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Week-side Help: Week 18 - All-Star break from watching this team stink

Memphis lost two games so badly that the entire league took a whole week off to recover

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 Results

San Antonio Spurs 108 @ Memphis Grizzlies 107 (23-35) Recap | Box Score

Memphis Grizzlies 110 (23-36) @ Chicago Bulls 122 Recap | Box Score

Week 18 Storylines

-Memphis goes 0-2 on the week heading into the All-Star Break.

-G/F Bruno Caboclo has signed a multi-year deal after his last 10-day contract expired, according to multiple reports. His contract is guaranteed for the remainder of this season and for 2019-2020.

-Reminder: F Chandler Parsons is expected to rejoin the team after the All-Star break.

-Jaren Jackson Jr. posted 10 points (4-6 FG) and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes in the Rising Stars Game.

-Mike Conley lost in the first round in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge to the eventual winner, Celtics F Jayson Tatum.

-Required Reading: GBB’s Brandon Abraham examines the decision NOT to trade Mike Conley and comes away feeling convinced maybe the Grizzlies were better off holding on to him, at least for now. | GBB’s Parker Fleming looks at new Grizzly Jonas Valanciunas and what he can bring to Memphis this year and beyond. | GBB’s Shawn Coleman, before Caboclo officially signed, made the case why a multi-year deal for Bruno is a smart move and a great, low-risk investment for a still-developing player.

Week 18 Thoughts

-The Spurs and Grizzlies were very closely contested all year, weirdly enough. So it was no surprise that their game this week was a 1-pt loss. But it was hard to see Jaren struggle towards the end of the game and miss a key free throw.

-Jaren hasn’t been unicorn-like great all year, but he hasn’t had that many flat-out bad games or performances. So the final stretch against the Spurs stands out a hell of a lot more when we’ve usually had consistent average play from JJJ at the very least. He’s going to be okay. This game was the exception, not the rule.

-I’m actually rather happy with Bruno Caboclo’s new deal! If he turns out to be as ineffective as MarShon Brooks on a multi-year deal, I imagine Bruno’s contract will be easy to trade once we officially know the financials. And if he isn’t ineffective, then congrats on your new young wing! He’s been pretty good in his role this season. His length has to be accounted for by opposing offenses. Bruno isn’t afraid to at least attempt picking someone’s pocket or meeting them at the rim.

-What an absolute shame that none of the skills in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge had anything to do with Taco Bell. Why aren’t we timing and testing NBA players on their ability to unwrap a Quesarito, put in hot sauce, and perfectly re-wrap the Quesarito?

-What’s your go-to Taco Bell order? I usually go with whatever box deal they have or a beef Quesarito and a Cheesy Gordita Crunch. If you can’t tell, I’m starving while writing this. The Week-side Help: the most fast-food talk you’ll find from a weekly Grizzlies recap.

-The Rising Stars Game uniforms were infinitely better than the All-Star Game uniforms. This is simply not up for debate.

-In this week’s edition of “LMAOOOO Ross was loud wrong”, this is what I said when previewing the Bulls game last week:

“Despite having players are seemingly only known for offense, they are last in the league in offensive efficiency and in the bottom-10 on the defensive side too. There are no redeeming qualities about this team other than they might be good a few years down the line. Do you know how bad a team has to be for me, a fan of the 23-34 Grizzlies, to trash them with no regard for my own team? This bad, apparently.”

-We lost by 12. Otto Porter Jr. scored 37 points on 16-20 shooting. I am sick to my stomach.

Protection Inspection

2/17 NBA Lottery Standings via tankathon.com
tankathon.com

The Grizzlies are still in the 6th spot. Maybe fans should get used to seeing that as the lottery around them seems to be taking shape. 1-3 is as congested as can be, with 1.5 games separating the Suns, Knicks, and Cavaliers. It looks like it’s going to be quite difficult for Memphis to crack the “top” 5 this season as they stand 3.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks at #5. The Hawks are as entertaining as can be for a bad team, but they’re still a bad team.

Meanwhile, the teams sitting at 9-14 are all competing for playoff spots. Dallas, Sacramento, Minnesota, and the Los Angeles Lakers are fighting it out in a very tough Western Conference. Dallas’ trade for Kristaps Porzingis was geared for the future, but it’s hard to imagine a Rick Carlisle-coached team just packing it up and calling it a year when they’re this close to a playoff spot.

Memphis should be worrying the most about Washington Wizards and the New Orleans Pelicans. Washington moved on from a good talent in Otto Porter for some salary flexibility and got rid of Markieff Morris. An already spiraling team has even less going for them, and less motivation, going forward.

The Pelicans are an unabashed mess with the Anthony Davis version of the Dwightmare. Their best player is only half-playing and alienating his teammates, his head coach, and got his GM fired in a roundabout way. I’m not sure New Orleans is exactly putting their best effort forward for the rest of the season. A hot week from Memphis could send New Orleans and Washington ahead of them in the lottery standings.

Week 19 Schedule and Preview

Los Angeles Clippers @ Memphis Grizzlies Fri. Feb. 22 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT

Memphis Grizzlies @ Cleveland Cavaliers Sat. Feb. 23 7:00 PM ET/6:00 PM CT

“Hey, I hope you enjoyed your break, Grizzlies! You have to play a back-to-back immediately. And one game is on the road. Get out of my face, idiots.” - 100% Real and NOT Fake quote from NBA’s schedule maker. Do not try to verify this.

The Clippers traded the league’s greatest friendship away to the Philadelphia 76ers. With that, they also traded their best player in Tobias Harris. I’m a little worried he’s going to go the Mike Conley route of “always super good but not good enough to be named an All-Star”, but that’s a conversation for another day. The point is, the Clippers are playing for the next two summers of free agents, not necessarily this season.

No, this is not the rivalry it once was, if it’s a rivalry at all, but it should be a fun matchup. Landry Shamet and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander might be one of the exciting young backcourts in the league. I’m pumped to see how they turn out down the line, but please don’t be good this Friday at 7:00 PM local time, thanks guys.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

I’m NOT going to make the same mistake with the Cavaliers that I did with the Bulls. We’re probably losing this game, simply because we shouldn’t. Cleveland is horrible and maybe the worst team in the league, hunting Zion Williamson in the lottery. Facts and evidence like that just simply do not matter to these Memphis Grizzlies, who just do not live in the same plane as logical conclusions.

They’ve played once before, the day after Christmas where Memphis took home the victory 95-87. Jordan Clarkson shot 20, T W E N T Y, times in that matchup, which gives us a reason to look back on this fantastic tweet:

Have a good week, Memphis.

Follow @sbnGrizzlies