Disappointing. That’s how Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins described it, and that’s what it was. The New Jersey Nets, losers of 10-straight on the road and one of the worst teams in the league, walked out of FedExForum with a 101-94 win over the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies had won six of their last seven home games coming into the contest, the last being a 33-point blowout of the Bobcats. With the Nets holding one of the NBA’s worst records and the Grizz seemingly on the upswing, this seemed like a gimme. Maybe too much so.
“When they don’t give the effort that you know they have in them,” Hollins said after the game. “That’s disappointing.”
Disappointing was right, but the mention of effort was curious. Not the word on everyone’s lips after the game, but could be telling.
The Grizzlies looked the better team in most facets of the game, but lost in almost every statistical category, and couldn’t buy points.
The Grizzlies shot only 39.8% from the field, with Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph having particularly rough nights. Gay was 4 of 16 and Randolph was 4 of 13 from the floor.
“It’s just one of those nights. They happen and you’ve just got to play through them,” Gay said after the game.
It was an extremely strange loss and difficult to find a reason why the Grizzlies were unable to outperform a team to which they were clearly superior. The Nets had some height on the Grizzlies, that played a part. The officiating was the worst I’ve seen in an NBA game, and that’s saying something. Hollins talked about effort. Gay talked about consistency.
“I wish I knew why (the team is struggling),” said Marc Gasol. “I wish I knew. But I promise you I will do everything I can to try and fix it.”
Dunk of the Game
No. We’re not doing this today. Also I don’t think there were any. But none memorable enough to warrant checking. Moving on.
Hollins and emotion
Emotions ran high in this game, especially toward the end. Fans were distressed, sad, angry. Players looked frustrated, hung their heads in the locker room in a way not yet seen this season. But it was Lionel Hollins that seemed close to boiling over.
In the fourth quarter, with Gasol and Randolph ready to come in the game and replace the reserves, a group of unruly fans right behind the scorer’s table began screaming “Call timeout! Call timeout!” These fans wanted to see Gasol and Randolph back in the game.
Immediately, Hollins called timeout. As he did, the fans kept screaming.
“Hollins you’re an idiot!”
On and on.
It was loud and obnoxious. Zach Randolph turned and took notice. He smirked with a look that said, to me, “wow those guys are nuts.”
Hollins, intense as ever and desperate to get his team back on track, quickly told the fans to “shut the [expletive] up,” before returning his focus to the game.
First it sucks that this happened, and I’m not giving Hollins a pass, but to anyone who reads about that exchange and starts losing it, wanting to say things like “why would hollins go off on fans?” or condemn the man read this.
These fans were jerks. They had been screaming with a consistency and a volume that was disruptive given how close they were. Their berating of the referees, however deserved, was so loud and endless that they were sternly told to calm down by a member of security after yelling,
“Hey ref you can take this $175 ticket and shove it up your ass!”
After getting asked to calm down, they instead ramped it up. I’m all for fun cheers. Hell, that comment about the ticket was kind of funny, but it’s a problem when it’s that constant that close to people who are trying to work and provide entertainment for the other 13,000+ fans in the arena.
These guys were a problem, coach Hollins was trying to win a game, and he said what he said.
He shouldn’t have used an obscenity, but I don’t think he was wrong.
After the game Hollins appeared close to overloading, an intense mixture of what appeared to be sadness and anger.
“We just have to keep working,” he said when asked about his state of mind.
And now for something lighter… the twitter watch
Sam Young is still your highlight tweeter people. After the game (in which he played no minutes, although he did score 19 against San Antonio) he got into a hashtag roll concerning #icanttakeyouseriously
like… #icanttakeyouseriously if your words stink.
(I guess he means bad breath?)
He had a bunch of them. You can look them up on his twitter page here.
Michael Heisley was in attendance, strangely wearing a red sweater, the color of the visiting Nets. Hasheem Thabeet was not a game changer but looked comfortable and useful on the floor – a welcome change. The officiating was beyond terrible. On at least two occasions, what appeared to be clear out-of-bounds calls were reversed after complaints from the Nets bench.