Memphis did have a strong push late in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie under one minute left. But alas, the story ends the same.
The @WashWizards close out the victory in the last seconds to beat the @memgrizz 102-100 in Memphis!— NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2018
Beal: 34 PTS, 5 AST
Wall: 25 PTS, 9 AST, 4 STL
Morris: 12 PTS, 17 REB#DCFamily pic.twitter.com/zYlN0ccVFB
Friday night was the first home game of nine in the month of January, but the Grizz did protect the FedExForum from the scoring magic of the Wizards. It’s no secret that Memphis is struggling mightily, and Friday night was no different.
The offense struggled to look fluid. Tyreke Evans got his and basically no one else did, and we got to see Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons sport their high-dollar suits on the bench. Life is tough for Grizzlies fans, but we are all here for one another. Below are my grades for the Friday night match up versus the Wizards.
Tyreke Evans, B
What else can we say about Evans? He is the one and only bailout the Grizzlies ever have. He is virtually the only player that can create his own shot, and he has to do that quite often. The main reason his grade isn’t higher is his tendency to settle for long range shots when he simply doesn’t have to. He is so creative driving to the rim, there is no reason to ever settle for step-back jumpers or contested threes. He was a big part of the late comeback Friday night as he was the only scoring option we had down the stretch.
He is the most tradeable asset the Grizzlies have, and we should all hope he does indeed get traded. But while he is still in Memphis, we can take credit for his personal rebuild.
Mario Chalmers, C+
As much as it hurts me to say, Chalmers actually played pretty well. He still committed dumb fouls and flopped his way to the free throw line. But he made smart plays as well, the right passes at the right time, and stayed away from his unfortunately creative reverse layups. Chalmers has under-performed this season to say the least, but he showed signs of being a decent back up.
With less than a minute to go, the Grizzlies were down three points with the ball. Chalmers sprinted full court, threw up his patented flop-floater, which was essentially a turnover. The Grizzlies lost any real shot at a comeback after that bad decision, which was really just Chalmers’ season in a nutshell.
The Bigs, C+
Marc Gasol looked a little more like himself against the Wizards. He looked comfortable matching up with the Wizards’ Marcin Gortat, and he finally looked engaged on both ends of the floor, including a quiet 5 blocks on the defensive side. Once he decides that post moves towards the rim are easier than fadeaways, we may see a glimpse of the complete Marc Gasol we are all searching for.
The grade is low because JaMychal Green is just lost. He can’t seem to find a role in any lineup. He hangs out in no-man’s-land (free-throw line extended area) and if/when he gets the ball, he takes a few seconds to decide what his next move will be. Him and Jarrell Martin are playing the position equally as terrible as the other, so the power forward position is rough right now. The Wizards exploited this match up by sagging off both Green and Martin and clogging the lane for Gasol and Brandan Wright.
Deyonta Davis was nowhere to be found, we don’t know why.
Everyone else, C-
There isn’t much else to grade, so perhaps that’s an indication that there should be an even worse grade. But I have sympathy for this Grizzlies team. The players didn’t ask to be put together so poorly and no matter the coaching, it’s just not going to work. The Wizards benefited from Friday night’s game by using it as an organized scrimmage to work on shooting and passing drills. The Grizzlies seemed to oblige.
As this season spirals further out of control, teams like the Washington Wizards will feast off of playing the Grizzlies. Unfortunately, its tough for the bench and fringe players to learn from these type games with no structure or direction. Friday night’s match up was a clear indication of this.
Overall Grade, F
Need I say more? The Grizzlies just aren’t doing anything well. Tyreke Evans is fun to watch, but this is a team, so they get graded together. Though there are some flashes of athleticism and young players contributing, these stretches are short-lived and infrequent. Embrace the tank, Memphis.
Hubie Brown’s Color Commentary, F
Unfortunately, without fail, when the Memphis Grizzlies have the rare ESPN telecast, Hubie Brown is put on the color commentary call. He is almost exclusively chosen because of his former connection to the team (head coach of the Grizz from 2002-04). He is just so hard to listen to as a color commentator. If you have the option to never listen to him broadcast a game again, exercise that option. He says very little valuable commentary and ask at least one million rhetorical questions a game.
ESPN’s lack of sideline reporting, A
Has anyone else noticed that the play-by-play announcer of the telecast also does the in-between quarter coach interviews? That means ESPN is choosing not to have a sideline reporter, who contribute quite little if they are present anyway, and just have the play-by-play person walk around their booth to ask two questions. I love it.
Memphis is off until January 10th when they will host the New Orleans Pelicans.