The Grizzlies, now 40-32, fell 97-90 to the San Antonio Spurs (55-16) at the Alamo Dome last night (the Spurs’ first win this season against Memphis), in a chippy, defensive-minded grind fest. The final score was closer than most of the game felt.
Marc Gasol: C+
It was Gasol vs. Gasol last night, as the defensive-minded four-time All-Star Marc occasionally faced off against his more finesse-oriented big brother Pau, a six-time All-Star (albeit not one this season) who was engaged with some efficient shooting near the bucket early on (he was on the receiving end of some good Tony Parker passes). Though Dewayne Dedmon started, he logged just 11 minutes to Pau’s 26. Pau was contained to just 9 points and 4 boards, but his brother didn’t fare a whole lot better in 13 more minutes of floor time. Marc had 13 points on 6-of-15 shooting (pretty horrible for an All-Star center), to go along with 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 foul, and and an ugly 6 turnovers. He was -2 overall.
Vince Carter: C-
Carter had a horrible shooting night, scoring 9 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field in 25 minutes. All of his makes were treys, as he went 3-of-8 from distance. Carter also pulled down 2 rebounds, dished 1 assist, and finished as a +6 in plus-minus. He wasn’t nearly as good as that stat suggests.
Mike Conley: B-
In 36 minutes, Conley scrapped his way to 22 points on a miserable 7-of-18 shooting from the field (38.9%!). He was Memphis’ high scorer by a wide margin over Gasol. Going 1-of-8 from three-point range certainly didn’t help matters. A -6 overall, Conley collected 6 assists and 2 rebounds, and gambled for 3 turnovers and 2 fouls.
JaMychal Green: C+
Aside from good three-point shooting this season (38.8% on the year) Green has been Memphis’ power forward response to starting Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon in that he’s an athlete who can’t do much when he isn’t around the basket. Green had just 7 points in 21 minutes (albeit on 3-of-3 shooting), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 foul, and was -14 in overall plus-minus. This is where I would say the Grizzlies should really explore bringing Zach Randolph back jnto the starting lineup, except the 35 year-old former All-Star has been ice cold from all over the floor of late. You know who might be worth a look at starting power forward? Chandler Parsons. Oh, wait...
Tony Allen: D+
TA swapped preferential position with brand-new signee Wayne Selden Jr., as coach David Fizdale pencilled in the Grindfather to start at shooting guard and made Selden a healthy scratch on this night. Those roles were reversed in Memphis’ Wednesday defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans. Allen went 4-for-9 in 28 minutes, had 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block and 3 fouls. He was -10 overall.
Zach Randolph: C-
Randolph once again couldn't buy a bucket from the floor, as in 27 minutes he scored a scant 8 points (going 2-of-7 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line). He did secure 7 rebounds and dish out 2 assists, which helped t offset his 1 turnover and 2 fouls. Z-Bo was a +8 from the floor last night, but don't let that fool you: he wasn't very helpful to the cause.
Aside from Randolph’s mixed bag of a night, Andrew Harrison and Troy Daniels played okay, scoring 8 and 6 points respectively in finite floor time, but mere competence won't get it done against a behemoth like the Spurs. Considering that the Grizzlies are playing themselves deeper into a first-round 2-7 matchup with San Antonio, you'd think a bit more effort would have been extended tonight, especially in the early going.