The Grizzlies fell the the Sacramento Kings last night 91-90. The Kings clinched the win with a phantom foul that gave Darren Collison two FT’s. Blame the call all you want, but the Grizzlies should not have been in that position against a team like the Kings. The Grizz need to be better if they want to make any noise in the playoffs.
Mike Conley - A
Mike Conley needs help. He’s carried the team the last few games with inconsisent efforts from Marc Gasol, Z-Bo, and JaMychal Green. Tonight he scored 22 points with 9 assists and did the best he could to put the Grizzlies in a position to win the game. It wasn’t the best shooting effort from him tonight (8-23 in 40 minutes) but considering the heavy workload put on him, he gets a pass.
Zach Randolph - B
Z-Bo disappeared for greater parts of this game but did enough work at the beginning and end of the game to earn a B. He finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds, but he was a liability on the defensive end as the Kings athletic big men scored with ease down low.
Brandan Wright - B
Wright was arguably the teams second best player last night. He scored a modest 11 points on 5-7 shooting but he was big defensively down the stretch to keep the Grizzlies in the game. His style of play is perfect to slow down guys like Willie Cauley-Stein flying to the rim.
JaMychal Green - D
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. JaMychal Green got in early foul trouble and was virtually a non-factor the rest of the game. The early foul trouble, combined with Wright’s strong play, resulted in a disappointing 21 minute outing for JaM. With Gasol out, JaM had the opportunity to step his game up (like he did against GSW) but he flopped tonight when the team needed him.
Tony Allen - C
TA only played 19 minutes tonight but still seemed worn out throughout the game. Shooting 3-7 from the field for TA is usually an acceptable effort but factor in the multiple missed layups, in crucial moments, and that hurts TA’s grade.
Andrew Harrison - C
With Parsons out, Harrison has returned to his role as Grizz scapegoat when things go wrong. He had a nice scoring spree and sprinkled in a few snazzy passes, but Grizz fans will remember Darren Collison running right past Harrison when looking back on this game. Harrison could have done more defensively to slow Collison down but his overall game wasn’t as bad as Grizz fans will make it seem.
The Wings (Vince Carter, James Ennis, Troy Daniels) - D
The wing combo was a burden on the Grizzlies all night. The back-to-back seem to have worn Vince down since his shot wasn’t falling and he was pretty ineffective throughout. James Ennis was a complete non-factor on offense and nearly crippled the Grizzlies comeback effort with a dumb foul on a Ty Lawson 3 point attempt. Troy Daniels continued his ice cold shooting (1-7 from 3) and forced too many of his shots.
David Fizdale - D
Coach Fizdale needs to find some sort of offensive rhythm for this team other than letting Mike Conley run around and do his thing. The Grizz offense sputters way too much without any changes from Fizdale. He did a good job of lighting a fire into the team to spark the comeback effort but then followed that with questionable decisions down the stretch. Down 1 with 35 seconds left, he called a TO and the following play call was a deep, forced, 3 from Troy Daniels. Z-Bo collected the rebound and hit 2 FT’s to give the Grizzlies a 1 point lead. Then after a Kings turnover, Fizdale used his last time out to set up a Conley fadeaway that clinked off the rim (he also chose to leave Andrew Harrison in the game, who then got called for a foul that lead to the Collison GW FT’s).
The lack of timeout forced the Grizzlies to dribble the ball up the length of a court for a forced shot instead of allowing the team to draw up a potential game winning play. Every decision a coach makes is a risk, and Fizdale came up empty last night.
With the OKC comeback against the Mavs, this loss moves the Grizzlies 2.5 games behind the Thunder, making the 7 seed the most likely Grizzlies home for the playoffs. The Grizz will look to turn their fortunes around when they return home to face the Pacers on Wednesday.