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Report Card: Grizzlies Can’t Handle the Altitude of Denver

The Grizzlies finish their historic road trip at 4-3...

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies wrapped up a historic road trip on Monday night against the Denver Nuggets. The second night of a back-to-back featuring the “Mile High City” where altitude is an issue on a normal basis. For the Grizzlies, their second night of a back-to-back combining altitude would get the best of the Grizzlies in the fourth quarter, as the Nuggets would take down the Grizzlies 120-96.

The Grizzlies just didn’t seem right from the jump ball in Denver, shooting under 30% through two quarter. Nothing went Memphis’ way on Wednesday night, as the team finally ran out of fuel. A seven-game road trip would conclude with Memphis going 4-3, so let’s hand some grades out for Wednesday night’s loss verses the Nuggets.

Grizzlies offense - F

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Not sure where to start regarding the Grizzlies offense in this one. For one, the Grizzlies as a whole couldn’t get in sync in half-court sets, and missed shots that they normally would’ve made.

Like I mentioned above, the Grizzlies shot below 30% from the field through the first two quarters — missing bunnies and three-pointers. Memphis shot 12.5% as a team from beyond the arc in Monday night’s loss to Denver, and only tallied up 21 assists - that isn’t normal for this team at all. The offense overall was a combination of exhaustion, and lack of execution.

Grizzlies Defense - C+

If the Grizzlies did anything ‘well’ Monday night, they played really solid defensively for three quarters, before the wheels came off the wagon. Despite the rough night offensively, Memphis hung around due to their swarming defense.

The Grizzlies are a team that don’t just “give up,” so it was nice to see everyone that saw action on Monday night playing consistent defense despite their offense being off. Once the Grizzlies moved to the 2-3 zone down ten in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets picked it apart, and the rest was history.

Overall Team Grade - C

Monday night’s game was tough to watch if you were a Grizzlies fan, and this road trip that the Grizzlies just concluded was historic in terms of length. You have to take the good with the bad if you’re Memphis. The second night of a back-to-back — in high altitude and in the final game of a seven-game road trip — was going to be quite the feat.

The Grizzlies maintained despite their lack of offensive production through three quarters, then Memphis finally showed some fatigue in this road trip early in the fourth quarter, as Denver took off. It happens, but the Grizzlies had a successful road trip and finished above .500 on this trip. Throw the film away in this game, and move on. Memphis played hard, but it wasn’t their night.

The Grizzlies will return home on Wednesday night to FedEx Forum as they take on the Portland Trail Blazers that is setup to be quite the matchup.

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