The Memphis Grizzlies are bad at basketball right now.
That is nothing you didn’t already know, but it was further confirmed last night as Memphis got beat in Washington by the Wizards 93-87. The offense, especially in the first half, was completely anemic as the Grizzlies scored only 29 points. That’s right. 1st Quarter + 2nd Quarter equaled 29 total points. It had all the making of another game where the Grizzlies simply laid down...
But then, a funny thing happened. They didn’t lay down, as they had against Miami on Monday night. They fought their way back into the game, played some defense, took advantage of a disinterested Wizards team, and for a brief moment, they took the lead back. Washington then took the lead for good in the 4th quarter, but considering Memphis was playing without Mike Conley, Brandan Wright, Wayne Selden Jr., and Tyreke Evans in this game? You could appreciate the effort.
The Grizzlies are bad. But they didn’t quit, and as a fan given the current state of the team that is much better than the alternative.
On to the grades-
ANDREW HARRISON- 20 points on 6-9 shooting (1-2 from 3), 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, -3 +/-
I am a man of my word...
Andrew Harrison- 20 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds. I have the report card in the morning. This will be his grade. pic.twitter.com/uNf0Vh80CS— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) December 14, 2017
Andrew Harrison has taken the firing of David Fizdale and made it his opportunity at a fresh start to the season. He looks the part of an NBA rotation player, and while he is outside of his ideal role as a reserve right now due to all of the injuries to the Grizzlies he is playing admirably. He made a couple of bad passes over the course of last night’s game, but he played a big role in Memphis being in that game in the 4th quarter.
Kudos, Andy. Keep up the good work. A.
JAMYCHAL GREEN- 15 points on 6-13 shooting (3-4 from 3), 15 rebounds, 2 assists, -8 +/-
Now that is more like it, JaMychal! Two major critiques of JaM of late have been his unwillingness, or perhaps inability, to make a larger offensive impact and his lack of presence on the boards. Those two things were not an issue for Green on this night, as he took the 2nd most shots for the Grizzlies against the Wizards and grabbed a season high in rebounds. JaM also stood up for teammate Mario Chalmers when things started getting chippy with Jason Smith (Chalmers did the chippy-ness first), which is usually good to see depending on the severity of the infraction.
He turned the ball over 4 times, which is not what Memphis needs from their starting power forward, but JaMychal showed signs of life as he posted his first double double of the season.
More of this, JaMychal. Please. B+.
MARC GASOL- 15 points on 16 shots (1-5 from 3), 10 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, -4 +/-
It is becoming a depressing refrain.
Marc simply cannot carry this team any more. The Wendigo has been tamed, at least until Mike Conley returns.
It isn’t entirely his fault. Gasol and Conley have a very symbiotic basketball relationship. They make each other better, and it was said all along that Memphis needed both to stay healthy to have a chance at the playoffs. That hasn’t happened, and it is Marc dealing with the nightly ramifications of that.
But Marc’s biggest issue in this game was the lack of assists. Any assists. 0 assists from Marc is a bad sign when everyone is healthy, much less when he is option A and B on offense. Teams are game planning to take him away in the post and Memphis must be better at moving to help him and get open on slashes and on the perimeter, and then convert those opportunities.
Marc also has to find them more consistently. Marc only had 0 assists in one other game this season, a loss to the Magic. The Grizzlies cannot afford to have their current best facilitator without an assist.
The double double gets him above a D. But even with it being perhaps everything Marc has, it isn’t enough. Which makes me sad. C.
- Dillon Brooks (6 points on 6 shots, 1 rebound, 1 assist, team worst -13 +/-) is not a starter and if Memphis is serious about actually trying to make the playoffs that is the next change that has to come. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get minutes. It should be against mostly reserves, though. He is drowning. D.
- James Ennis III (7 points on 4 shots, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. +3 +/-) is who should start instead of Brooks. He brings energy, athleticism, and versatility to a lineup that could use it. Again, that doesn’t mean you completely bench the rookie. It means you let him come along against lesser players and let Ennis run with the 1st unit. B.
- Chandler Parsons (12 points on 12 shots, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, -8 +/-) started in place of Tyreke Evans in this game, and he did not take full advantage of the opportunity. He certainly wasn’t the reason Memphis lost, but he wasn’t efficient enough offensively both as a scorer and facilitator (3 turnovers) to make J.B. Bickerstaff say “man, Chandler needs to start!” Not a bad game, but not good enough to stand out. C.
The Grizzlies are back home tomorrow night against the Atlanta Hawks and will be looking to end their latest losing streak, currently at 5 games.