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Week-side Help: Week 12 - A messy team that lives for drama

Recapping a dramatic, tension-filled week that will not be remembered by the play on the court

NBA: Preseason-Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 Results

Memphis Grizzlies 101 (18-18) @ Houston Rockets 113 Recap | Box Score

Detroit Pistons 101 @ Memphis Grizzlies 94 (18-19) Recap | Box Score

Brooklyn Nets 109 @ Memphis Grizzlies 100 (18-20) Recap | Box Score

Memphis Grizzlies 88 (18-21) @ San Antonio Spurs 108 Recap | Box Score

Week 12 Storylines

-A lot.

-ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon reported Sunday night that Chandler Parsons will “indefinitely” leave the team as the Grizzlies explore their options to trade him.

-Memphis traded G/F’s Wayne Selden Jr. and MarShon Brooks along with 2 second-round picks to the Chicago Bulls for G/F Justin Holiday. Holiday made his debut Saturday against the Spurs.

-Omri Casspi and Garrett Temple reportedly got into a physical altercation after a team meeting following the disheartening loss to the Pistons, according to The Vertical’s and Stadium’s Shams Charania.

-Required Reading: GBB’s Mark King analyzes the precarious coaching situation the Grizzlies have, where a change might need to be made, but the timing and its lack of a fix-all makes it more difficult to execute. | GBB’s Site Manager Joe Mullinax breaks down the Justin Holiday trade, and how the newest Grizzly can help Memphis this season.

-Ah, by the way, Memphis went 0-4 on the week and have now lost 10 of their last 12 games.

Week 12 Thoughts

-This is probably not the week for me to talk about x’s and o’s or nitty-gritty basketball. This was a drama week.

-There was a team meeting, a “physical altercation”, and a trade. But the story Sunday night basically announcing Chandler Parsons has played his last game as a Grizzly might be the most impactful and salacious.

-The relationship between the front office and Chandler Parsons clearly deteriorated. To have Parsons curse and shout towards GM Chris Wallace during a scrimmage just for a chance to play is a bad situation on its own. But Wallace and the front office ignoring that request and insisting Parsons play in the G-League as a rehab assignment is clear sign that there is no trust between both sides.

-If this is it for Parsons and the Grizzlies, good riddance. Not to be that harsh towards him, but moreso towards his contract and the start-and-stop aspect of his health. In three years with the Grizzlies he’s missed extended time each year with no real hope that he can play 70 games in a season again, let alone in the last year of his contract next season. He’s only played 73 games in the past two and a half seasons combined. Memphis swung, they missed, it’s time to move on.

-This is what I said in last Monday’s Week-side Help when previewing the Rockets game:

Okay, James Harden has been on fire in the last ten games, even garnering some MVP attention as the carousel of the MVP race spins on during the regular season. And the Rockets beat the Grizzlies the last time they played. But there is a saving grace for Memphis. They’re playing IN Houston on New Year’s Eve. There’s absolutely no chance James Harden pays attention to anything that happens in this game. He’s already at his NYE party, mentally, by the time halftime comes.

-Boooooooooy, I was loud wrong. James Harden couldn’t have been paying more attention to what happened in that game.

-Does this mean James Harden reads the Week-side Help? I’m not one to say. But I’m also not one to say if he doesn’t read the Week-side Help. James, if you’re reading this, you should have had Russ’ MVP in 2017. And maybe Steph’s 2015, too. Please don’t do that to the Grizzlies again.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

-The Pistons game was bad on its own, but the team meeting and fight that ensued overshadowed the entire 48 minutes.

-Team meetings are never good signs, but they’re not always the sign of an implosion. Plenty of teams have team meetings that result in winning streaks or improved play. So when Bickerstaff was late for his post-game press conference for a team meeting, it wasn’t the craziest thing in the world, but it was cause for concern. We had no idea how concerned we should be until the news came that Omri Casspi and Garrett Temple got into a fight a a result of that team meeting.

