It really doesn’t matter that the Memphis Grizzlies were down by 14 points at the moment they missed 7 consecutive layups in one sequence of offense, and that they later managed to tie the game and force overtime. Both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol couldn’t make the most of the second-chance points opportunities they were given, and lost a game 2 in which they could have stolen home court advantage.
The Grizzlies grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and kept the Spurs on 43.4% from the field. But their Charles Smith like moment was painfully a lot like their offense has looked for this entire series. No creativity, and being extremely unsuccessful at what should be working best for them, which is posting up Randolph on Duncan or Splitter.
Once again, the Grizzlies found themselves being very unsuccessful in posting up Randolph. They hit only 38.5% of their shots in these situations, while Randolph also turned the ball over four times, and Marc Gasol didn’t look all too comfortable as the Spurs kept him away from the shots he likes to take and the spots on the floor in which he usually finds it very easy to play the pivot role well.
The Grizzlies have an excellent perimeter defense, and it worked a lot better this time. They suffocated Tony Parker and his chances to score on the pick & roll, just as you’d expect from a defensive unit that has Tony Allen and Mike Conley, both of them All-defensive team players. But their focus on Parker, who did have an awful shooting night (6-20, 30%) left Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green wide open again and again, as the two combined for five three pointers and the Spurs shot 53.8% on spot up threes, with Parker finishing with 18 assists.
Tony Allen was horrible on offense, scoring only 8 points on 2-of-11 from the field. With Randolph and Gasol combining to shoot only 33.3% from the field, someone other than Mike Conley (continuing to be the consistent scorer he has been all through the postseason, adding 18 points) had to have a good night. Jared Bayless did score 17 points off the bench, but those were on a poor shooting night (7-of-18), as the Grizzlies found it very hard to find an offensive play they were comfortable with an execute successfully in the game and so far in the entire series.
And still, thanks to their defense and scoring 18 points off the Spurs’ turnovers, the Grizzlies stayed in the game. They allowed only 9 points in the fourth quarter and the trap by Tony Allen and Zach Randolph led to the flagrant foul on a flopping Allen, which also led to Conley tying the game at 85 and sending it into overtime, where they lost to an unstoppable Tim Duncan.
The Grizzlies are back in the series, despite the 0 on the win column. The Spurs are more vulnerable to the physical grind of this series, which plays into the hands of Memphis. Their problem is finding something that works for them on offense, because so far their two most important players have yet to show up and bring their scoring to the most important playoff series in the history of the franchise.