The Memphis Grizzlies lost. Again.
It was by a lot. Again.
The Boston Celtics looked the part of NBA Finals contender on Monday night against the hapless Grizzlies, but that was supposed to happen. Boston was a double-digit favorite, and they took care of business to the tune of 109-98. They defended especially well (43.6% overall shooting for Memphis, aided by a hot 4th quarter, and 21.7% from three) and the Grizzlies simply could not get much going without their main offensive piece Tyreke Evans creating for himself and others on the perimeter. Andrew Harrison and Dillon Brooks cannot be that type of player. Mario Chalmers and Ben McLemore surely cannot be that guy for these Grizzlies.
It’s a roster that is irreparably broken...for this season, anyway. Tyreke or Chandler Parsons aren’t saving this crew. They simply do not have the horses.
That’s not to say there aren’t positives. The Grizzlies fought in the fourth quarter and made the game look closer than it really was - Memphis was down by 25+ at multiple points in the game, but they didn’t simply lay down and take it. Marc Gasol (17 points on 10 shots, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) continues to lead, putting forth solid effort as he tries to keep this team competitive. JaMychal Green (19 points on 11 shots, 10 rebounds) continued his solid level of play of late. Deyonta Davis and Andrew Harrison showed flashes of what might might eventually be if they were able to be put in the proper role on this roster. Dillon Brooks was the only player with a positive +/- on the evening (a flawed stat in a single game, but still) and continues to possibly be this season’s steal in the second round of the NBA Draft.
There are reasons to watch. And hope both a high lottery pick and a better day. It all comes down to how you take in these games...and what you watch for. Another loss makes 10 in a row for the Grizzlies, who have fallen far from their recent playoff past.
Here’s to hoping the growing pains of this young roster now will pay off in the long run, when health and good fortune hopefully will smile on Memphis once again.