GritGrindGrizz: Grizz start strong, finish with whimper in 116-107 loss to Toronto Raptors

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That first quarter though.

Yikes. I’m trying to coming up with something worth saying about this game. And “That first quarter though” is all I got. After that, and particularly in the second half, the Grizz pretty much fell apart. They blew a 17-point lead, eventually trailed by as much as 12.

Few want to talk much about it either. In a very brief postgame conference, I asked Grizz coach J. B. Bickerstaff to talk about the disparity in both free throws and in rebounding. “No. I don’t want to comment on that,” he shrugged.

After coming into a quiet Grizzlies locker room, Marc Gasol was sitting at his locker staring (glaring?) into space in palpable silence. He made comments about how “selfish play” is undermining the team success. I asked him that, given he knows what a tight-knit team feels like both from Spain and in Memphis, what’s missing in this team that creates that kind of cohesion?

He paused for several seconds and shook his head before looking back at me. “I’d rather not comment on that right now.”

So I’m not the only one left speechless by this game, which, like so many of these losses, felt winnable in the fourth quarter.

But fortunately, there’s a quick turnaround: A “rivalry” game with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who, like the Grizzlies, are a team in flux, transitioning into something successful — hopefully. Tipoff is at 8.