Grizzlies Wish They Could Turn Back The Clocks In Phoenix

On Sunday, the Grizzlies played in Phoenix, hoping to defeat the one win Suns for the second time in this young season. Unlike the first meeting, Devin Booker was able to suit up for Phoenix, and he made Memphis pay, leading the game in scoring and handing out clutch jump shots like Halloween candy.

What Happened

This time it was Mike Conley’s (12p/5a) turn to struggle with foul trouble, which turned into poor shooting ultimately as he never got into a rhythm.  He earned three fouls in the first half and was only able to play 11 of 24 minutes. Fortunately for Memphis, we now have this man named Shelvin Mack (21p/4a/4s), who played  lights out in the first half and racked up 12 points and 2 assists on 5-6 shooting. He led led all scorers at the break.

Marc Gasol (7p/8r) had a tough start, shooting 1-7 from the field in the first half. The Grizzlies bench really held things together, accounting for 34 of the team’s 56 first half points.

Ivan Rabb (2p/2r) made an early appearance and then disappeared, playing slightly under four minutes. This particular game was home to a decent amount of drama and theater and we were fortunate enough to witness several acts of wizardry, including a Kyle Anderson (10p/5r) Eurostep and a Omri Casspi (2p) whooptie doo.

Memphis was holding onto a thread at half, leading 56-52. However, Phoenix came out gunning to start the second half, reversing the lead and earning a 5 point advantage two minutes into the third quarter. A Shelvin Mack led offense countered with a run of their own, earning the lead back on a 13-0 run.

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Jaren Jackson Jr. (4p/3r) turned in one of his overall poorer performances in 22 minutes of play, but did show some glimpses of his capabilities.

To Phoenix’s credit, they did not lay down in the third, clawing to keep the lead to single digits to end the quarter. Mike Conley didn’t get much run in the third due to a fourth personal foul. In his absence, Shelvin ran the offense just like the ole conductor – except on a good day. After sizable runs by both teams, the third quarter came out as a wash with both squads scoring 25 points a piece.

At the start of the fourth, Memphis had already gotten to the line for 27 attempts, but only converting on 70% of them.

In the fourth quarter, Dillon Brooks (17p) scored four buckets in just over a minute, but earned himself a technical foul for smarting off to the refs with the score 91-79 and that changed the momentum of the game. Devin Booker made the technical free throw, followed by a Mikal Bridges (14p) three pointer.

Over the last 7 minutes of the game, Memphis could only muster 7 points, as the offense when totally invisible. As you would expect from a budding star, Devin Booker would not let things go, earning 14 points in the fourth quarter including back to back Iso plays to end the game where he elevated above Shelvin Mack and Garrett Temple (8p/5r) respectively to hit the go ahead jump shots.

The Grizzlies offense looked very stagnant under two minutes, with everyone standing around and waiting for Mike and Marc to do everything, which they failed at miserably.

It is such a shame to waste the strong bench effort, but the fact of the matter remains that if your two best players don’t produce, then your chances of winning are slim to none. Apparently even against the worst of teams.

Blue Note Bourbon Player of the Game

Shelvin Mack – His team high 21 points on 7-10 shooting were not enough to propel the Grizzlies past the Suns, but he came in and gave great minutes in Mike’s absence.

Next Man Up

Monday, October 5th @ Golden State Warriors


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