There isn’t much more to say about this Grizzlies team with how they are currently structured. The Memphis Grizzlies run out of offense yet again and lose to the New Orleans Pelicans at home 105-85. Oh, and not to mention, they Pelicans did not have their All-Star Anthony Davis playing in this one. It was another blowout loss, this time as part of the NBA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day special.
The Grizzlies looked to be ready to put up a fight in the earlier part of this game. They lead most of the first half until the Pelicans took a slight lead and led by four at half time. Then the wheels came off when the Grizzlies just ran out of offense with turnovers and poor shooting that was the key in the third quarter. The Pelicans ended the 3rd with a 19-5 run to take a 14 point lead into the fourth. After that, there was no more fight left in this team.
This game was more than just a knock on last night’s effort. We have seen this team just completely run out of gas and be a three quarter team all year long, especially in the last few games as seen here:
The #Pelicans are in the midst of a 26-5 run, a game after the #Raptors went on a 32-9 (or 47-14) run, a game after the #Celtics went on a 26-4 run, a game after the #Bucks went on a 22-2 (or 50-14) run#grizzlies #bickerstaff #chriswallace— Fastbreak Breakfast (@fastbreakbreak) January 22, 2019
The Grizzlies actually did not even play that bad of defense for most of the night containing the Pelicans to only 102 points, but it just does not matter what you do if you can only muster up 82 points of your own on 37.5% shooting as a team. This is just what you are going to get with this team no matter how you look at it. This team needs a complete restructure because the team that goes on the court each night is not the answer.
Now, on to grades:
Mike Conley- D
Conley had a pretty average night shooting the ball last night. He finished with 20 points on 7 of 15 shooting and 8 assists. Conley only shot 3-9 behind the arc after ending the first quarter with a clutch three-pointer at the buzzer. These numbers hit the All-Star mark for me as I recently wrote about; however, it is about time that Conley takes it upon himself for the losing ways of this team. Right now, Conley (or Gasol) is just not playing to the level he should be to carry his team to wins each night. We see many players across the league being able to carry mediocre to wins, but Conley is just not able to do that with enough consistency.
Garrett Temple- D
I really feel for Garrett Temple and what the Grizzlies have expected from him this season. They got him over from Sacramento and expected him to be one of the main scorers on a team that had few options. Temple tonight had a signature night from him the last two months of the season. He had 9 points on 3-10 shooting and 2-7 from three. Garrett Temple is just not built to be the knock down shooter your team relies on for a whole season. He started out killing it early on, and now has regressed back down to his mean. Last night was a truly inefficient night for him, but we really need to taper our expectations with him.
Justin Holiday- C
Justin Holiday has found himself in a weird situation with the Grizzlies. He came from a team where the production really didn’t matter because the team is trying to lose games to a team where they are trying to find scoring from the depths of the league. Last night, he only scored 9 points on 3-8 shooting and 2-7 from three. With Chicago, he shot and made a good portion of his threes, but if his career numbers tell you anything, that is surely not sustainable over a full season. We are able to see that now with his streaky shooting. However, a positive from Holiday is his defensive instincts that hopefully can be contagious on this team. He finished the game with four steals that is definitely a positive take away on an otherwise poor night overall.
Jaren Jackson Jr.- B-
Another positive take away from this game is the showcase of the rookie on a national stage. He finished his night with 14 points and (unfortunately only) 2 rebounds. It was not his best game, but just the praises he kept getting from the national media gives this fan base the hint of excitement going forward long term with the franchise. At this point in the season, it is the little things. Oh, and this incredible dunk.
Marc Gasol- D
This breakdown will be similar to Conley. Gasol finished his night with 22 points leading both teams in scoring. Also in this impressive night, he had 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Gasol was aggressive out of the gate which was great and led to the Grizzlies’ early lead, however, does this really matter when the team loses by 20? As mentioned, Gasol and Conley need to take this upon themselves to change this culture of the team. And maybe it is just that they don’t have the talent, but those two should not lay down and take that.
A combined 12 points from the bench. 12! That is incredibly difficult to do in the combined 60 minutes of action they all had. JaMychal had one of the worst nights he has ever had going 2-11 shooting scoring 5 points in 15 minutes. He fouled out with 10 minutes left in the fourth, just ridiculous.
Fun Fact of the Day: The 3-man lineup of Mack, Green, and Gasol has the worst rating in the whole NBA. I would love for someone to tell J.B. Bickerstaff that, so we can stop seeing those three together. Shelvin Mack is the player who was struggling on the Orlando Magic. Similar to Temple, Mack has also regressed down to his mean. It is just not the weapons the team can win NBA games with.
This is going to be it for the Grizzlies season for the next four games. They have four more home games. The team should have a different identity at the end of it, but we all know they will not. Next game is Wednesday night at FedExForum against the Charlotte Hornets. Game tips off at 7:00 CST.