-Does this fight matter in the long run? No. Is it really an indictment on this franchise? Also, no, because it’s two players fighting with each other, not the GM and the coach throwing hands in an all-out brawl. S*** happens. This incident is more embarrassing than anything else for a number of reasons. For two of the smart veterans on the team, one in Garrett Temple’s position as a leader in the player’s union, to get into a fight during a low point in the season dragged that low point even further.

-Maybe the airing of grievances and all that was needed. The team, which at one point in the season was the #1 team in the West, has hit a bumpy stretch to say the least. Fan (and team) morale seems like it’s at its lowest point and something, literally anything, to change up the pace was welcome. Just to at least *try* something different. Spoiler: it did not work and Memphis went 0-2 in the games following the incident.

-I haven’t even gotten to discuss the trade yet!

-We saw the Grizzlies try to trade MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden Jr. just a little less than a month ago. They basically took that same package and instead of Kelly Oubre Jr. got Justin Holiday. Wayne will be a nice piece for the always rebuilding Chicago Bulls, but I do feel for MarShon Brooks. After the Dillon/MarShon fiasco, it was clear the latter was not long for this team. With the Bulls looking to move on from MarShon, through a trade or outright waiving him, I worry for his career instability. Being left out in the wind with no absolute certainity of an NBA roster spot has to be an anxious feeling.

-I’ve always thought that Justin Holiday was an underrated player, at least on the defensive side. He has the size to guard (some) wings, the quickness to keep up with guards, and the basketball IQ to be able to defend them both. What I didn’t know before this year was how much of a bomber he was. He’s shooting 7(!) three-pointers a game at a 35.7% clip. The percentage doesn’t jump out at you, but the fact he’s combining at least a league-average percentage with that volume is impressive.

-Holiday might not get the same shots and usage that he did on the Bulls, assuming he plays a smaller role on this Memphis team. But he can surely be helpful. For more on this, scroll up the “Required Reading” where I link Joe Mullinax’s article about how Justin Holiday can help Memphis. Or you can just be lazy and click this because I know none of you are going to scroll up.

Week 13 Schedule and Preview

Memphis Grizzlies @ New Orleans Pelicans Mon. Jan. 7, 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT

San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies Weds. Jan. 9, 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT

Memphis Grizzlies @ Miami Heat Sat. Jan. 12, 5:00 PM ET/4:00 PM CT

Monday’s game comes against a Pelicans team disheartened and seemingly resigned to the fact that Anthony Davis is out of there the first chance he gets. They’re struggling, maybe not as much as the Grizzlies, but losing 7 of their last 10 games is no walk in the park. It’s also during the college football national championship between, by far, the two best programs in that sport over the past 5 years. If you watch Grizz-Pelicans, you’re a true fan. I’ll let you know how the Alabama vs. Clemson goes, though.

If you do watch this game though, watch for how the role players play around Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. They’re going to get their points, but with the team as a whole struggling expect Julius Randle to play a huge role. Also, new Grizzlies player Justin Holiday gets to play his brother Jrue. Family fun!

Memphis gets a quick turnaround between Spurs games and plays them for a second time in five days. San Antonio throttled Memphis on Saturday night. The game was close for maybe a quarter before the Spurs pulled away and never looked back. As bad as Memphis has looked recently, they’ve rarely gotten blown out like they did on Saturday. With this game being in Memphis, conventional wisdom tells us that this game should at least be closer. But I’m afraid that the Spurs smell blood in the water with a floundering team and get this win anyway.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, Memphis gets a trip to South Beach to close out their season series against the Miami Heat. Two things worry me about this game: 1) Memphis is bad at basketball. 2) This game is on a Saturday where Memphis will have the whole day--and most importantly, their whole night-- free in South Beach before a 4 PM local time start. The South Beach trip has gotten the better of plenty of teams, it’s fair to assume Memphis may fall flat and come out with a bad performance.

However, I do also have basketball-related thoughts about this Miami-Memphis game. Miami is in the midst of their best stretch of the season. Starting with their victory over the Grizzlies on December 14th, Miami has won 8 of their last 11 despite getting crushed by the Hawks Sunday. They’re a smart, well-coached team feeling confident in their play. Memphis needs to be up for this challenge.

Have a good week, Memphis.

Follow @sbnGrizzlies