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Report Card: Grizzlies Hit New Low in Loss to Brooklyn

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Grading the Grizzlies after their 122-109 defeat to the Brooklyn Nets

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was the final match-up of the season between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets, and the Grizzlies fell to the Nets, 122-109.

The first half was frustrating for Memphis. The Grizzlies typically play close games, but a one-point lead at halftime against the worst team in the league is as frustrating as it gets.

This was easily the worst loss of the season for the Memphis Grizzlies. Let’s see how the team graded out on a no good, terrible, very bad night.

Mike Conley: A

32 PTS, 6 ASTs, 9/15 FGs, 3/5 3PTs, 2 TOs, 39 MINs

Mike Conley continued his hot tear against the Nets. Heading into the game, he was averaging 24.6 PPG on 54% shooting since the All-Star break. Conley continued that trend with another great game. He had a game-high 32 and seemed to be the only Memphis Grizzly in an offensive rhythm.

For all of the flack Mike Conley has received for his mega-contract, this was a game that showed he is deserving as ever. Since Gasol was having an off shooting night, Conley had to step up even more. This is the efficiency that typically comes with a Mike Conley game, but with a much higher volume of scoring.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Gasol: B-

18 PTS, 6 REBs, 4 ASTs, 4/11 FG, 8/10 FTs, 2 BLKs, 34 MINs

Marc Gasol had a respectable game against the Nets. His numbers were slightly below his averages, but he continued to be a good weapon on the offensive end.

Gasol wasn’t the most efficient in his shooting, but he was still able to have an impact. His passing is always good and he was able to divert double teams with it. Gasol was also able to get to the line often and slow down the game with free throws.

However, Gasol couldn’t get into a rhythm offensively. After a hot first quarter, he only made 1 field goal. This team is starving for points, so the Grizzlies can’t have its most important player struggling to hit shots within the offense.

Brandan Wright: C+

9 PTS, 4 REBs, 4/6 FG, 18 MINs

Brandan Wright was decent for the Grizzlies as he slid into the starting lineup. The Grizzlies have had struggles defending athletic big men since the All-Star break, so the idea was that Wright would be able to give the Grizzlies the athletic edge for once.

Wright got into early foul trouble, but he was still able to produce for the Grizzlies.

Brandan Wright showed off his abilities as a roll man in pick-and-roll situations multiple times. With a great ball-handler like Mike Conley distributing, he was able to make the most of it with high-percentage shots near the rim, where Wright either dunked or drew a foul off the roll.

All in all, it was a good start for Brandan Wright, but not a major positive impact. Wright and Gasol on the court has shown to be a promising duo, and this was a good step in the right direction.

Chandler Parsons: A-

12 PTS, 3 ASTs, 2/3 3P, 22 MINs

It has to be said that all Chandler Parsons reviews are graded on a curve. When the season has been as rough as it has for Parsons, one has to really appreciate the good games.

Chandler Parsons was playing a lot more naturally last night. When Conley was on the bench, Parsons assumed some point-forward responsibilities. He performed pretty well in that spot, making smart passes and taking care of the ball.

He also was great as the ball-handler in pick-and-roll. Whether it was Gasol or Wright as the screener, Chandler Parsons made the right decision as the defense reacted. He even made a pull-up three!

In a vacuum, this would have been a very average game for most players, but considering the low points of the season, this performance by Parsons should be celebrated.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Harrison: D

5 PTS, 1 AST, 2 TOs, 1/4 FGs, 22 MINs

Coincidentally, Harrison’s grade is also the exact reason why he got that grade.

Andrew Harrison was inserted to the starting lineup on Tuesday. He was going to replace Tony Allen to allow Mike Conley to play SG while Harrison runs the offense and guards the other team’s SG.

Guarding the other team’s SG seemed to be a problem for Harrison. He was constantly late on his defensive rotations, late contesting shots, and would lose his man for crucial parts of the possession.

Harrison’s ball-handling and athleticism were helpful in this game, which is why he didn’t fail, but the defense was atrocious and it led to several key baskets for the Nets. Andrew Harrison was not going to replace Tony Allen defensively, but being a liability on that end will not keep him in the starting lineup.

David Fizdale: C-

David Fizdale made the beginning of the game very interesting by implementing a new starting lineup. JaMychal Green and Tony Allen were benched for Brandan Wright and Andrew Harrison.

The lineup change was a good idea. Andrew Harrison allowed Conley to work off-the-ball and act as SG while Brandan Wright was going to provide some more length and athleticism.

I give a lot of credit to Fizdale for changing his starting lineup. It shows a lot to be willing to change what usually works.

But the lineup change didn’t exactly work, and it left the lineups awkward all game. With that, and a poor overall effort and energy from the team, it’s hard to give Fizdale an above-average grade.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Team Offense: C+

Stats: 109 PTS, 44.2% FG, 40% 3P, 16 Turnovers

The Grizzlies showing on offense was a stop-and-go performance. As hot as the Grizzlies were in the 1st quarter, they were that cold in the 4th. The Grizzlies started the game 7/7 on 3-point shooting. The hot start allowed Memphis to stay in the game while the defense continued to give up points.

Despite that start, the 4th quarter was a different story. The Grizzlies scored 15 points in the final period while the Nets scored 34 on their own.

The Grizzlies also struggled with ball security. The Grizzlies had 8 turnovers in the first quarter alone(16 total). The turnover pace fell, but there were sloppy passes and poor dribbling all throughout the game.

The offense was able to shoot somewhat efficiently. The Grizzlies 3-point shooting was good enough to keep them in the game, but the combination of inconsistency and turnovers didn’t allow the Grizzlies to get into a rhythm.

Team Defense: F

Opp. Stats: 122 PTS, 53.4% FG, 46.7% 3P, 17 turnovers

There’s absolutely no getting around how bad the defense was in this game. The Grizzlies showed absolutely no interest in stopping the Nets in transition. The Grizzlies have the 4th best defensive efficiency in the league, yet allowed 122 points against the Brooklyn Nets.

That’s a bad showing as it is, but allowing it to happen to the Brooklyn Nets made it vomit-inducing to watch.

The defense was over-helping leaving the Nets wide open driving lanes, they were not getting back in transition, and they were not being as physical as is customary in Memphis. The Nets had one more turnover than the Grizzlies, yet the Grizzlies gave up 15 more points off of turnovers (30-15).

The defensive breakdowns were constant and they were absolutely killer. The Grizzlies are known for their great defense and that defense was nowhere to be found on Tuesday. This was a failure.

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