The Nightmare Before Grizzmas: Grizzlies Fall to Wizards

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Tonight the Memphis Grizzlies failed to capitalize on their opportunities in the capitol and fell to the Washington Wizards 100 – 91. Missed free throws, lost rebounds and turnovers would result in points for the Wizards and the Grizzlies could not push through to a win.

The Wizards were aiming to win their third game in a row at home and from the moment the first second ticked off the clock it was obvious they intended to force their will on the game. The faced paced small ball that Washington ran kept the Grizzlies on their toes. While the Grizzlies only turned the ball over 10 times, Washington scored 20 points off those turnovers. The Wizards out rebounded the Grizzlies 44 to 35, grabbing 12 offensive boards. Washington came to win this game and they did just that.

Quick recap stats:

– Despite bringing the game to within 8 points the Grizzlies would continue their third quarter woes and go scoreless for 5 minutes and 40 seconds during the third quarter. This allowed the Wizards to go on a 16-2 run and turn their 8 point lead into a 22 point lead.

– The Memphis Grizzlies shot 17 threes tonight. They only made 3 of them. The Wizards shot 44% from three compared to the Grizzlies 17.6%.

– The Grizzlies had 32 chances at the free throw line to score points. They would only make 22 of those free throws, shooting 68.8% from the line. This is well below their 81.7% season average. In a game where we weren’t able to hold onto a single digit deficit free throws could have been the only thing that kept us in. The Grizzlies did not make those and they were certainly not “in” this game. (Of course it doesn’t help when the home crowd is highly motivated by free chicken sandwiches for Grizzlies misses.)

– After the Grizzlies were called for 5 quick fouls in the second quarter both Coach Dave Joerger and Mario Chalmers were hit with technical fouls after a frustrating call on Chalmers. Chalmers then received a double technical and was ejected from the game.

– Your leading scorer for the night was Mike Conley. Conley scored 21 points. He is followed by Jeff Green with 19 and Zach Randolph who scored 16 points off the bench. Conley and Green combined for 56.7% shooting. While Green struggled at the three point line he finished the night with a double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds. He also came up with 3 steals and was the most effective player (+/- wise) on the court.

– The Wizards had six players in double digits, including their leading scorer Garrett Temple who had 20 points. John Wall finished the night with 14 points and an impressive 14 assists, setting his guys up for easy buckets against a waning Grizzlies defense.

– The Grizzlies shot 45.8% on the night but had 10 less attempts than the Wizards who shot 45.1%. The Grizzlies needed to see more aggressiveness from their big man Marc Gasol. Gasol only had 9 shot attempts and grabbed only 6 rebounds. While he did shoot 5/6 from the free throw line his lack of offensive drive was noticeable. I’m still waiting for an aggressive Marc Gasol to consistently show up. I expect him to evolve and mature into the role of the workhorse that carries this team on his back. The question still seems to remain if he is actually capable of this.

December is almost done. Grizzmas is almost over. I’m still wishing that Santa Grizz brings me a team that consistently wins again. I miss the tough-fought, hard-nosed games the Grizzlies used to win. If I am more honest, hell, I just miss feeling good about winning. The Grizzlies have three games left this month. Here’s wishing you and yours a three game win streak to finish what has been a tough 2015.

A Merry Grizzmas to all and to all a good night!

Tabitha Smith

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