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The Week-side Help: Week 6 - Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

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Recapping the week of Memphis’ losses and what they mean for the future

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Week 6 Results

Portland Trail Blazers 100 @ Memphis Grizzlies 92 (7-9) Recap | Box Score

Dallas Mavericks 95 @ Memphis Grizzlies 94 (7-10) Recap | Box Score

Memphis Grizzlies 92 (7-11) @ Denver Nuggets 104 Recap | Box Score

Brooklyn Nets 98 @ Memphis Grizzlies (7-12) 88 Recap | Box Score

Week 6 Storylines

-Memphis extends their losing streak to 8 games, 0-4 on the week. | GBB’s own Joe Mullinax on the effects of Memphis’ lowest point of the season.

-Chandler Parsons tweaked his knee in Sunday’s loss against the Nets and missed the 2nd half. His future status is unknown at this time.

-Marc Gasol “frustrated” that he sat the 4th quarter in Sunday’s loss to the Nets.

Week 6 Breakdowns

-You know what’s really breaking down? Me. It’s the hardest part of the semester for yours truly’s academic career and the Grizzlies are doing, uhhhhhh, whatever this performance is called for a whole got dang week. Listen, Grizzlies: my finals are coming up, I’m stressed beyond belief, and I’m tired. So tired. Each loss like the ones that happened this past week takes away from my finite living energy and being. Please win. It’s the holiday season. Consider it a gift for me. Please. Go Grizzlies.

-Marc Gasol sitting the 4th quarter against Brooklyn is going to be a bigger deal than it should. Marc should be upset, just as any professional who clearly has a lot of pride in his work would be. But I don’t consider this to be a scarlet letter placed on Marc. He is most certainly not the reason Memphis has lost 8 in a row, but you could see how Fizdale would want to switch things up. It sends a message that no one is safe from criticism and that better is needed from absolutely everybody. It’s not going to be a permanent 4th quarter absence for Wendigo, so this Nets game won’t and shouldn’t affect Gasol’s status on this team.

-Single-game performances in specific areas aren’t anything to get TOO riled up about, positive or negative. But the Grizzlies’ rebounding against Denver on Friday night was one of the worst things I’ve seen all year.

-The Dallas loss was tough to stomach for a couple of reasons. The Harrison Barnes shot, obviously. The Maxi Kleber start was a knife in my pride’s pride. But it was another instance of Memphis letting an inferior team hang around because of their own mistakes. Turnovers killed them.

-Turnovers killed Memphis on Wednesday, but what’s killing this team overall is an inability to maintain any consistency game-to-game and quarter-to-quarter. Each loss in this streak has been different. The Grizzlies have been adjusting their lineups and trying to find the right fix, but nothing has worked. Memphis has a plan, but the execution varies wildly night-to-night. Any consistency will get Memphis their first win in what feels like years, just by catching another team on a bad night or by beating a bad team. For once.

-Dallas has 4 wins in 2017-18. 2 are against Memphis. Both wins have come by a combined 6 points.

-Memphis ended the first half against Brooklyn 47-47. Brooklyn then turned the game into their personal plaything in the 2nd half. That kind of season.

-Deyonta Davis is looking pretty good while filling in for Brandan Wright! I’ve been really encouraged with his defense and he plays a lot smarter than he did a year ago. He clearly isn’t as raw as he was in 2016. Before the season, I wanted to see Deyonta and Marc play together considering Marc’s ability to play outside, but those opportunities will probably come few and far between with Davis and Gasol being the only 2 healthy centers. I’m a Deyonta believer and I think he could do well in filling Brandan Wright’s productivity and defense. All hail the top-bun.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Official Permanent Lottery Watch of the Week

Memphis, as the season stands right now, would have the 6th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. After having the best record in the league after 2 weeks, this is where the Grizzlies are. This would be the first Grizzlies’ lottery pick since 2010 when they drafted Xavier Henry (LOL).

I’m not rooting for this lottery pick for two reasons: I don’t want Memphis to lose and I know the pick would be the worst. 2018 could be a year with 3 transcendent draft talents and knowing Chris Wallace’s horrid history of everything to do with player acquisition, he’ll just draft the next Xavier Henry. Not a bust, just a Kansas player. But also a bust. Who knows. Who cares. Just look at this picture. Go on tankathon.com to simulate enough lotteries to give us the #1 pick and remind yourself that Harrison Barnes could have been had for the same price as Chandler Parsons.

Numbers to Know:

8: Losses in a row. Yeah.

Best Week 6 Performance: Mario Chalmers vs POR

21 pts (7-12 FG, 1-3 3P, 6-7 FT) 6 ast, 6 reb, 1 stl, 0 TO, +5 +/-

This is really getting the benefit of having a lot of numbers in terms of being a “better” performance. But Mario was really good in this game. He’s been inconsistent lately, to the point where Fizdale wanted to fit Andrew Harrison back into the rotation just to switch things up.

This is the first Week-side Help award for Mario Chalmers. It is a very prestigious award, so I hope this is a landmark for him in his return from an Achilles injuries.

This is also probably the main positive thing from this week, other than Thanksgiving family food blah blah blah. I can’t even fake it this week I’m sorry.

Week 7 Schedule and Preview:

Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs Weds. 11/29

San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies Fri. 12/1

Memphis Grizzlies @ Cleveland Cavaliers Sat. 12/2

Hahahahahahaha. How dumb was I to to think that it would get better? They play the Spurs twice, who seem to not care that Kawhi Leonard is out with a mysterious injury for a mysterious amount of time. Twice. Not even back-to-back to get the chance of catching them off-guard. Nope. Pop is going to run circles around the Grizzlies with their offensive scheme and their best player is LaMarcus Aldridge in 2017. Memphis will lose both, or scrap their hardest to win the one game by 3-ish points. It doesn’t matter what happens in the first game, because the Spurs can make game-to-game adjustments better than anyone. Memphis won’t be able to spring themselves out of a rut, it takes time.

Concerning the Spurs however, that Kawhi Leonard absence is confusing. Gregg Popovich says it’s an injury he’s never seen before, but Kawhi should be back sooner than later. I don’t know if those two qualities can exist together, but it’s a loss for the league. Kawhi Leonard was one of the top favorites to snag the MVP trophy this season and he may already be eliminated from contention because of the games he’s missed. The Spurs haven’t suffered too much in the standings; they’ve always done well to adapt given any circumstance. But Leonard could have taken them to another level. Kyle Anderson has been playing really well in his absence, though, and he could be getting a loooot more playing time even with Kawhi coming back eventually.

This losing streak could be up to 11 games after 3 games against championship contenders. BUT since it’s Memphis, they’ll win the next three games and convince me to buy Finals tickets. As I say as a prediction before every game: who knows. How’s that for a hot take. ESPN, please hire me.

Have a good week, Memphis.

Follow @sbnGrizzlies