Saturday, January 12, 2008

Golden State Postgame - Pau Scores 43

Not surprising to anyone, the Grizzlies lost tonight to the Warriors 116 to 104. It was the Grizzlies 2nd game on a 3 game road trip. The Grizzlies have now lost 3 straight and are something like 4-16 in the last 20 games.

I don't have much to say right now about the loss except to congratulate Pau on a superb offensive effort in scoring 43 points. Pau played admirably tonight in a tough loss. The bench (Kyle, JC, Hak, and newcomer Bobby Jones) was able to make a few runs in both halves against the Warriors bench to somewhat close the deficit to single digits or at least low double digits, but who am I kidding, the Warriors had total control of the game from basically the tip-off. (Photo by Getty)

Again, I tip my hat to a great offensive game for Pau. He was only 1 point shy of his career high and only 2 points shy of the Franchise record. I wish he would have gotten a few extra garbage points in the final minutes to get those scoring accomplishments. He deserved it.

I might have something more interesting to say about this game, or this road trip in general, later in the weekend. Tell me what you thought about the game in the comments. Maybe Chip, or Spartacus or MemphisX will chime in later with something else to add about this game.

Spartacus Says

The Good
Pau Gasol did to the Warriors what Dirk Nowitzki should have done in the playoffs last year. What did Charles Barkley say in the middle of that first round series? Something about low-post scoring being Golden State's weakness? Gasol could have scored 50+ if this had been the old "dump it into Pau" offense of the Fratello era.

Juan Carlos Navarro got on track again for the first time since Boston, going for 20 points on an array of 3-pointers and "La Bomba" floaters. When he gets going, he is so much fun to watch as he slithers into the lane for his patented push shot or the way he doesn't hesitate a single nanosecond before flinging a 3-pointer towards the net. His style is so unorthodox, yet so effective that it has to be maddening to defend.

The Bad
Rudy Gay forced shots over and over again in the first half, trying to will himself into a hot streak. He finally caught fire late in the 4th quarter after his impressive tip-in dunk, but it was too little, too late. He needs to learn that the quickest way to bust a shooting slump is by putting his head down and taking it strong to the basket, where at the very least he should get rewarded with free throws.

Mike Conley was made to look like a rookie once again as he got abused repeatedly by Baron Davis and Monta Ellis. Those two players did the same thing to Lowry and Navarro as well, but they absolutely feasted on Conley as he lost them in transition, off screens and while trying to play help defense. You cannot play "help defense" against a Don Nelson coached team. Hopefully this is a lesson that Conley will not require several classes in.

The Ugly
Team play. Following Gasol's comments after the Lakers' game, I was hopeful that his words would have been heeded. Instead, the Grizzlies once again had less than half of their made FG's assisted as they tallied 18 assists on 40 FG's. Conversely, the Warriors had 33 assists on 48 made FG's. I'm sure that some joker will bring up the number of shots that Gasol made that were probably unassisted, but he couldn't be stopped all night and there wasn't another viable option to turn to last night. Not that it stopped a few players from trying to shoot their way out of their slump on some poorly thought-out 1-on-1 plays.

Defensive rotations. Granted, it is difficult when the Warriors trot out a lineup of 4 guys capable of hitting 3-pointers, but in the first half especially they failed to close out on open shooters, which contributed greatly to the Warriors shooting over 60% in the first quarter. To his credit, Iavaroni recognized that the Pau/Darko frontcourt pairing was giving up more in perimeter shots than they could make up in low-post scoring together and went small, but it was too late by then.

Quick Hit Thoughts
I'm even more enamored with Andris Biedrins' basketball IQ and rebounding acumen than the Grizzlies' broadcast team. I would like to introduce Sean Tuohy to Dwight Howard though, after he insisted a few times that Biedrins was the "strongest center in the league".

I might strongly dislike Baron Davis (goes back to his UCLA days -- don't ask), but he played like a Superstar last night -- not the capital "S". On his way to dishing out 19 assists, he was a leader on both ends of the floor, tallying 2 steals and 2 blocks to go with his 6 rebounds and 20 points. When he is healthy and happy, he is a definite game-changer.

Hakim Warrick provided some solid scoring off the bench once again. I know that I've been hard on the guy all season, but I'd much rather see him develop and stick around than to rely on Stro for serious minutes yet again.

3-Pointers -- Golden State: 14/32, Memphis 6/20. There's your ballgame folks. Also, if somebody finds video of the Al Harrington "bounce off the top of the backboard" 3-pointer, please send it to us.

3 comments:

www.laballtalk.com said...

As a Lakers fan in general and a blogger at www.laballtalk.com I am happy to see that other teams have success. I hope that management finally figures out what to do since Jerry West's departure, it took the Lakers a few years. Things will be alright, rebuild and keep the good pieces is the only advice from a man who's word means nothing!

kfilament said...

Last nights game was over from the tip. We made a run at the G. ST. scrubs and then got right back in our place as G. ST. went back with their starters. Rudy, Mike, hell everybody but pau and his buddy seemed dis-interested. Thats somewhat understandable after the previous nights game. Back to backs are dumb in my opinion.

Also, at what point did somebody realize that al harrington needs to be guarded on the perimeter, he took something like 10 of his first 11 shots from near 3 pt range. All wide open, he hit about half of them i guess. Yet pau and whoever was guarding him stayed anchored in the lane. Several times when we were making runs Big al hit big shots to stop our effort.

CarlCR said...

It seems to me that MM and RG just let down the team. Miller took 11 shots the entire game (3 of which were for 3P), which is his average for the season. But, like Rudy he wasn't driving to the lane as much as he can and should, especially when he's cold. The Griz needed his scoring but they didn't get near his season average of 16 PPG. Where was Miller when we needed him?

Rudy was cold also and only took 12 shoots and 4 3s and scored only 10 points. He averages almost 16 SPG and over 19 PPG. He didn't take it to the hoop and seemed reluctant to do so. Where was Gay when we needed him?

If 2 of our 3 big scores don't produce then the Griz can't win against any decent teams.