Mike Conley is right — probably.
After losing another winnable game, this one against the Detroit Pistons, Conley — who went scoreless for the first time in three years — mused that had he not been hampered by a sore shoulder, the Grizzlies WOULD have likely won that game, and players would have exited the locker room without incident.
We’ll never know about Conley’s shoulder. But the Grizzlies DID lose. Tempers DID flare. And Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi DID get into it, and it got physical. And for an organization already dealing with a trade fiasco (Dillon or Marshon Brooks?), a $94 million enigma (Can Chandler Parsons actually play or not?), and mounting losses, the franchise didn’t need another public display of dysfunction.
So, in their first remarks since the loss and the blowup, everyone said the right things. These lines aren’t direct quotes, but after GM Chris Wallace, Coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Temple and Casspi had spoken with media, well they could have been:
- “Every team goes through something like this.”
- “We’re brothers, and sometimes brothers see things differently.”
- “We’ve put it all behind us and we’re moving forward.”
- “Winning cures all ills, so we’re focusing on getting a win.”
Take a look at the clips below for unedited clips from the key players in the latest Grizzlies drama.
Like I said, they all say the right things. But my concern is that the Grizzlies have deeper problems. I know players don’t have to be best friends to win together, but even if Omri and Garrett join hands and sing Kumbayah, it won’t manufacture more points.
The Grizzlies style of play — which I like, by the way — is excellent for winning games in 2011. The problem is that it’s now 2019, and Memphis’ slow-down, defense-first style often makes it harder for them to build and keep large leads or rally back from double-digit deficits.
Defense requires enormous amounts of physical and mental discipline, and it shows up late in games when a winded Temple’s shot is a little off, or when a player misses a defensive assignment. Memphis needs an offensive boost, preferably the kind of shooter/scorer who’s a threat to explode for 40-50.
The Grizzlies get their next shot at redemption and a win tomorrow night when the Brooklyn Nets come to FedExForum. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.