Usually in this space after a game, a quick breakdown of what happened in the game for the Memphis Grizzlies can be found. Who did well, who struggled, and what comes next.
Tonight, we officially declare a season dead. The Toronto Raptors killed it. If it wasn’t already deceased, a 45-14 3rd quarter in Toronto got the job done. Marc Gasol being out isn’t an excuse - Toronto was without their best player Kawhi Leonard. Mike Conley was playing. Jaren Jackson Jr. was playing, and even without Marc dressing out Jaren was still not enough of a focus on both ends of the floor.
The Grizzlies embarrassed themselves tonight. They showed a complete and total lack of professionalism, from coaching to the on-court competition, in that third quarter. Any and all belief in this team as a playoff contender should be abandoned immediately, if it hadn’t been already.
And that’s the greatest fear.
Because reports came out this week that the Grizzlies do indeed still see themselves as a playoff possibility. It wasn’t a funny joke an NBA reporter thought he should tweet out to lighten up the Twitter timelines of people. It, and they, was/are serious. At least publicly. And if that holds true, and this team is largely the same three weeks from now once the trade deadline has come and gone, then one of the following is true-
- The Memphis Grizzlies are incompetent.
- The Memphis Grizzlies are insane.
- All of the above.
This fan base deserves more than what this team has shown of late in terms of execution. Effort, while not consistent, is not necessarily the issue. It is the actual game plan and implementation of that game plan (or lack thereof) that is the issue. That is coaching and that is a roster that is flawed, as it has been in the past, but now another layer has been added.
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley no longer equal a playoff team.
That truth changes the game. Now it is on the Grizzlies to acknowledge that and act accordingly before the trade deadline passes. Moves, from large to small, should be made with the goal of adding assets and players that fit the skill set of Jaren Jackson Jr. The time has come.
Death by Danny Green is a quick death. Death by holding on to a bygone era two years too long will be much longer...and more painful.