Archives For Memphis Grizzlies

FINAL

MEM(27-22) 79 – 76 (25-24)ATL

Key Performers:
Z. Randolph (MEM): 20 pts, 6 reb, 3 blk
P. Millsap (ATL): 20 pts, 11 reb, 6 ast, 5 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Good god almighty that was an ugly game. The Grizzlies were missing their starting point guard in Mike Conley and that resulted in no flow at all in their offense. The Hawks were as usual missing Al Horford and that resulted in major struggles against the Grizzlies big bruising front line. The Grizzlies perimeter defense was as stifling as usual. The Hawks couldn’t score inside or outside. Bo Churney, the editor here at HawksHoop, actually wondered aloud if the team to get to 60 first would win. It was one of those nights.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: After seeing Millsap struggle against a big and strong front court like the Pacers a few nights ago, I was curious to see if Millsap would be able to handle the Grizzlies big and bruising front court. Millsap handled it just fine, stuffing the box score and doing everything in his power to bring it back in the end. 9/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll had himself a game. He was all over the court on offense and defense doing all the little things that you like to see him do. He was cutting off ball, shooting spot up jumpshots, setting screens, you name it and he did it. 8.5/10

Kyle Korver: While Millsap had no problems with the Grizzlies physicality, Korver, on the other hand, did. He was clearly frazzled by the Grizzlies. While he managed to knock down two triples (streak is now at 118) he didn’t contribute much else. 3/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was another player to find himself struggling against the Grizzlies physicality. Teague struggled at creating due to the mix of Nick Calathes and Courtney Lee all over him. When Teague would penetrate he would be swarmed by the likes of Gasol and Randolph. Teague did what he could but 8 points, 4 turnovers, and only one trip to the free throw line is an awful game for someone that got all star consideration earlier this season. 3/10

Gustavo Ayon: Not a bad outing for Goose. Perfect from the field (2-for-2, 6 points) and he grabbed himself eight rebounds. He spent a lot of the game splitting time with Brand. Bud was smart and kept his big men fresh. 6/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

MEM.gif(17-19) 108 – 101 (20-18)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Conley (MEM): 21 pts, 4 reb, 13 ast, 4 stl
P. Millsap (ATL): 21 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast, 3 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks were without Pero Antic (back spasms), but that wasn’t necessarily their biggest issue; if the Hawks keep relying on Mike Scott to keep trying to save the team after slow starts in the first quarter, they are going to have a bad time. The Grizzlies got out to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter and really held that kind of advantage for the entire game. The Hawks had the lead a couple of times, but for the most part it was always Grizzlies by single-digits. Mike Conley torched the Hawks on both ends of the floor and really outplayed Jeff Teague; Conley was a game-high plus-20 in a contest that was decided by seven points.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: The value of plus-minus can be seen with Conley’s rating above. The downside? Millsap played a good game… but was a minus-17. All that really means is that Paul was in and out of the game at inconvenient times. (like in for the 9-2 Memphis start, out for the Hawks’ run with Mike Scott in the game) Paul hit one three on the night, but it was late in the game when the Grizzlies had a big enough lead that the Hawks had to keep playing the foul game. 7.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: The Hawks probably could have used Carroll on Conley a lot more. Courtney Lee and a 33 year old Tayshaun Prince concern me a lot less than Conley, who has been playing great lately. Offensively, Carroll was efficient by scoring 15 points on nine shots and no turnovers. Since I usually harp on his transition game, he did fine in that aspect. 8.5/10

Gustavo Ayon: Gustavo did some work on the boards (seven in just 14 minutes), but I’m sort of perplexed as to why you start Gustavo over Elton Brand with the way Elton has been playing lately. Sure, Elton still got his minutes, but since the team keeps getting off to bad starts, they might want to consider starting off games with their defensive anchor and a more capable offensive player in the lineup. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Mike Conley is a very good defender, meaning he gave Teague some fits without Horford there to act as Teague’s security blanket. He started off kind of slow in the first half and he blossomed a bit in the second half… as did Mike Conley, only Conley’s transformation was on a bigger scale. Conley had 12 points, eight assists, and three steals in the second half and Teague and co. simply could not keep up with that kind of production. In the end though, a 1:1 assist:turnover ratio (five assists, five TOs) isn’t going to cut it from your starting point guard. 5.5/10

