It just wasn’t our night.
It wasn’t Rambis’ either, that’s safe to say.
No matter how big Michael Beasley’s hair can be, nothing will ever be big or intimidating enough to fend off the Grizzlies. All season long the Grizzlies have had our number. And rightfully so. Zach Randolph nearly cancels out Kevin Love’s effectiveness on the boards and on offense. Darko Milicic came nowhere near the level of play of Marc Gasol’s, nor should he ever (Gasol is soo much better than Darko). And Tony Allen is such a fierce, fundamentally sound defender that none of our wings — Most notably Wes Johnson and Beasley — could ever find a rhythm.
So despite Love finally achieving his 44th consecutive double-double in garbage minutes, yet again, at the end of the fourth quarter, this team had nothing to play for. The fans had nothing to watch for. The Grizzlies are a far more superior physical team when it comes to both ends of the court. They run their offense through the beastly Randolph inside, and, again, rightfully so. He and Gasol play so beautifully together. They compliment each other so well; Gasol allows Randolph to handle the bulk of the business but isn’t afraid to dish it off right back to Randolph when he gets his chance and controls the ball underneath. There were a few plays where Gasol found a wide-open Randolph underneath for the easy bucket. Whether that was a lapse in our “longer, more athletic” defense or the dynamic duo that is Randolph-Gasol, it was pathetic and accounted for 33 points against the Wolves tonight.
The point guard play was horrendous. Our wings never found a rhythm, as I mentioned earlier. What else is left to say?
How about the head coach’s performance?
Many fans sat fearful that Love wasn’t going to be able to extend his double-double streak. And don’t think it was because he was playing poorly. Even though Love, like everyone else, wasn’t making shots, Rambis decided to sit Love for a near 10-minute stretch from the third into the fourth quarter. Beasley suffered the same penalty. I sort of understand Rambis’ decision: our super reserves, so to say, were able to muster out quite the run at the end of the fourth gaining seven points on the Grizzlies in the process. The only problem was we were still down by eight at the end of the third and the game seemed out of hand regardless of the nice little stretch form the reserves. He decided to stick with his reserves well into the fourth, keeping Love on the bench and fans’ nails in their mouth. It’s just all getting a little sickening. Rambis seems like he’s worn down a lot from this season and even he doesn’t look confident with the product on the court. We all know this team is lacking in quite a few areas but his job is to calm the storm and give these guys the best possible chance to win each and every night. Tonight was not his best effort, all aspects combined, rotations, plays and composure. Nothing clicked for the team, nothing clicked for him. Can we trade coaches??
Next up comes the New Orleans Hornets Friday night at the Target Center. I’ll unfortnately be in Chicago for a conference but will do my best to follow along on my iPhone and tweet to all you. Maybe there will be an Anthony Randolph sighting! (SIGH!)