Heyyyy, You Look Familiar: Grizzlies v Clippers Recap

Share the joy

Last night the Memphis Grizzlies ended what turned out to be a brutal 5 game West Coast Road trip with a 94-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.  They’re returning home with a 3-5 record after an incredibly embarrassing loss to the Warriors, a win to the Boogie-less Kings (Demarcus Cousins was injured), an unexpected double digit loss to the Trailblazers, a double digit loss to the up and coming Jazz, and a down to the wire loss to their archrivals the Clippers.  There are no moral victories.  However, after starting the 1-4 road trip with a baffling 50 point loss to the Warriors, it was nice to see the Grizzlies actually look and play like the Grizzlies that fans have grown to know and love.


It’s always tough to lose to the Clippers.  This particular time was especially tough because the Clippers’ official team Twitter account issued a tweet the day after their 4 point loss to the Warriors with the hashtag, #didntloseby50.  Additionally, this was Matt Barnes’ first return back to the Staples Center in a Grizzlies uniform.  A win and a good game from him would have been a nice end to an otherwise disappointing road trip.  The Grizzlies led by as many as 6, and trailed by as many as 8.  The lead changed 14 times, and they tied with the Clippers 11 times.  The Grizzlies forced the Clippers into playing their grinding, in the mud style of basketball, but the Clippers managed to squeak a victory out.  Even in the loss though, there are some takeaways that the team can build on as they go forward in this season.


Do Betters:



The Clippers made more free throws than the Grizzlies even attempted.  The Clippers made 33 of 37 free throws, while the Grizzlies made 20 of 29.  The Grizzlies are going to have to work on making the trips to the charity stripe count.  Free throws are free points.  There were some crucial FT misses in the 4th quarter, including some potential game tying ones from Marc Gasol.  In regards to the free throws he missed at the end of the game, Gasol said, “I just overthought the free throw.  I outsmarted myself.”



  1. Communication

While the defense was drastically better last night than it had been throughout the rest of the road trip, there was a crucial switch in the backcourt that didn’t occur that led to 6 critical points by JJ Redick near the end of the game that could have likely been avoided if everyone was where they were supposed to be.



  1. The Bench

While the Clippers bench only outscored the Grizzlies bench by 4 points, the Grizzlies bench looked a bit out of place and disjointed at times.  The Grizzlies need consistent play from their bench unit just as much as they need it from their starting unit.  Barnes led the bench players with 8 points (2/8 shooting), 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots in just over 26 minutes of play.



  1. Technical Fouls and Flagrant Fouls

There was a technical foul from Tony Allen in the 1st quarter and a flagrant 1 from Marc Gasol in the 4th quarter.  The Grizzlies aren’t in a position to be giving away points to their opponents.  They’ve got to be more careful here.




Gimme More of That:



Zach Randolph, Fiddy for the City, ZBo…did ZBo things for nearly 40 minutes in a game that he was “questionable” for just hours before tip-off.  Randolph led the Grizzlies with 26 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.  Twitter has Randolph out of shape, on the trading block, or too old in every other tweet almost.  If this is too old and out of shape play, Grizz fans will take it.



  1. The Return of Defense

Defensively, the Grizzlies looked better yesterday than they have all season, including in their 3 wins.  They played more aggressively, and while there were some hiccups, they appeared to trust each other defensively.  They had a total of 11 steals (Clippers, 5) and forced 18 turnovers leading to 18 points (Clippers got 17 points from 14 Grizzlies turnovers).  According to Randolph, “We played Grizzlies basketball.  If we play like that, keep playing like that, we’ll get back to our old selves.  A loss is a loss but we’ve got to take the positives, the energy, the defense, the things we did well.”



  1. M&M

Whether you think of M&M as Mike and Marc or Marc and Mike, you have to admit this duo looked much better than they have in the other games this season.  These two are team leaders.  Both have struggled this season to look like leaders though.  So, in spite of the crucial free throws that both of them missed in the last minute of the game, it was good to see them in rhythm.  Gasol had 18 points (5/8) with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 37 minutes of play.  Conley had 16 points (6/15) with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal in 35 minutes of play.



The Grizzlies have the chance to get redemption twice this week at home.  They have a game against the Warriors on Wednesday (Veterans’ Day game) and the Trailblazers on Friday.  Grizzlies fans can only hope to see more of the team that they saw on last night.

Carmen Patton
Follow me

Share the joy