The Grizzlies come out of Miami defeated, losing the game 112-108. It was another frustrating contest as the team faltered down the stretch. It was a close contest that the Grizzlies just could not end up taking control of.
With four minutes to go, it was only a one possession game. Teams traded buckets back and forth, but the game pretty much ended with Shelvin Mack getting blocked at the rim by Dwyane Wade. Regardless of how the play came to be, there is one thing that Shelvin Mack should know, and it is to not challenge the king of Miami on his home court.
The Grizzlies go back to their losing ways after they just snapped a six-game losing streak last time out against the Spurs at home. It was a tough one to swallow as the Heat have definitely been beatable all season long, but they are most definitely a different team on their home floor.
Justise Winslow was the high scorer on the Heat roster with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson both contributed with 14 points. It was the Heat 3-point shooting which was the main stat of the night. They finished the game shooting 15-31 or 48.4% compared to the Grizzlies 31.0%.
It was just a night where the Grizzlies could not get going on the road. The first quarter was actually their friend for the first time most of this season, but then the second half failures continued as the stumbled down the stretch.
Now to last night’s grades:
Mike Conley- B
Conley had himself another solid game in the box score. He finished his night with 22 points and added 7 assists. Conley didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but when the team doesn’t win, questions will be asked. Specifically, why wasn’t the ball in his hands down the stretch of this game?
It wasn’t as if the moment was too big for him, but it was on others to get him the ball for the Grizzlies chance to win the game. He passed it away on the possession with Mack getting blocked by Wade, but the alpha dog mentality needs to guarantee the ball in his hands with a chance to win the game. It wasn’t, so the criticism needs to be shifted towards Conley a bit.
Garrett Temple- D
Temple had another Garrett Temple night. I have written that sentence too many times, so now his grade gets deducted because of it. It is just so frustrating that a starting shooting guard isn’t expected to score in double digits for a team each night. Temple scored 9 points in 31 minutes, and I am finished giving him credit in losing efforts for the Grizzlies. Yes, he is a glue guy, especially on the defensive side of things, but he only took 6 shots in 31 minutes. He has got to be more aggressive that that. The corner three guy title doesn’t work when the team isn’t succeeding. At some point, Temple needs to be inserted in the offense more.
Kyle Anderson- C
Not much to say about Anderson last night as he left the game with an ugly roll of the ankle. You always cringe when players roll their ankle, so the hope is that he won’t be injured for long. An MRI is schedule for today or Monday for further evaluation.
Jaren Jackson Jr.- B-
An underwhelming night for Jaren Jackson Jr. as he only scores 13 points in 28 minutes of play. He added 5 rebounds to that, but that output is not enough as one of the best offensive options the Grizzlies have. This is especially the case against Bam Adebayo guarding him. The Memphis offense should have run through him more especially in the closing minutes with Jackson not getting a shot off down the stretch of the game. JaMychal Green was riding the hot hand taking the minutes and shots from JJJ.
Marc Gasol- C-
The confusing thing about Marc Gasol is that he takes 14 shots, but somehow only scores 15 points. He is borderline unforgivable in these situations. Last night, it did not help his case when he airballs a three under two minutes in a close game. Now, yes, anyone could have done the same, but it is starting to be too much of a trend that Gasol comes up short offensively as the Grizzlies first or second option. His 15-5-5 night last night was a solid overall game, however, in a loss that raises questions that he normally would not expect if Memphis would have won.
Gasol needs to take up the leadership in the closing minutes of the game, so they do not struggle as they did in this game. It is a full team effort.
The Bench- B+
It would have been an “A” if the Grizzlies would have won, but he bench was solid. JaMychal Green coming off with 24 points and 11 rebounds and Shelvin Mack contributing with 13 as well. No one else did much, but even 47 points is something the team does not see normally. Green had himself a night which was very promising that can hopefully transcend throughout the next few games.
Overall, it was a tough one for Memphis. They fought hard all game, but they did not have the weapons on offense to keep up. That, of course, has been a problem all year long. It will be important that they can regroup quick.
The Grizzlies continue their rough stretch on the road against the Rockets in Houston on Monday night. It should be another good one if they can contain the one and only James Harden.