Behind The Scoreboard

Grizzlies fizzle down the stretch

Is the team we once knew as “Grit ’n Grind” slowly fading out of the spotlight?

The Memphis Grizzlies are playing their worst basketball of the Fizdale era.

They are no longer the same bullies who often powered their way towards a top four or five seed in the Western Conference, arriving in the playoffs as the kind of team that you had to keep an eye on. The Grizzlies always had upset potential with how they could defend and slow down the game.

Right now, Memphis has no momentum. The loss against the Atlanta Hawks Saturday night has put the Grizzlies in the seventh spot in the Western Conference.

In short, things haven’t been going well for the Grizzlies. Their offense has been fine, ranking a solid 10th in offensive rating since the beginning of February, but that hasn’t been the problem. It’s the defense that has been the biggest drawback – ranking an uncharacteristic 19th since the start of February.

New head coach David Fizdale wanted to shake things up. He made some adjustments to see if any new lineup variation could lead to more consistent success.

Fizdale opted for a lineup change, swapping shooting guard Tony Allen and power forward JaMychal Green in the starting five for rookie guard Andrew Harrison and Brandan Wright.

The change didn’t work too well from the start. Fizdale thought maybe trying something new on a night against the NBA’s worst team, the Brooklyn Nets (10-51), would be a good game. It didn’t turn out that way. The Grizzlies managed to lose the game 122-109, making it their third straight loss.

And of course, Fizdale did receive some criticism for the lineup changes this late into the season. But Fizdale is determined to shuffle things around until he find something that works best for the team and a chance to hold the trophy. Plus, Fizdale is hoping for the Grizzlies to get better at starting games.

On another NBA note, how bad did the Chicago Bulls shoot in the first quarter against the Boston Celtics? Well, they made three of 22 field goal attempts, the worst they have shot in a first quarter since April 10, 1999. Chicago is the first team this season that failed to make at least one shot in the paint in a quarter.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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