Memphis Grizzlies 110, Phoenix Suns 91 — Grind Ball


The Memphis Grizzlies came into tonight’s game struggling badly offensively, having only scored over 88 points once in the last five games. They were also missing their two All-Stars, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, to injuries. Fortunately for them, they found a cure to their offensive woes in the Phoenix Suns as they put up a near season high in points in a 110-91 home victory on Tuesday night.

The Suns started both halves slowly, but overcame a slow start to lead 54-46 at the half. Memphis came out in the third quarter firing on all cylinders and put up a 36 spot in the quarter that the Suns could not recover from. Ed Davis started for Randolph and dominated on both ends by scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Mike Conley and Kosta Koufos both had double-doubles themselves in the rout.

I am not sure there are many bright spots for the Suns tonight. One exception could be Marcus Morris who led the team with 18 points, including 15 in the first half. His 13 point second quarter actually helped to give the Suns a lead that was up to as many as 10 in the second quarter. Markieff Morris finished the game as the only Sun to be on the positive side of the +/- ratings. Archie Goodwin played hard in his 12 minutes of playing time and grinded out eight points. What did the Suns in Tuesday was their poor shooting from behind the three point line (7-for-29) and their inability to control the game at any point in the second half.

Now a look at the three keys from our preview.

Does the tempo go in Phoenix’s favor?

The majority of the game was spent playing Grizzlies grind ball, which the Suns had trouble getting out of especially in the second half. The first quarter was played at the Grizzlies pace, but the Suns got going in the second quarter after a Goran Dragic blocked at the 8:45 mark that kind of kick-started the offense and led to 35 point in the quarter. The second half was all Memphis though, and the Grizzlies shot 16-for-23 from the floor in the third quarter to overwhelm the Suns in the third quarter. Memphis killed the Suns in the paint by outscoring them 56-34, and that was without Gasol or Randolph.

Where do Memphis’ points come from?

Everywhere. Seven players scored in double digits for a Grizzlies team that was missing two of their leading scorers. Jon Leuer only scored 20 points all season, but led the team with 23 tonight. Davis was a key tone-setter early in the game by scoring seven in the first quarter and ending up with 21. Mike Conley had 18 and was hot early shooting 6-for-10 at one point before missing his final five shots. Tayshaun Prince, Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless and Koufos were all in double-digits as well.

Can the Suns start fast?

The Suns started out slow both times coming out of the locker room tonight. They were able to recover after a slow start to the game that saw the Grizzlies hit six of their first seven shots, but the slow start to the second half was deadly.

The Suns led 54-46 at halftime, but Memphis went on a 13-5 run to tie the game within the first four minutes of the third quarter. Allen’s three-point shot a minute later gave the Grizzlies the lead for good. The Suns just had no answers defensively for an injury plagued Grizzlies team. There was even a point when the Grizzlies scored on ten straight shot attempts. Memphis used the quick start to get the crowd into the game and they controlled the pace for the entire second half as they ended up shooting 66 percent in the second half from the floor..

The beginning of the first quarter was not much better, but the Suns were able to recover from it. The Suns came out and shot 9-for-28 in the first quarter and were 1-for-11 from the three-point line through the first 15 minutes.

 

Tags: Ed Davis Marcus Morris Memphis Grizzlies Phoenix Suns Zach Randolph

  • Dave:f32

    Geez, those new black Phoenix Suns unis are horrendous. Whats up with not having any color of purple stand out on them. I dont mind the sleeves but, AGAIN, the uniforms suck@zz

  • Sunsn7

    Lol Suns punked in the paint by KOSTA KOUFOS…

    Certainly this loss was good for a few ping pong balls! :)

  • foreveris2long

    Leuer, Davis and Koufos slapping the Suns around in the paint, are you kidding me? This experiment with Dragic and Bledsoe is killing me because I do not think that is the future and I think it is depriving Goodwin of quality time. Everyone has a preference for the point guard they should keep but IMO one of them has to go for the betterment of Goodwin.

  • SHAZAM

    this is such a fantastic go to site..the comments are the most detailed and accurate here…whats up with plumlee? is he better than gortat?..does he have any upside left?

  • Luka

    Ed Davis destroying the Suns in the paint. Jon Leuer comes off the bench and looks like Kevin Love thanks to the Suns’ atrocious interior defense. Markieff Morris and Frye just completely let the team down with their half assed play.

    The small backcourt isn’t helping matters. Suns need to deal Bledsoe, Morris, and Frye for a legit scoring wing or PF.

