Grizz suffer embarrassing loss
The Memphis Grizzlies suffered their worst loss of the season — and one of the worst in the history of the franchise — Monday night against the hapless Brooklyn Nets.
Yes, those Brooklyn Nets. The ones who start:
Jeremy Lin (career back-up)
Randy Foye (career back-up)
Caris LeVert (promising rookie, but a rookie not named Joel Embiid)
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (mediocre)
and Brook Lopez, who’s a good player.
So, essentially, the Grizzlies just lost to a team with 51 losses and one guy I’d consider good enough to be a starting player in the NBA right now. That’s a weird way to try and avoid a 2-7 matchup with San Antonio.
A few thoughts:
Grizzlies coach David Fizdale has done a mostly good job in his first season. Such a good job, frankly, that the fact that he’s a first-year NBA coach is very rarely ever a discussion piece. And he’s had his fair share of challenges, to be fair.
In the offseason, he informed Zach Randolph — a founding father of the Core Four — that his services would no longer be needed in the starting lineup, and that he’d be better suited coming off the bench.
The Grizzlies went into the season with two rookies as backup point guard options. One’s not really very good and the other is too reckless to trust at this juncture.
And then there’s the whole Chandler Parsons dilemma, which hangs over the franchise like a slow-moving cloud. Start him? Sit him? Shut him down? For better or worse, Fizdale has had Parsons’ back to the fullest — mostly for worse, but I get it.
Tonight, however, was not Fizdale’s finest moment. To give the team a spark, he inserted Andrew Harrison into the starting lineup for Tony Allen and Brandan Wright for JaMycal Green. It didn’t work, obviously.
Harrison and Douglas combined for 45 minutes, which is probably 25 minutes too many, even against a 51-loss team.
Some will look at Monday’s loss and chalk it up to the same ole Grizzlies, those wily veterans playing down to their competition and getting picked off by a young, athletic team.
There’s a reason why this one feels a bit more disturbing than just a historical trend that may or may not be factually true, though. And that reason is that, with a month left in the regular season, the Grizzlies are still figuring it out. There’s no consistency in the wing rotation. Parsons is … well, there. The Grizzlies don’t know what they are anymore.
In years past, they didn’t have the shooting, sure, and so the postseason upside would always be relatively low. But they had the defensive identity and knew exactly what they did well. This team doesn’t look like it does.