As the calendar flipped from November to December, Memphis Grizzlies fans hoped that the changing months would perhaps bring better fortune to their beloved bears of Beale Street. The Grizzlies had lost nine in a row going in to tonight’s rematch with the San Antonio Spurs, and there was no denying that the first home game since the firing of David Fizdale held a little taste of hope that maybe, just maybe, Memphis could will their squad to a win.
That did not happen.
Instead, the San Antonio Spurs outclassed the Grizzlies for the second game in three nights as they defeated Memphis 95-79. The story of this night was the offensive struggles of the Grizzlies, as they did not score more than 80 points for the first time this season. They defended San Antonio relatively well for much of the game, but things fell apart in the fourth quarter especially as San Antonio pulled away with their efficient system taking a strangle hold on the struggling Grizzlies.
Some takeaways from the tenth loss in a row for Memphis-
- There were some small positives from yet another defeat. Ben McLemore continues to look more and more comfortable on the floor and as a scorer for Memphis, especially in his mid-range and three point shooting (2-2 from range). Chandler Parsons also shot well (5-9) and played admirably at times defensively. These two players continue to show signs of life, which is a long-term plus for a team going through (hopefully) short-term hell.
- Marc Gasol was the focus of the Spurs game plan yet again, as they doubled down on Marc and made sure he was not able to get comfortable. It clearly worked, as Marc (6-16) and the Grizzlies at large (30-74, with several makes in garbage time) shot poorly and miserably from the field, respectfully. Marc impacted the game in other ways (13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) and by no means was the main reason Memphis lost. But when Marc shoots poorly, and Tyreke Evans does as well (1-7 overall) Memphis isn’t going to score enough to win on most nights.
- Dillon Brooks is struggling right now. In 23 minutes of play he scored no points, took no threes, and had 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block. I argued in my latest feature for the site that he should be moved to a reserve role, and more and more it appears that that may be a positive change for Dillon. It isn’t his fault- he is being asked to do too much. Let Parsons (maybe not against the Cavaliers, but beyond) start again and make Brooks a bench player- it will lighten his load.
Memphis is back in action tomorrow night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Taking on LeBron James and company in Cleveland means things get no easier for the Grizzlies.