Well, the clean injury report was fun while it lasted. On Wednesday night, the fairy tale finally came to an end as the Grizzlies were without the services of Vince Carter, who took the night off to enjoy an Early Bird Special and a game of shuffleboard (i.e. rest), and Zach Randolph, who had foot soreness.
But the Grizzlies still took the court to face off with the Phoenix Suns in a game of something vaguely resembling basketball. After the defensive showdown against the Kawhi-less Spurs, the Grizzlies went full slop-fest against Phoenix, who are currently one game ahead of (behind? I dunno) the Lakers for the worst record in the West.
The Grizzlies started off playing fairly well. They held the Suns to just 15 first quarter points and held a 14-point lead at one point during the second quarter, but a Suns run to end the half and a scoring burst out of halftime allowed the Suns to claw back within five.
Phoenix refused to go away quietly, but behind Mike Conley (23 points), Marc Gasol (19 points), and a few key shots from some role players, the Grizzlies eventually salted the game away, earning a 110-91 victory. It wasn’t pretty, but Memphis got the job done.
Here are a couple of takeaways from tonight’s game.
Good Chandler Parsons Sighting!
Most of the Parsons talk coming out of this game will likely be related to this cup check by Leandro Barbosa:
...which makes sense because it’s really funny.
But Parsons looked as good as he’s looked in a Grizz uniform (though that isn’t saying much). Parsons went 3-6 from the field in the first half, including 2-3 from three. He finished the night 3-7, with 8 points, but he also chipped in 7 assists and 3 rebounds. It wasn’t high scoring, but it was slightly more efficient shooting, and Parsons was able to help the offense in other ways as well.
Right now, that sort of improvement, even if mild, is at least a step in the right direction.
Grizzlies Bring the Easy D
The Grizzlies’ defense has looked more promising the last few games, and it was present against the Suns. As mentioned before, the Grizzlies held the Suns to just 15 points in the first quarter, and the Suns shot just 31% from the field through the third quarter.
Memphis got some help from missed open shots (like Devin Booker missing a wide open dunk), but the Grizzlies did a good job contesting shots as well, blocking 8 shots on the night. However, they did struggle on the glass. The Suns out-rebounded them by 5, including 18 offensive rebounds.
Andrew Harrison: 2 Minute Warning
(NOTE: Yes, the tweet says DNP. I realize he ended up playing two minutes, but it wasn’t until the game was, for all intents and purposes, over.)
Well, at least the Grizzlies got Toney Douglas so that Andrew Harrison could go sit on the bench and never ever play another meaningful minute again.
Anyway, Douglas didn’t look particularly exciting, and most of his 11 points (2-6 from the field) came after the game was out of reach. Douglas also had just 3 assists to go with 4 (!!!) turnovers. Not great, Bob.
Other Note: FIGHT
At the end of the game Troy Daniels hit a three and got fouled and said something. Then things got REEEEEALLY chippy. Tyler Ulis got involved, Devin Booker got involved, and Alex Len came off the bench and will likely be suspended. After a good long delay, there were six technical fouls handed out, and three players (Alan Williams, Marquese Chriss, Troy Daniels) were ejected.
THEN THEY TRIED TO MAKE Z-BO COME IN TO SHOOT THE AND-1 FREE THROW. YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS UP.
Anyway, it was great.
Juste au moment où je pose ce précédent tweet.... BARFIGHT ! pic.twitter.com/Vc9nvmg9Dr— Memphis Grizzlies FR (@GrizzliesFR) February 9, 2017
Translation: At the moment I made that last tweet... BAR FIGHT!
(Note: French Grizz Twitter is an underrated Twitter account and you should follow them.)
Next Up: Golden State Warriors
The Grizzlies will have Thursday off before they go for 3-0 against the Golden State Warriors on Friday at 7:00 p.m. CST at FedExForum.