  • melon man

    Time to deal bledsoe.

  • Dan Majerle

    Deal Bledsoe for a 6 pack of dos Equis. You won’t regret it.

    Stay thirsty my friends.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    Plumlee was in awe of Kosta Koufos’ Giant Nose.

  • Dave:f32

    I agree. Deal Bledsoe and draft a real 2 guard with some height 6`5 & up, or combo guard ala Joe Johnson, but sm1 with k.i. Dragic keeps his normal pg position where he is most effective w/ dimes and getting others involved, and he wont have to expend so much energy scoring. Look at Drag-Bled`s assists totals frm last night. Dragic was getting that by himself while Bledsoe was “injured”.

  • Dave:f32

    You didnt think they were gonna deal Dragic over Bledsoe, did you?

    Because that doesnt make sense to me that they would sign Dragic a 2nd time, TO REPLACE NASH`S HAPPY PASTEY AS no less. I think the Suns exes like having a smart marketable white guy running the show OVER a short-sighted, in game and stature, greedy, unhappy, me-me player that seems at times to have his heart and mind somewhere else.

    Dragic is long-term, hello!!! :P

  • Dave:f32
  • Luka

    Those jerseys look authentic. They were made with real area rugs imported from Mexico.

  • Dave:f32

    Haha Luka! Ur cray, boi. I have to agree

  • foreveris2long

    Dave:32 while I can certainly respect your preference of keeping Dragic and trading Bledsoe, why would they draft another two guard when they just drafted Goodwin, a two guard?

  • http://none Go Phx

    These comments are ridiculous.

  • melon man

    I have hopes for goodwin. If he wasn’t on the team id say trade bledsoe and okafor for turkey glue and afflalo. Oh well. At least trade bledsoe and develop goodwin please.

  • Dave:f32

    @foreveris2long, oops my bad. I totally forgot that Goodwin was on the team bcuz he hardly gets burn. Ur right, trade Bledsoe and let Archie make mistakes, learn and grow into the Superstar he is bound to be one day.

  • Dave:f32

    @Go Phx, Go Away. Pls haha :P

    Werent you the saying at the beginning of the season there was absolutely no way the Suns would lose to the Memphis Grizzlies? Yeah, you scoffed at the teams i said the Suns would have trouble with. Its ok, son. Everyone makes mistakes, look at me, i forgot AG was on the team bcuz he hardly plays.

    Dont be so hard on urself, unless ur into that kind of thing…haha its natural, healthy and no it doesnt make you go blind. Only if you let it ;)

  • Daniel S

    Bledsoe has been really disappointing in the past couple of games. Goran looks really dynamic. Runs the ball up the floor, penetrates and gets good shots off. In contrast Bledsoe walks the ball up the court and then takes 3’s from the top of the key. Or just swings the ball side to side. What he ends up doing is putting the Suns in a half-court offense the majority of the time. Which we all know is not their game. I say bring Bledsoe off the bench until he’s “in shape”.

  • Stephon Marbury

    Nobody balled like me in a Suns uni. Ya’ll can’t afford me though!

  • Solarion

    I agree Dave, and others; trade Bledsoe, this is Goran’s team. I don’t like having 2 PGs in the back court. Move Archie Goodwin into the 2 spot, let him take his lumps, I watched in Las Vegas over the summer on NBA.tv, he looked really good.

  • EBJM

    Hey Stephon didn’t you go to China to play ball because not a single NBA team were interested?

    Well I cant beleive failed lottery pick and a seven-foot center whose generally likes to shoot jumpers just destroyed the Suns. I mean they made me look very foolish as SouthPhilly said the Grizzlies would kill Phx. in the paint but I said no way because Gasol and Z-Bo were sitting this game out.

    On the plus side Koufos was George Karl’s starting center on his record 57 win Nugget team last season and the Grizzlies only had to give up reserve forward Darrell Arthur for him and it had really paid off.

    The acquistion of Davis was when they sent Rudy Gay to the Raptors and also acquired Jose Calderon but flipped him to Detroit for Forever’s other odopted son Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince.

    But the Grizzlies didn’t re-sign Daye this summer and he returned to the Raptors.

    Phoenix ranks #28 for oppossition points in the paint allowed. We are back to square one needing a big bruiser inside. The Suns season starting novelty has worn off and we seem to be back on track to the lottery.

    When Ed Davis looks like an All-Star after being given up on by your original team, well…….

    I think all of these comments are great except the one by Go Phx. Smovas is that you lurking behind your alter ego?

