Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hornets 104, Grizzlies 85: Everybody('s) Hurts

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 8:06 AM

click to enlarge The Grizzlies had their hands full last night because of all the injuries they've suffered. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • The Grizzlies had their hands full last night because of all the injuries they've suffered.

Things did not go well for the hometown team last night. Without James Ennis and Chandler Parsons due to injury and without Zach Randolph, who wasn’t with the team due to a personal matter (Randolph’s mother passed away over the Thanksgiving holiday), the Grizzlies came into Monday night’s game shorthanded, played one good quarter, and then everything fell apart, eventually losing 104-85.

The loss wasn’t the only bad news of the night though, as Mike Conley was injured early in the third quarter and didn’t return. The early report for Conley was a “lower back injury,” but the Grizzlies said last night that they’ll have an update today when Conley is evaluated again. The game was already getting away from the Griz when Conley went down—these things happen when you lose the second quarter 31-14—but the Conley injury overshadowed whatever happened on the court from then on out, and frankly made it hard to care much one way or the other about what happened on the floor. Unfortunately, most of the crowd seemed to agree, and by the 2-minute mark, there was hardly anybody left in the building, a yawn of an end to a poor outing.

It’s not hard to understand why the game went the way it did: without Ennis and Parsons, the wing rotation is a shambles, depending on young and unproven guys like Troy Williams (who got the start last night) and Troy Daniels (who has yet to really have a game that convinces me he belongs on the roster) and old vets like Vince Carter, who is in a slump of his own after a blistering start to the season and who also left last night’s game with an injury. Not having Zach Randolph around means that there’s nowhere near enough offensive production from anyone else bud Conley and Marc Gasol to take the burden off the wings, which means that everything relies on Gasol and Conley. Against a well-coached, good team like the Hornets, that’s simply not good enough to hang on for 48 minutes. Last night it only really worked for 16 or 17.

The game wasn’t fun, so let’s have some fun with it:

19 Things That Were More Fun Than Last Night’s 19-Point Loss

click to enlarge Jarell Martin had his first career double double last night. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Jarell Martin had his first career double double last night.
  1. Watching the (many) Garth Brooks-related promo items on the big screen. If you didn’t know Garth Brooks is coming to the Forum, you will soon enough. As a young man I had Ropin' the Wind and No Fences on cassette.

  2. There was a youth basketball game during halftime, and the biggest kid on the court—I’m not calling him fat, I’m saying he was a full head taller than all the other boys out there and built like Big Baby Davis when Big Baby Davis was still actually good at basketball—and, as is customary in Memphis now, he was wearing #50.

  3. Troy Williams had a nice dunk, one of the several he’s already got in his NBA portfolio.

  4. Tony Allen made some nice plays, including a spin move into a layup very similar to the one he pulled off when these two teams played in Charlotte just last week.

  5. Jarell Martin got his first career double-double, but it was extremely inefficent (he shot 5/13)... but, for a guy who has never really been much of a rebounder, 12 (10 of which were defensive boards) is a nice night.

  6. It wasn't very crowded.

Did I say nineteen? Because that seems like it's only six things. I guess last night was even less fun than I thought it was. Here is a clip of that Troy Williams dunk.

I'm not really sure what else to say about this one. "Grizzlies lose to good team while missing three of their best six or seven players" seems like a pretty straightforward explanation.

Game Haiku #18

When starters are hurt
The boulder rolls downhill fast;
The offense is crushed.



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