Don't Make Me Use The Bat
All of those scrappy scruffy fugly defensive roleplayers we have picked up the last couple years go into Memphis, and its in the air there. They thrive. We win.
Link to Boxscore
16min 8pts (3-7 1-3 1-1) 0reb 0ast 2stl 0blk 1To
McLemore ( C ) -- was terrible in his short first half minutes, but played better after the break, and was turned to several times to provide an athletic matchup to a struggling Tony Allen. Kept dropping balls but eventually hit a three, got some leakouts, and was giving effort on D.
35min 22pts (7-20 0-3 8-8) 9reb 1ast 0stl 1blk 2To
Cousins ( C ) -- Cuz never seemed himself in this game, never really involved and dominating, and maybe the off court stuff had some part. But he began to make star plays after half, and when not getting ticked for cheap fouls had some excellent defensive moments smothering Gasol and disrupting at the rim. Could have hurt us with a dumb 6th in the final 2 minutes though.
Featured Grade 30min 16pts (7-11 0-0 2-6) 13reb 2ast 0stl 3blk 1TO
Koufos ( A ) -- Kosta doesn’t ever do much pretty, but for tonight at least he was getting it done. While Cousins waited until the late third quarter to really get into his groove, Kosta was there picking up the slack on offense and getting easy baskets on a variety of assisted baskets down low and three put backs off of his own misses (padding his very nice rebounding total a bit). Otherwise he stayed out of the way, setting screens and leaving the lane open for his more offensively talented teammates and really only had one of his patented “stone hands” moments. Defensively he had a tough assignment in Marc Gasol with his size and versatile game, but he rarely left Gasol open on the perimeter and made him work hard in the post, even getting one of his three blocks on Gasol face-up. Anytime you can hold Gasol to 4-of-9 from the floor and 14 points (counting free throws) while scoring 16 yourself, you get a gold star. And a win on top of that? Gravy. --Capt.
37min 17pts (4-11 3-6 6-6) 6reb 4ast 2stl 0blk 2To
Temple ( A- ) -- was our best player in the early part of the game, and helped set the tone we would never waver from. As the game went along he quit hitting shots, and eventually earned the little "-" next to his grade, but defense and hustle, including a key rebound in the final minute that the refs belatedly called right, never wavered.
38min 11pts (4-12 1-2 2-2) 2reb 6stl 1stl 0blk 1To
Collison ( C ) -- some of his decisionmaking on what shots to take or when to penetrate remained all kinds of shaky, but he gave a legit effort on D, and underwhelming as it was, solid PG play. Just unable to step up as a weapon with no Rudy and Boogie struggling.
29min 7pts (2-8 0-4 3-6) 10reb 3ast 0stl 1blk 2TO
Barnes ( B- ) -- kept missing threes, including one in the final minute that would have been the backbreaker, and at time Ben's quickness seemed a better fit at SF with the Grizz playing smaller there. But back in his old stomping grounds, hit the boards hard, and brought defense.
30min 9pts (2-6 1-4 4-4) 2reb 1ast 0stl 1blk 0TO
Tolliver ( B- ) -- its not going to be there in the stats, he only hit the one three pointer again, he didn't board, and when it was Randolph, he struggled against the physicality. And yet he helped the other old defensive vets set a real grungy scrapping tone to this one,getting blocks and making rotations and being a smart pain in the butt.
2min 0pts (0-0 0-0 0-2) 0reb 0ast 0stl 0blk 0TO
Cauley-Stein ( INC ) -- came in and in three minutes managed to miss 2 FTs after we set him up, and rack up 3 fouls. Never returned, but actually for those brief minutes he looked like he was competing and even played some good defense on Randolph. Game just got too serious and tough-minded for soft kid training.
22min 6pts (2-5 1-2 1-2) 3reb 1ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Lawson ( C+ ) -- very modest numbers, but the thing about he and Collison this time was that they played a lot together, and yet we were still getting a lot of scrappy disruptive defensive play out of them. Briefly made things exciting by missing the front end of the deciding FTs with 2 seconds to go.