Kyle Korver: It took until the third quarter for Kyle to extend his three-point streak to 107 games, but he did get it done. Memphis paid a lot of attention to keeping Kyle off of the three-point line, meaning he got a mix of two-pointers and passing opportunities that he was able to convert into five assists. Of course, Kyle’s passing has been a bit more on display this season, and his three dimes per game are a career high. 7/10 Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 56-26 (5th in West)z-grizzlies

Playoff Result: Lost in Conference Finals

Key Additions: Dave Joerger (head coach), Mike Miller (free agency), Jamaal Franklin (draft), Kosta Koufus (trade)

Key Losses: Lionel Hollins (former head coach)

Projected 2013-14 Record: 50-32 (6th in West)*

What to Expect: The Grizzlies had the second-most dominant defense in the entire league last year, made it to the Western Conference Finals, now get to play a full season with their post-Gay era squad which far outplayed their previous installment – and they also got a lot better this offseason.

Of all the “certainties” that can be proclaimed weeks before the 2014 season begins – calling Memphis one of the West’s and league’s best teams is a sound judgement.

The Grizzlies’ biggest issue last season was their offensive spacing. As suffocating as their defense was, oftentimes their offense got them in trouble – with misses leading to transition buckets for the opposition. The problem wasn’t simplicity, more so that the roster lacked shooters to make the offense function fluently. Zach Randolph was doubled and tripled in the post in last year’s Western Conference Finals to no end, all but shutting him down because of perimeter players being unable to make San Antonio pay from outside the arc. These troubles are partially alleviated with the signing of Mike Miller. Continue Reading…

FINAL

MEM(14-4) 83 – 93 (12-5) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 24 pts, 8 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls
M. Gasol (MEM): 18 pts, 8 rebs, 5 asts
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Taking the Hawks seriously yet? Atlanta improved to 12-5 with the win over the Grizzlies, and now have wins over three of the top four teams in the West. (Clippers & Thunder are the other two) This particular game was won in the third quarter, which was a 32-13 advantage for Atlanta. The Hawks outrebounded the Grizzlies on both the offensive and defensive glass, which is a clear improvement over the start of the season when the team couldn’t rebound to save their lives. Hawks have won nine out of the last ten, and could potentially take first place in the East against the Heat, pending that the Knicks lose to the Nuggets tomorrow.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: He dominated Rudy Gay on both offense and defense, and is really starting to come out of his slump. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 22-11-4-2-2 on 48% shooting, and 50% (!!!) three-point shooting. His four turnovers aren’t enough to deduct a point from this one, in my opinion. 10/10

Al Horford: Al had his motor going in this one, pulling in six offensive rebounds and ending with 19 points and 14 total boards. His hustle was extremely evident tonight, and was one of the best things to watch in this game. (even though it led to him getting poked in the eye once. =/ ) 9/10

Zaza Pachulia: I know LD likes to set up the starting lineup based on team-to-team matchups, but Zaza has earned serious consideration as a full-time starter. The team plays better when he’s on the court, and both NBA.com and Basketball-Reference rate lineups that have a Smoove/Horford/Zaza frontcourt among the Hawks’ best. 7/10

Jeff Teague: He rebounded nicely from that horrific shooting game he had against the Wizards, but his work around the rim still needs work. He helped keep Conley under control for the most part, and had no turnovers for only the second time this season. 7/10

Lou Williams: Lou had a pretty poor start to the game (1-6 in the first half), but then went supernova in the third quarter, hitting back-to-back-to-back threes in the middle of an 18-0 Atlanta run. Admittedly, that stretch made him a little jumper happy, but that stretch was a huge reason why the Hawks won this game. 7/10 Continue Reading…