by Kevin Lipe
I almost didn’t even write anything about last night’s game, an 93–82 loss to the Utah Jazz—their second home loss to the Jazz this year—but the truth of the matter is that there was a lot going on last night, even if it didn’t actually translate to the court. Zach Randolph and Beno Udrih were both out due to illness. Tony Allen was suspended for a nebulous “team rules violation” that hasn’t been explained yet. Rudy Gobert grabbed 24 rebounds, a new franchise record for most rebounds by a player on an opposing team. The Grizzlies kept the game close almost all night before the Jazz pulled away at the end. Anyways. Right. Haiku.
Five Haiku For Utah
In like a lion and out
Jeff Green pick and roll—
Do I pull up or attack?
A noted absence,
A sudden lack of chaos;
O Jordan Adams,
O Rodney Hood, your matchup!
Draft night arguments!
Utah isn’t bad.
A spoiler, a good young team,
a great young frontcourt.
A Note Regarding Tony Allen’s Suspension
The big question of the night (which has since been at least partially answered by the CA this morning) was Tony Allen’s suspension, which looms large with a starting lineup (featuring Jeff Green, who replaced Allen at the starting small forward spot) that struggles to break 20 points in first quarters.
The worst-kept secret the Grizzlies had last season was that Allen was very unhappy about coming off the bench once he returned from his mysteriously long hand/wrist injury. There was some question about how he’d handle being demoted to the bench again, and it seemed like things were fine, but even if his suspension was just (“just”) related to some kind of physical altercation in practice—which anyone who has played a sport knows is a thing that happens sometimes—it bears watching to see what’s going on with him attitude- and chemistry-wise.
Tony Allen is the biggest cheerleader the team has, whether he’s on the court or on the bench. His attitude is infectious. It’s in the Grizzlies’ best interest to keep that attitude a good one as long as it’s not at the expense of the team. Clearly there are issues with the team right now. They haven’t looked right since the break, and even before the break Joerger was dropping cryptic references to how they “needed to get away from each other for a while” every chance he got.
Tweet of the Night
Whether you played the Jazz early in the season or now will make a difference in the West playoff race. They're spoilers.— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) March 4, 2015
A road SEGABABA at the Houston Rockets tonight. Which sounds exciting, but it also sounds like potential trouble given how weirdly/badly the Grizzlies have been playing as of late, even when they win. If they have Zach Randolph, Beno Udrih, and Tony Allen back, they should be alright.