The Memphis Grizzlies are an upper echelon Western Conference team. Yet they have an unfortunate habit of sleepwalking through games against teams trailing them in the standings. Such was the case against the Dallas Mavericks. In a game seemingly pivotal to getting the road split on the back to back tour of Texas, the Bears of Beale managed to squander a golden opportunity against the new look Mavericks.
Let’s get to the grades
Zach Randolph: A+
24 pts (11-14 fg), 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, -2 (+/-)
Z-Bo turned back the clock for the Grizzlies in this one. Generally players don’t get such a high grade in a disappointing loss. I understand that some even may disagree on this one, but the fact of the matter is that the Grizzlies don’t have a chance in this game without him. The Mavericks had no answer for him, and he bullied his way to another fantastic game for the Grizzlies.
Mike Conley: B+
30 pts (9-15 fg), 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover 1 steal, -7 (+/-)
The Conductor turned in another solid performance, but his high scoring game felt oddly empty. In a game where he should have completely outclassed his backcourt foe Yogi Ferrell, Conley left Grizzlies fans wanting more. Scoring 30 points on only 15 shots is a fantastic evening from the PG, but the Grizzlies needed a more well rounded performance to come away with a win in Dallas.
Side Note: It only took until the 5:24 mark in the first quarter to hear the first snarky comment about Conley’s contract from Mavericks TV man Mark Followell.
Vince Carter: B+
10 pts (3-7 fg) 2 rebs, 2 assists, +5 (+/-)
Vince Carter is amazing. It cannot be overstated how important he is to the Grizzlies as a 40 year old in today’s NBA. Against the Mavericks he was exactly the player that Memphis needs him to be, knocking down three 3’s en route to another double figure outing for the ageless wonder.
Jamychal Green: C-
5 pts (2-4 fg), 7 reb, 1 assist, +4 (+/-)
Tough night for JaM. He was just kind of out there. The best thing about a player like Green is that he can affect the game without scoring. His energy and defense are a vital part of what makes the Grizzlies successful. Yet, make no mistake, when he scores, the Grizzlies offense flows. His ability to create extra possessions on the offensive glass always seem to give the Grizzlies extra scoring punch. Tonight he didn’t collect a single offensive rebound. To be successful, the Grizzlies need more out of their starting PF.
Tony Douglas: C-
4pts (1-2 fg), 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover, -2 (+/-)
Backup PG has been a revolving door of mediocrity for the Memphis Grizzlies this year. With some pundits bemoaning the premature signing of Douglas with other options available, he has nonetheless been a serviceable backup. He can defend either guard spot, initiate the offense with a steady reliability, and he brings a certain toughness to the second unit. All niceties aside, Douglas less than stellar tonight. The offense was stagnant and the ball didn’t always go where it needed to go. Ultimately that falls partly on Douglas.
Marc Gasol: D+
13 pts (6-18 fg), 6 rebs, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, -10 (+/-)
Big Spain struggled against the younger, longer Nerlens Noel. Often settling for fall away jumpers, the shot just wasn't there for the center tonight. He was aggressive in looking to score, but just couldn’t seem to find a rhythm or comfort. Memphis generally goes as Gasol goes, and unfortunately it just wasn’t there for the Greatest Grizzly of all time in this one. Here’s hoping he bounces back in a big way against the Rockets.
Tony Allen: D-
7 pts (3-6 fg), 2 rebs, 1 steal, 1 turnover, -7 (+/-)
The Grindfather was a disappointment tonight. There is no way around it. He brings unbelievable energy night in and night out. Unfortunately sometimes that just isn’t enough. His lack of offensive skill is generally offset by the slashing, cutting, and run out layups he can generate. Those weren’t there tonight, but odds are that TA gets into double figures vs the Rockets on the second night of a back to back. The Grizzlies will need a big effort from him against James Harden, and Allen will be eager to redeem himself.
Chandler Parsons: D-
7 pts (3-11 fg), 4 rebs, 1 turnover, -7 (+/-)
I loved the summer signing of Chandler Parsons. He has the skill set to to take the Grizzlies from middle of the road western conference team to legit contender. His first quarter showing had me sitting on the edge of my seat. He posted smaller defenders, he attacked early, buried a corner three, and did a fine guarding Dirk Nowitzki. Unfortunately as the game wore on his shot flattened and feet slowed. He just doesn’t look right. It has become a legitimate question what to do with him between now and the playoffs. Make no mistake, he has progressed and is trending the right way. But it really looks like James Ennis or Troy Daniels could do more at this point to contribute to a sustained Grizzlies playoff seeding push.
Troy Daniels: F
0 pts (0-5 fg), 1 reb, 1 steal, 1 turnover, +4 (+/-)
Troy Daniels is a gunner. His role is to shoot, and he is eager to oblige. If he doesn’t have it on a given night, he isn’t going to be of much help. He didn’t hurt the Grizzlies in this one, but he certainly didn’t give them any kind of lift.
David Fizdale: C-
Coach Fiz does a great job with his lineups and tonight was no different. It always seems like he has the right mix of guys on the floor. The one maddening character flaw he continues to exhibit is his careless use of timeouts. Time and time again it seems the Grizzlies are short on timeouts as the game winds down. Tonight was more of the same. The late technical foul he received was also a head scratching moment for the first year coach. Never smart to jump the referee’s in a two possession game with under a minute to play.