Don't Make Me Use The Bat
So a competitive game that descended into debacle in odd fashion after the half.
A big part of it was Cousins getting whistled for 4 variously cheap fouls in about 6 minutes of gametime after we as a team did not get called for 1 in over a quarter to start the game. Severely damaged his and our calm with us almost out of offensive creaters to even pretend to be able to spell him. All had a whiff of last year with Cuz playing hopeless and trying to do too much.
Another part of it...is we have to get the big guy some help here stat. And that's on Vlade. Gay is AWOL. Afflalo is AWOL. We may have just lost Lawson. And Temple has been pumpkining too often of late. Leaving us with....not much. Barnes and Temple hit their threes. And we managed to pump some life into Collison's corpse by getting him off ball and letting him score more than create.
So anyway, the Grizzlies got stupid hot from three, because its us of course. But they are a poor shooting team that suddenly looked like the Warriors. And 2016 ended unsatisfactorily, except in our kids getting a few minutes, and looking better than many of the vets ahead of them.
Link to Boxscore
Barnes ( B+ ) -- look, it didn't FEEL like anybody should be getting an A of any kind in this one, but Matt shot the hell out of the ball, knocking down 5 of 7 threes, and helped on the glass with Cuz not getting them. Parson did nothing against him, but letting Old Man Carter get some Vinsanity viagra was not good.
Cousins ( B- ) -- started off this game playing a very controlled game as we had obviously made a switch to let Cuz create for DC + others from up top rather than have DC dribble a hole in the floor trying to do the same. Gasol was totally ineffective. But things fell apart, Cuz got some cheap fouls, lost his cool, began forcing. Too bad, we were right there.
Koufos ( C+ ) -- played an important early role while we were still in things, rebounding on the backside and providing physical defense on old teammates Gasol & Zbo. But had the full Kosta klang offensive incompetence thing going, and we lost ground in his second stint as the Grizz abandoned Gasol and went with 3pt shooting next to one big.
McLemore ( D ) -- hit one in rhythm jumper, missed his threes, let Tony Allen out hustle and out score him. No rebs or assists. This is year FOUR of this stuff. I've been calling for an end to it since year two. Malachi to the rescue?
Collison ( C ) -- If you only looked at Collison's boxscore, and his name was McLemore, you'd give him a B for his effort. But his name isn't McLemore, and he's not a SG, he's a PG, and PG's are supposed to make life easier for their teammates. If your a PG and you play 39 minutes, and you only have 2 assists, your not doing your job. But lets put that aside for a moment. How about the other end of the floor, where he played matador defense on Conley all night long. Conley abused him time and time again, a couple of times blowing by him for uncontested layups. Offensively, Collison had a pretty good game scoring 16 points on 8 of 16 shooting. And without Gay, the team needed someone to step up in that area. My knock is that for the most part he shows off his dribbling ability, but seldom creates anything for a teammate. If he drives into the lane, it's to score the ball. He seldom kicks the ball out. His skill level and style of play is more suited to coming off the bench. Defensively, he was terrible tonight. --Baja
Tolliver ( B ) -- its hard. Realistically, this is about as much as Tolliver can give. I've said before his one job is to hit threes, and he did just that. He also got a few FTs off cuts, and, for him, was entirely absent on the glass. And yet its hard to go any higher. Balls kept seeming to fall around him unmolested. JaMichael Green felt more dynamic. Not why we lost at least.
Lawson ( C- ) -- was not hitting his shots, and was a step off, and then we lost him when he took a blow to the face. It was actually a big moment, because without Gay or Afflalo, and with Temple playing poorly, we suddenly lost our bench captain and ability to do anything without Cuz. Being checked out for a facial fracture. Sucks.
Cauley-Stein ( F ) -- should be an INC, but I find wussiness borderline intolerable and probably wouldn't make it as a coach because my response would be to beat it out of the wuss. We had him guard Zach Randolph. Zach saw a juicy steak, slammed his shoulder into him a few times, Willie squeaked, Zach scored repeatedly. -9 in 3 min of action.
Temple ( D ) -- bad on a night when we could not afford it, with no Gay, no Afflalo, Ben ineffective again, and losing Lawson. But limited effect even on D, did not hit his shots, and no creativity in place of Ty. Running out of impact guys, can't have Garret remember who he is until we get guys back.
Casspi ( INC ) -- made a nice cut without the ball and Cuz hit him for the layup, btu forced some sloppy drives, and things went south during his minutes. If Tolliver and Barnes were not shooting so well, think he would have been back.
Richardson ( B ) -- in his first stint did not slow the onslaught against us, but looked good in the garbagetime again. Just absolutely has a feel for the game, how to score, and size on defense. Really should play over Ben says me.
Labissiere ( INC ) -- garbagetime, but had a nice offensive move, a sloppy turnover, and a couple of solid mobile boards.
Papagiannis ( INC ) -- just the garbagetime