Sidney Lowe is not a happy man.
His main problem isnt so much with losing to the Atlanta Hawks, 113-109, Friday night in front of little over 13,000 at the Pyramid, at 9-23, hes gotten used to his undermanned and young squad dropping games. But this time, Lowe says that his team broke down in more ways than just how they played.
That was a disappointing loss, he said after the game. Not to take anything away from Atlanta, they hit some big shots. But I was very disappointed in our play and in our attitudes. We were very selfish, very passive.
According to Lowe, certain players Ð he would not say whom Ð didnt want to leave the game due to poor performance and were in turn sluggish when Lowe called them back to the floor.
Its just selfishness, Lowe said. You have to accept the fact when you are not playing well. When you are not playing well, you have to give someone else a chance.
Also distressing to Lowe was the Grizz breakdown in holding onto the ball. With only minutes remaining the fourth quarter, the squad took the lead from Atlanta, only to turn the ball over three times in a row, with each fumble leading to Hawk points.
Thats just bad basketball, Lowe said. Its terrible. Its ridiculous.
And the real kicker in Coachs stomach is that other than the attitudes and the mishaps at the end, the Grizzlies played a pretty good ballgame, shooting 49.4% from the field and featuring five players with double-digits scores. Shane Battier led the Grizzlies with 22 points, Stromile Swift scored 19, Grant Long and Jason Williams each had 17, and Brevin Knight scored 16. Pau Gasol only scored six points (less than half his season average) but did collect 11 rebounds and swatted away five shots, including two on the Hawks Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who struggled early on offense.
Memphis concentrated their defense on the former Grizzlies star, but despite those efforts, Rahim still tied Battier for most points with 22. Rahim also pulled down 13 rebounds. After Rahim, Jason Terry scored 20 points, DerMarr Johnson scored 18 points, Toni Kukoc contributed 17, and Emmanuel Davis ended with 10 points in the game.
Lowe has only one day to refocus his squad before facing always dangerous Seattle on Sunday at the Pyramid, at 2 p.m. Lowe knows how hard his job will be until then. I cant even think about Seattle right now, he said. Were going to get blown out if we play this way [Sunday].