The Memphis Grizzlies began their longest west coast road trip of the year in perhaps the last place you want to start off such a trip. Memphis headed into Oracle Arena with a three game losing streak to the Golden State Warriors and a current two game losing streak overall.
While the Grizz were never expected to win this game, the news of Mike Conley missing this one due to a hamstring made it a nearly impossible task.
Would you believe it if I told you the Grizzlies actually had a lead in this game and it wasn't the first basket of the game? Memphis led 10-9 but looked up a few minutes later to be down 10.
For the Grizz to have a chance in this game, it was going to have to be a weird night. The first quarter was actually kind of weird. The Warriors only hit two three pointers, both by Jonas Jerebko, one of which he banked in at the end of the quarter. Jordan Bell also missed a wide open dunk and things looked possible. The defense was holding the three superstars in check.
However, the Grizzlies sent the Dubs to the line 10 times in the first quarter and they shot 100% on the way to a 30-22 lead at the end of 1.
Memphis had another miserable second quarter only scoring 16 points offensively while giving up a 31 point quarter to Golden State. With Mike being out, the Grizz needed to run everything through Marc to have a chance, and the team got away from that in the second quarter.
The truth is that if only the second half counted, the Grizzlies would have won this game! For the second straight game, Memphis did not show up until the second half. They jumped out the gate with a 9-0 run to cut it to a 14 point deficit providing hope that was quickly snatched away by a 7-0 run by the bad guys.
The squad did answer with another 5-0 run and ended up winning the quarter 29-23, a very off brand third quarter between the Warriors and Grizz. Typically the third is when the Warriors blast off and the Grizz falter, but the Grizzlies grinded their way down to a 17 point deficit into the 4th.
Golden State played their stars late into the quarter to make sure Memphis never gained momentum. However, the guys hung tough and ended up tying the quarter thanks to Omri Casspi taking over and ending the night with 20 points.
- Shelvin Mack, the hopefully soon to be third string point guard, was the worst player on the floor tonight with a -13 in +/-. The Grizzlies brass probably knew this was going to be an L, so they decided to let Conley heal that hamstring. Probably the best move long term because hamstrings can linger for months. What the coaching staff was hoping was to get steady early season Mack, instead they got a point guard who couldn't even make a proper entry pass.
- The Grizzlies had 16 turnovers and gave up 6 offensive rebounds while the Warriors had 10 turnovers while only giving up 2 offensive rebounds. This means we gave an ELITE offensive team 10 more possessions. To beat this team, you have to win the turnover battle and be better on the boards. Giving them more opportunities to score when you are a team that struggles to score isn't going to work.
- Marc Gasol took 9 shots in 26 minutes. Not 19. NINE. On a night with no Mike Conley, Gasol takes 9 shots. So turn to our third best player, Jaren Jackson Jr. only takes 6 shots and only plays 22 minutes. The only positive in this entire scenario is the small amount of minutes for Gasol. He probably could have benefitted to just never see the floor tonight and rest himself, but Marc would never do that.
- Wayne Selden played three minutes. He did not even get garbage time minutes. His time with the team is clearly ticking. Maybe Phoenix is still interested.
- Yuta Watanabe got his first career field goal in the NBA, so that’s awesome.
Omri Casspi: 20 points and 6 rebounds (80% from the field, 50% from three)
Kyle Anderson 14 points and 5 rebounds
Marc Gasol 15 points 6 rebounds and 6 assists
Garrett Temple 13 points