It only feels appropriate that the Grizzlies' Halloween Eve game came against the dreaded Charlotte Hornets. Regardless of how bad or good the Hornets are, Charlotte always manages to give the Grizzlies fits, turning the game into a nightmare and FedExForum into a Grindhouse of Horrors.
Monday night's contest was no different. The Grizzlies, in spite of building a lead of 13 points in the second half, were never able to put the game away, and the Hornets fought back to secure a 104-99 victory against (what was) the NBA's best team.
There's a plenty of blame to go around in this one, so instead of grading individual players, we'll grade (mostly) aspects of the Grizzlies game.
- Mike Conley (16 points on 18 shots, 6 assists, 3 fouls, -10)
- Marc Gasol (10 points on 15 shots, 2 assits, 7 rebounds, -14)
- James Ennis (11 points on 7 shots, 4 rebounds, -15)
- Jarell Martin (4 points on 5 shots, 4 rebounds, +1)
- Andrew Harrison (7 points on 4 shots, 3 rebounds, +1)
This Halloween, the Grizzlies decided to all go as an incredibly inefficient scoring team, which should strike fear into the heart of any Grizzlies fan. While Conley and Gasol both managed to get into double digits after being held below ten points in the team's win over the Rockets, it came on far too many shots.
Amazingly, it wasn't poor shot selection, either. When the game wasn't getting mucked up, the Grizzlies were generating open looks, but just couldn't get shots to fall. Only James Ennis and Andrew Harrison, who finally managed to have a decent shooting night while being aggressive offensively, were efficient.
The end result was that the starting unit was a giant net negative, relying on the bench to keep the game close.
We are living in Bizarro World.
Goon Squad: B
Bench Unit Nickname Attempts: C-
The Grizzlies second unit scored 51 of the Grizzlies' 99 points last night, and only Tyreke Evans (19 points on 6-of-17 shooting) and Dillon Brooks (11 points on 4-of-7 shooting) were negative in terms of +/- in spite of logging 30 and 31 minutes respectively.
It was not all good, though. Evans suffered the same yips that plagued others while shooting, and Brooks made a handful of rookie mistakes, reaching unnecessarily and committing bad fouls.
Also, the fact that the best nickname we have for the bench unit is Tyreke's "Goon Squad" is a crime. This unit deserves something on par with the Seattle Seahawks' Legion of Boom.
Grizzlies Shooting: F (34.4% FG, 22.9% from 3)
Grizzlies Layup Shooting: Z+ (To quote Peppermint Patty from Peanuts, "A Z is not a grade, sir. A Z is sarcasm.")
I'm not sure what happened to the Grizzlies shooting tonight, but the poor performance wasn't solely due to shot selection. Memphis had open shots, but when they needed them to go down, it didn't happen.
As for the layup shooting... Look, I don't have the exact numbers on the layup shooting, but if you open the ESPN app and filter to show only "missed shots" on the Grizzlies shot chart, there's a lot of empty circles right underneath the basket.
Overall Grade: D
The Grizzlies did a great job of putting on a Tony Allen Memorial Game on Monday night. It had everything: missed layups; lots of tricks (not many treats, unfortunately, save a Chandler Parsons dunk and a Jarell Martin attempted poster); 27 points from Kemba "Human Uzi" Walker; sub-30% three-point shooting.
Unfortunately, the TA Halloween Game isn't a winning formula. Hopefully the Grizzlies got the tricking out of their system so Wednesday's game against the Magic will be all treats. They'll need it. Orlando is now 5-2 after taking down the Pelicans in New Orleans.