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Week-side Help: Week 14 - O-fer

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The Grizzlies go 0-4 losing to the East’s elite and look as bad as ever this season

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 Results

Memphis Grizzlies 94 (19-24) @ Houston Rockets 112 Recap | Box Score

Milwaukee Bucks 111 @ Memphis Grizzlies 101 (19-25) Recap | Box Score

Memphis Grizzlies 116 (19-26) @ Boston Celtics 122 Recap | Box Score

Memphis Grizzlies 90 (19-27) @ Toronto Raptors 119 Recap | Box Score

Week 14 Storylines

-Memphis waived F Jarnell Stokes and signed F Julian Washburn from the Austin Spurs to a two-way contract. The Vertical’s and Stadium’s Shams Charania was the first to break the news.

-Memphis went 0-4 on the week, dropping to 19-27 and firmly entrenching their spot as the second-worst team in the Western Conference.

Required Reading: In the aftermath of the terrible Raptors loss, GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax rightfully eviscerated the team for a horrible effort and called for changes--any changes--to take effect. | GBB’s Nathan Chester wrote about how hard it is to say goodbye to fan favorites and how that reluctance may be regrettable for the Grizzlies as their future looks bleaker by the day.

Week 14 Thoughts

-I said last week I wouldn’t even be mad if Memphis went 0-4 because of how good the week’s slate was, but it still hurts to watch it happen. The team is spiraling and haven’t put together a solid stretch of games in about a month.

-James Harden. You animal. My words cannot do his performance this season justice. But boy am I glad Memphis only has to deal with him one more time this season (March 20th).

-The Bucks are such a buzzsaw that they beat us by double digits when Giannis only plays 22 minutes. Somehow, D.J. Wilson and Sterling Brown logged more playing time.

-It didn’t matter for Giannis, either. He still scored 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and shot 10-14 from the field in 22 bleepin’ minutes. What a star.

-On the Memphis side of that game, the starters must have forgotten that their offense counts towards points. All 5 starters combined for 43 points. 43 measly points. A good rule of thumb: if Omri Casspi is ever your highest scorer, your team is probably not equipped to win basketball games.

-I don’t know how often Memphis is going to beat Boston when Marcus Smart goes 6-8 on three-pointers. Memphis made it as close as possible with their own shooting performance (a very Fetty Wap 17-38 from deep), but Boston’s talent advantage a.k.a. Kyrie Irving showed up in the second half.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

-Marc Gasol’s stat line against Boston: 4 pts(1-10 FG, 0-4 3P), 12 asts, 11 rebs. A very Marc Gasol stat line. He was effective and helpful to the offense even when he wasn’t scoring. He was fantastic at facilitating for Mike Conley, who could use all the help he can get in trying to get easy shots.

-The Toronto game was a disgrace. Both Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah didn’t play for various reasons, and the defense assuredly struggled without much of an interior presence. Jaren Jackson Jr. was pretty good in his own defensive responsibilities, but Ivan Rabb was not exactly a sufficient replacement as a rim protector.

-Toronto’s offense lived in the paint, getting easy shot after easy shot. And how did Memphis respond to their defense being challenged? By rolling over offensively, too. Mike Conley didn’t exactly step up either, scoring just 10 points on 5-9 shooting. He can’t bail us out every game.

-Also, Memphis got outscored 45-14 in the third quarter against the Raptors. Disgusting.

-I miss Kyle Anderson. He was one of our most reliable and consistently good players, especially on the defensive side. Memphis’ struggles on that end of the floor won’t be fixed by one player, but it’s one less player on the court we can assuredly count on, night-to-night. His return can’t come soon enough.

Week 15 Schedule and Preview

New Orleans Pelicans @ Memphis Grizzlies Mon. Jan. 21, 5:30 PM ET/4:30 PM CT

Charlotte Hornets @ Memphis Grizzlies Wed. Jan. 23, 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT

Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies Fri. Jan. 25, 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT

Indiana Pacers @ Memphis Grizzlies Sat. Jan. 26, 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Memphis gets their traditional MLK Day nationally televised game against the New Orleans Pelicans, who have just lost Anthony Davis for the next 1-2 weeks.

This is a godsend for Memphis. I hope AD is okay and heals soon, but Memphis needs a nice and easy win at home on an emotional day after 5 straight losses. If Memphis can’t even win this game...big changes might be needed. Maybe like changing who coaches the team, who knows.

The friggin’ Hornets. The last time these two met, it was one of the biggest blowouts in NBA history where, of course, the Grizzlies were on the losing end. I will go on the record and say this: there’s no way the Hornets beat us by 61 or more points again. I’m not afraid to go there and predict the controversial. Sorry if it offends.

But seriously, Kemba Walker has been a monster this year. He should be an All-Star in the East if Dwyane Wade doesn’t steal a spot for his retirement tour. He’s averaging 25 points and 5 assists a game and carrying Charlotte on his back. The Hornets have a lot of decent-to-above average role players, but Kemba holds them all together and have them fighting for a playoff spot in a more competitive East than usual.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

To wrap up the weekend, Memphis takes on Sacramento and Indiana. Both are solid teams and have given Memphis some fits this season.

Sacramento on Friday will be coming in as one of the league’s best surprises that have actually maintained their quality play for the season. As of this Monday morning, they’ve won 5 of their last 7 games and are competing for a playoff spot in the West, which is more than what Memphis can claim at the moment. The season series record is 2-1 in Sacramento’s favor, with them taking the last game 102-99 in Sacramento.

Meanwhile, the Pacers have been flat-out great this year. They’re the 3rd-seed in the East at the moment and have been playing incredible ball despite Victor Oladipo playing well, but not as good as he was a year ago. Domantas Sabonis might be their second-best player and he doesn’t even start for them. He’s averaging 15 points and nearly 10 rebounds a game in just 25 minutes a game.

Indiana’s visit to Memphis also marks Tyreke Evans’ first return to Memphis since his productive but weird 2017-18 season as a Grizzly. The lone matchup between these two teams came in Indianapolis as the season-opener when the Pacers thumped the Grizzlies 111-83. It looked like Memphis was destined for another tankful season, but turned it around in the immediate aftermath to go 12-4 in the 16 games afterward. Maybe Memphis wasn’t so bad after all!

Fast forward to January: Yeah, maybe they are kind of bad.

Have a good week, Memphis.

Follow @sbnGrizzlies