The Memphis Grizzlies started off their second scrimmage of the Orlando bubble with the same zeal that they finished the first. However, the Houston Rockets wore them down with their disntict style of play and overtook the young Grizzlies by a final score of 119-104.
On Sunday evening, the Grizzlies played the role of “home team” and brought a little bit of the 901 feel to Florida with them. #MemphisVsErrbody
Neither team shot well from the field, with Houston hitting 43% of their shots and the Grizzlies sinking 39% of their attempts. More on this later.
If you haven’t heard, Houston likes to play a small-ball lineup with PJ Tucker at center. He is 6’5″. Even with that, the Grizzlies only out-rebounded Houston by three boards, allowing far too many second chances for a Rockets team who has four salivating players camped out on the three point line at all times, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to deliver a dagger trey.
The game was a foul-fest that included 56 whistles and 62 free throws between both teams.
Brandon Clarke did Brandon Clarke things, scoring 16 points with 8 rebounds on 53% shooting in 26 minutes. Kyle Anderson cooled off from three (one game is a streak for him) but added 15 points in a more traditional Slo-Mo fashion. Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 17 points and 9 assists, but still looked shaky at times. That’s honestly encouraging that the Grizzlies who have a point guard who can put up those kind of numbers and still be seen as underachieving.
The Grizzlies failed to get the ball to Jonas Valanciunas enough and he only took 8 shots against a severely undersized Rockets team.
More later on Dillon Brooks and the surprise forces behind the Rockets’ offensive firepower.
Time for 5 observations
1. The ghosts of Green and McLemore enact their revenge
Apparently Mike D’Antoni‘s system is working for the aforementioned gentlemen, because between the two of them they hit 14 of 17 threes and tallied 44 points.
2. Sprawlball wins
As I mentioned, both teams shot crappy from the field, but the scrimmage served as a reminder that the math incorporated into the new era of hoops strategy is intelligent.
The Rockets only made 4 more shots than Memphis in one more total attempt, but they sank 14 more three pointers than the Grizzlies — who were only able to convert 8 of 33 from deep.
Fifty seven percent of Houston’s shots were three point attempts while Memphis countered with only 37 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
3. A tale of two Dillons
Good Dillon: Brooks drew the James Harden assignment on defense and did an admirable job. He drew multiple charges against James Harden and gave a solid effort, despite the fact that Harden nearly put up a triple-double. The league scoring leading amassed 31 points, but he had to earn many of them.
Bad Dillon: So…Dillon needs to find his shooting stroke, and fast. He was 2 of 12 against Houston. Unfortunately, as Dillon goes, the team’s offense usually goes. From his extension in February to the shutdown of games in March, Brooks shot 34% from the field and 28% from three. If he finds his stroke, Memphis is very good. But if he doesn’t, then each of the remaining games will be a battle.
4. Things are heating up in the bubble
I won’t stand for #NBATwitter trolling the Grizzlies just because they aren’t laying down. You can’t tell me that the Rockets didn’t take the scrimmage seriously. Harden, House, and Gordon all played over 30 minutes.
5. Something we’ve all been wondering
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- Backdoor Cut (Ep. 101) – Grizz Return to Winning Ways, Hot Shooting & Clutch Play, Trade Value
- Theater In College Hoops (Ep. 92)- Interview with Zak Noble & Crybaby Coaches