  • EBJM

    Nets update. Pierce fractured his hand, Jason Terry is out with an injured knee, D-Will is still bothered by the bad ankle, Kirilenko is still out, old man Garnett was run off the court last night by Faried and should consider retiring.

    Brooklyn is one of the seven worst teams and currently Phoenix doesn’t even get a ping pong ball and would draft #12 today.

  • Luka

    Markieff Morris is such a joke. He came into the league comparing himself to Rasheed Wallace only he plays nothing like Sheed. Like not even remotely like him.

    After that 3 game tear he went on he claimed Gentry was using him differently and he was being held back. Now he’s back to lazy defense, taking fall away jumpers, and jacking up jumpers. This guy has got to go.

    As for Frye, he’d be an okay reserve for about 15-20 minutes a game but no more. He’s not someone you play the entire game let alone start. The reality is Frye has bilked the Suns long enough. I know he went through a bad ordeal, and the Suns handled it extremely well. But at some point you have to move on. How much more lip service can someone pay to playing defense, rebounding, and going inside? Fans grew sick of it with Amare and it’s become a running gag with Frye now.

  • EBJM

    Further Net news: Jason Kidd has just removed Lawrence Frank from the seat next to him on the bench citing philisophical differences, Frank can coach and Kidd cannot. LOL

    Did you guys hear about his antics in L.A.? Kidd instructed his point guard Tyshawn Taylor to hit him while he stood on the court holding a cup of soda with 8.3 seconds remaining and no time-outs so he could draw up a play while they cleaned up his mess.

    Intentional “flopping” as the league fined Kidd $50,000. I do not see Kidd in the race for Coach of the year.

    Phx is in 12th place out West but would be in 3rd place in the East.

    I would l have to say Brian Shaw is doing the most with the least right now. Somehow he has the Nuggets on a six game win streak with really only one star player in PG Ty Lawson. With Koufos gone and McGee injured former Knick center Timofrey Mozgov grabbed 20 boards and scored 17 points against the Nets best player, Brook Lopez while holding him to 12/2.

    I’d bet the Knicks wished they kept Mozgov with Chandler injured.

  • EBJM

    Luka unless the Suns can dump him Frye will probally pickup his player option next summer as I’m sure it will be his last “big” contract.

  • Luka

    More Nets Updates:

    The Brooklyn Nets have signed four medical stretchers to a combined 4 year 16 million dollar deal. With the Nets being ravaged with injuries early on in the season that move made perfect sense to Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

    “We want the best. We have best talent but they need best care. We feel tools help our players to be healthy and win now.”

    Nets’ head coach Jason Kidd, who has been the brunt of criticism for the teams poor start, agrees.

    “I agree.” says Kidd.

    The stretchers could not be reached for comment as they were put to work early. All four members of Brooklyn’s starting 5 have been affected by injury, as have key role players in Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko.

  • EBJM

    A statistical analysis of the Suns porous post defense. The Suns big three of Plumlee, Frye and Markieff allow their opponenets to hit 50%, 52% and 55% of their shots at the rim.

    The Grizzlies Koufos who is Gasol’s back-up, Ed Davis who is Z-Bo’s back-up and Leuer who is barely in the rotation hold their opponenets to 42%, 35%, and 33% respectively at the rim.

    That is why the Grizzlies as a team rank #10 in points allowed in the paint while the Suns are at #28.

    The Suns best rim protector, Kravtsov continues to sit while the Suns get punished in the paint and of course Alex Len sits right next to him.

    It’s all good though because we want those ping pong balls!

  • Voqar

    “One exception could be Marcus Morris who led the team with 18 points”

    Well, when either morris gets the ball they either shoot it or if the stars align they pass it to the other morris. Your chances of scoring elevate when you’re the only person shooting.

    Plus it’s rare (never) that both morris clones have it going on, but it seems to all too often require 10 bricks between them before they figure out which one of them can make a basket in any given game.

    It’s bad for team when you have black holes like this – it makes other players rush and take bad shots because they feel like they’ll never get the ball.

    And NOT sharing the ball is as infectious as sharing it, but it’s rare that doing little to no passing leads to success.

    This is one reason I don’t like seeing Green in the 2nd unit. He’s a solid scorer and willing passer but that’s all lost playing with the morris boys.

    Some seem infatuated with the dragic/bledsoe backcourt but I think it’s weak. The balance is better with Green starting at the 2.

  • Scott

    It was nice for me to see Leuer get a chance to play. I always thought he could be a quality bench guy on a cheap contract.