worry me) and James Ennis failed to score. Wade Baldwin put up 4 points and an assist in 8 minutes of action, which is something.
The box score tells you that the Grizzlies did not have a great offensive night, but you’ll need to look at the Lakers’ numbers to see the real root of the problem with tonight’s game. The Grizzlies’ defense never showed up in Los Angeles. LA shot 51.5% from beyond the arc, which was actually better than their overall shooting from the floor and just below what they shot from the free throw line. That’s just not good enough.
It appeared that the effort just wasn’t there for this game. Memphis couldn’t close out on shooters at the three-point line, and it cost them. It didn’t help that when they were able to contest, the shots still seemed to go in. For a while, it looked like Swaggy P was going to singlehandedly run the Grizzlies out of the building.
Anyway, Tuesday’s game was a poor all-around effort. We can only hope that Wednesday’s effort against the Clippers turns out better.