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Grizzlies win Tankapalooza 2018, lose to Suns 110-102

Good efforts from Gasol, Green were not enough.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

11 months ago the Memphis Grizzlies were in a playoff race.

Now? The Grizzlies are losing 11 in a row and are in a free fall to the bottom of the standings after a winless month of February.

The Grizzlies lost at home to the also-really-bad Phoenix Suns 110-102 Wednesday night. There were flashes of good play, per usual, and Marc Gasol and JaMychal Green in particular should be commended for the effort they displayed trying to keep Memphis in this game for the full 48 minutes. The Grizzlies were simply not good enough on this night.

Some quick takeaways-

  • Gasol and Green were leaders in multiple ways in this contest. They both played their collective tails off, but they also were the main reason the Grizzlies offense struggled in this one. A combined 11-35 shooting night for the best two Grizzlies on the floor is not enough for Memphis to beat anyone in their current form, effort aside. You can appreciate two veterans being good examples for younger players in terms of professionalism while also acknowledging their offensive games simply were not up to par on this night.
  • Shout-out to Andrew Harrison (20 points on 11 shots, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) and Jarell Martin (16 points on 10 shots) on posting efficient nights. Both players continue to be far outside of their ideal roles - Harrison as a starter, Martin as a wing player (yikes) - but given how this season has gone, we will take any rays of sunshine through the dark clouds we can get.
  • Ben McLemore may be in the midst of one of the all-time worst seasons for a Memphis Grizzlies player. He played roughly 9 minutes and was a -15. Yes, plus/minus is a flawed stat, but that’s still pretty miserable, and telling. Combine that particular number with the eye test, and he is a lost, bad basketball player right now. Can he be saved? Perhaps, he is still relatively young. But for whatever reason (health, missing training camp, etc), his signing has been a gigantic failure to this point.

On one hand Memphis took a step forward toward a high draft pick tonight and, in theory, toward a brighter future. On the other hand, this is the worst the Grizzlies have looked in a very long time. Like, Vancouver bad. Worst days of the Pyramid bad. Are improved lottery odds worth what the state of this team is?

That’s up to you to decide. For now, Memphis grinds on toward the end of this miserable campaign. Up next is a date with the Denver Nuggets Friday night.

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