First off, I’d like to wish Grizz Nation a Happy Thanksgiving. It’s a wonderful holiday to spend with loved ones and I hope that all of you can spend it with them.
For those of you who watched the game last night however, it may not feel like a happy Thanksgiving quite yet. No aspect of a six game losing streak is enjoyable, but this loss was the toughest to stomach yet. With 0.5 seconds left, JaMychal Green snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a put-back dunk to give Memphis a 94-92 lead.
It seemed the streak was about to end; we were going to win. Harrison Barnes had other ideas. His buzzer-beating, heart-breaking bank-shot three pointer stole the lead back, giving Dallas the 95-94 win and leaving Memphis faithful searching for answers and an end to this slide we’re on.
If you watched the first half, you were probably left thinking that this is it. We’ve got this. For most of the first half, Memphis was clicking. They looked better than they have for most of November. The Grizzlies were making plays on both offense and defense, with Deyonta Davis and Dillon Brooks playing particularly well. They went into halftime with confidence and the lead.
Then the wheels fell off.
Memphis was slowed by sloppy turnovers and unnecessary fouls, both of which prevented the Grizzlies from getting any sort of rhythm for the majority of the second half. Allowing the Mavs to score 35 points in the third quarter, the Grizzlies lead turned into a deficit by the start of the fourth. They spent most of the fourth quarter playing from behind and almost every time they came close to tying the game or taking the lead, they found a way to fall behind again.
Memphis committed 17 turnovers in the loss, 14 of which came from the trio of Marc Gasol, Tyreke Evans and Mario Chalmers. Dallas’ defense hounded Chalmers for most of the night, forcing him into 6 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists with 4 turnovers on 2-11 shooting.
All these miscues and 25 personal fouls for the game never let Memphis find it’s groove and that kept them from reasserting the dominance they displayed in the first half. Our offense lost all semblance of the well-oiled machine we saw and eroded into ill-advised three-pointers and the crisp ball movement we enjoyed seeing became sloppy passes and untimely turnovers.
Losses are tough. Losing six in a row is tougher. Yet this loss sits above the rest because of how it happened. What could have been an impressive win turned into an ugly knock-down fight that ended in the most heartbreaking fashion.
Hopefully this will be the end of this losing streak. We have to believe that Memphis will right the ship and get back into the win column. This loss can serve as a reminder of how quickly fortunes can change in the game of basketball and the Grizzlies can learn from this loss moving forward in their season.
Happy Thanksgiving Grizz Nation.