The Grizzlies returned to action on Friday night after a week off for All-Star festivities. There were no new faces to speak of since the club remained quiet at the trade deadline, save for signing Toney Douglas for the rest of the season.
There was nothing unfamiliar about their performance, either. The Grizzlies tend to look rusty out of the break, and that was no differecent as they squared off against a Pacers squad still with Paul George on the roster.
And while Memphis played well in the early going, eventually the magic wore off and the Grizzlies turned into pumpkins. At one point, the Pacers held as much as a 27-point advantage, and Memphis, behind a 41.7% shooting night, including 33.3% from three and 13 of 23 from the free throw line, had their rally come up short.
Here’s some observations from tonight’s disappointing loss:
Chandler Parsons and Tony Allen both looked refreshed
One of the biggest questions would be how Parsons looked after the break, which he apparently split between “Chancun” and an empty gym. (No update yet on whether Parsons had hats printed up with “Empty Gym” on them.)
The time off appeared to have done Parsons at least some good, at least from a physical standpoint. Parsons’ movement looked less encumbered on the court, and he had a little more life on his drives to the hoop. And while it didn’t translate when it came to shooting (2 of 6 for 4 points) he at least looked like he could help facilitate the offense.
Parsons wasn’t the only one who looked like the break had given him new legs. Tony Allen was in prime form early on, clogging up passing lanes, getting hands on balls, and being a general pest to Pacers. He totaled five steals for the game.
Grizzlies fans likely enjoy seeing Allen in peak form, as that’s what they’ll need from him if they want to make a run in the playoffs. In fact, Kevin Lipe had a solid suggesting regarding strategy going forward.
Hope Fizdale remembers this quarter and lets TA sit out for the whole week before the playoffs.— Kevin Lipe (@FlyerGrizBlog) February 25, 2017
*Insert thinking face emoji*
Rebounding, points off turnovers were huge issues
Indiana completely crushed Memphis in rebounding, tallying a 37-22 advantage through the first three quarters. That deficit was especially pronounced on the defensive end, where Indiana was +17 through the first three periods. Combine that with Memphis’ poor shooting performance, and it’s little wonder how the Grizzlies found themselves in such a deep hole.
And while the Grizzlies managed to go through the entire first half with just one turnover, that quickly went out the window as they coughed up the ball 7 times in the third quarter, when they saw the game get out of hand. The Grizzlies were able to force 16 turnovers of their own, but they weren’t able to capitalize. In spite of Memphis advantage in turnovers, Indiana still outscored the Grizzlies 29-15.
Overall, it was just a sloppy performance from the Grizzlies. Shooting 13 of 23 from the free throw line won’t get it done, and it didn’t help that the Grizzlies’ two stars, Gasol and Conley, combined to shoot just 10 of 24 from the field.
Hopefully this is just Memphis shaking off the rust from the week off, and they’ll be ready for Denver on Sunday, a much more important contest against a Western Conference opponent.