Chris Paul, Eric Bledsoe and Jamal Crawford ran all over the Grizzlies last night as the Grizzlies’ defense seemed to still be figuring things out late Wednesday night. The 101 to 92 loss is the grizzlies 13th straight opening night loss, and the franchise has yet to win an opener since moving to Memphis.
Defensive rotations were late and non-existant at times, and nobody on the team could keep Paul, Bledsoe or Crawford in front of them. However, they did force 22 turnovers, and Tony Allen and Mike Conley Jr. both had 3 steals. The Clippers bench scored 49 points leaving the Grizzlies’ defense much to be desired.
The Grizzlies’ offense wasn’t much better, but several individual players played well on the offensive end. The Grizzlies turned the ball over 21 times and shot an abysmal 38.4 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from three. At times, it seemed like they struggled to get into the offense and were forced to heave a prayer with the shot-clock winding down. Jerryd Bayless showed he could be a comparable backup for Conley and the offense wouldn’t come to a halt every time Conley took a breather. Gay played really well offensively; he made decisive moves and scored 25 points on 21 shots. Gasol and Gay were really the only players to play well on both ends, they were the only starters to not have a negative plus/minus.
The rebounding looked good. Zach Randolph grabbed 16 boards, seven of which were offensive. The rest of the game for Randolph was one to forget, although he still managed 15 points. He missed several bunnies and really never found a good rhythm. Gasol rebounded well he grabbed 7 boards with 5 dimes and 20 points.
Although it wasn’t the best game the Grizzlies have ever played, there is no need for panic. Last season, it was around game 15 when Coach Hollins’ defensive schemes began to sink in. Also, the shots will begin falling once everyone gets back in the swing of things, and it may have just been a bad shooting night. Zach Randolph moved well and didn’t look inhibited at all by the knee, which should excite Grizzlies’ fans.
Next, Memphis heads to Oakland, Calif. to take on a young Golden State Warriors team on Friday night.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: The team announced Tuesday that the sale of the team to the new owner, Robert Pera, had been made official. The press conference will be held next Monday at 10 a.m. David Stern and Robert Pera will be in attendance for the home opener against the Utah Jazz Monday night.