The Grizzlies lost to the Spurs last night in what was a very disappointing performance after the way the team looked in Memphis. Mike Conley continued his super-human play, but the rest of the team might as well have stayed home. The Grizzlies fought to make the game competitive but it wasn’t enough. Here’s how the squad graded out following the game.
Mike Conley - A+
What else is there to say about Mike Conley? He’s been insane this series and single-handedly carried the Grizzlies last night. He dropped 26 points and 6 assists on 10-17 shooting. I’m at a loss for words to describe how amazing Mike has been. So instead, I’m going to talk about how his “help” hasn’t been there.
Marc Gasol - D
Hot Take: Marc Gasol has been terrible the last two games (minus the game-winner, obviously). He’s struggled shooting the ball, and has been passive because of it. To make matters worse, Gasol’s body language has continued to suck throughout his (and the team’s) struggles. The Grizzlies need, and should expect, more out of their All-Star center if they want to send the series back to San Antonio for a Game 7.
Zach Randolph - D
I miss the Zach Randolph that destroyed David Lee in Game 3. After that game, the Spurs have shut Z-Bo down, leaving him mostly ineffective. The worrisome part with Z-Bo is the fact that David Lee has been one of the main defenders that have shut him down. With Marc struggling, the Grizzlies need someone to step up alongside Conley if they want to be competitive.
James Ennis III - C
I feel bad for James. Not only does he have the impossible task of trying to slow down Kawhi Leonard, but he’s also put in a situation where he needs to be more of an offensive threat than he truly is. He started off the game with a nice personal 5-0 run, but needs to make the corner 3 more consistently to be effective on offense. Ennis didn’t have a bad game; unfortunately the Grizzlies need him to be more than just James Ennis.
Vince Carter - C
It’s amazing that Vince Carter, 40 years old in case you forgot, is playing 30+ minutes in the playoffs. He’s been a solid veteran presence on and off the court this series. Vince had an average game but it hurt the Grizzlies that he was unable to take advantage of Tony Parker guarding him to start the game. Vince got a couple of good looks, but the shots didn’t fall, and frankly the Grizzlies needed them to drop.
JaMychal Green - B
JaMychal bumped his grade up following a strong second half performance that helped inspire the Grizzlies’ comeback effort. He hit all 3 of his 3-pointers in the second half and was a monster over a 6 minute stretch. However, JaM was not good at all in the other 18 minutes he played in the game. He’s had a great series so far, but when the Grizz needed him the most JaM disappeared.
Andrew Harrison - C
Andrew Harrison followed up his Game 4 heroics by coming out flat in San Antonio. He had a few sequences where he played well, but his defense was not good, allowing Tony Parker and Patty Mills to score at will. He had a nice stretch in the 4th where he played well enough to allow Conley to get some rest, but the pull up 3-pointers with 20 seconds on the shot clock should never, ever, happen with Harrison. He’s a rookie, and he played like it last night.
Troy Daniels - D
Sometimes the threat of Troy Daniels is better than the actual Troy Daniels. Daniels being on the court forced Kawhi to switch on him, which allowed for Conley to get off his shot that sent Game 4 into OT. Last night, Daniels being on the court opened up some space on the court that gave Conley some driving lanes and didn’t allow the Spurs to help off as much as they would like. The actual Troy Daniels didn’t even attempt a shot, and got roasted on defense.
In a span of mere seconds, Daniels allowed Patty Mills to drain two 3-pointers that spun the momentum of the game back in the Spurs direction. Simply put, if Troy Daniels isn’t shooting and making shots, he shouldn’t be on the floor.
The bench as a whole was awful, being outscored by the Spurs bench 46-30. Take away a few garbage time buckets and that stat looks much worse. The saying goes that role players play better at home, and the Grizzlies better hope their role (and star) players step it up for Thursday’s critical Game 6.