Pete's Perspective: Summer League Game 2
Some games are hard to analyze.
This one wasn’t.
The Memphis Grizzlies lost to the Washington Wizards 83-77 on Tuesday afternoon by getting crushed – and as a public service announcement, please have all small children leave the room because this is shocking stuff – by a 56-22 rebound margin.
In case that didn’t sink in, let me put it another way: the Wizards had more offensive rebounds (23) than the Grizzlies had total rebounds (22).
That dominance of the glass offset 25 Washington turnovers that the Grizzlies cashed into 32 points and also offset 39% shooting. Shavlik Randolph, Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely combined for 37 rebounds together. Meanwhile, Deon Thompson was the leading Grizzlies rebounder with five.
Now that we’ve gotten the horror part of the program out of the way, back to what was good about the Grizzlies’ performance.
Josh Selby is ticketed for the All Summer League team after pouring in a league-best 35 points and swiping an amazing seven steals (somewhere, Tony Allen is smiling). Selby pumped in seven triples in eight tries. One was a halftime buzzer-beater (Watch this.) and he hit another to keep Grizz hopes alive in the waning moments, despite being roll-blocked. No foul was called on the play and Selby was holding his midsection in obvious discomfort after the game.
“It doesn’t mean anything,” Selby said afterwards, waving off his virtuoso performance. “We didn’t get the win. We’re here for two goals, win games and get better.”
Selby is certainly showing, at least in this venue, that he has gotten much better. His emergence, plus the drafting of Tony Wroten, Jr. and signing of Jerryd Bayless, means that the days of Jeremy Pargo in Beale Street Blue may be numbered. Pargo, who isn’t expected to play in the final three games of summer league, did his very best to make a case that he belongs on an NBA roster, whether in Memphis or elsewhere.
Pargo was aggressive not only looking for his own shot, but also feeding the post with seven assists on the afternoon in addition to three steals and one big whamola dunk that had the crowd on its feet. (Watch the play.)
The Grizzlies led 40-37 at half thanks to Selby’s heave, but quickly surrendered the lead as Shavlik Randolph hit back-to-back buckets to give the Wizards a 43-42 lead a little more than a minute and a half in. Summer league head coach Lloyd Pierce called for time and put in Jon Kreft and Xavi Rey to add bulk to the Memphis front line. It didn’t work, as they were consistently outdueled for loose balls off the glass.
A 17-5 run by Washington in the heart of the third quarter essentially decided matters as Washington pushed their lead to 60-47. And while a Selby three halted that rally, the Grizzlies simply weren’t shooting well enough (42%) or rebounding well enough (we’ve already gone there) to pull the game out.
The Grizzlies will scrimmage the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas & Mack Center. Their next game is Friday afternoon (3:30 local, 5:30 Memphis time, NBA-TV).
- Grizzlies’ majority owner Michael Heisley arrived in Vegas to watch the game. At halftime he told me the greatest joy in owning a sports franchise is to watch a community come together as Memphis has during the Grizzlies’ last two playoff runs. He is in town for the Board of Governors meeting.
- Marreese Speights arrived in Las Vegas and sat courtside with assistant coach Bob Thornton, who should receive a lot of credit for Speights’ development last season. It’s expected that Speights will work out with the Grizzlies, but won’t play in any Summer League games
- The Grizzlies-Wizards game was originally scheduled to be shown live on NBA-TV, but a late change means the game will be shown in its entirety at 3 a.m. (CT) Wednesday morning. Joel Meyers and Rick Mahorn will have the call.
- While the Grizzlies and Wizards were playing, the Houston Rockets were getting ready to play the Portland Trail Blazers. The Rockets were eagerly awaiting word on whether or not the New York Knicks would match Houston’s offer sheet to Jeremy Lin. “And even if they don’t match, we have a point guard who hasn’t played a full season and he’s coming off knee surgery,” one Rockets staffer told me.
- The NBA referee corps has lost some of its top officials to career-ending injuries. Mark Wunderlich was a Finals-level official and told me that both his knees are so bad he can no longer referee. In the past few years, the league has lost Wunderlich, Steve Javie, Bob Delaney and Joe Forte to retirement or injury. The league has hired a number of former referees, Forte and Wunderlich among them, to observe and grade junior officials. Other former officials working Summer League in a similar capacity include Don Vaden, George Tolliver, Ed T. Rush and Bernie Fryer. The NBA Summer League is refereed primarily by D-League officials.
- Grizzlies’ assistant coach Dave Joerger, who had interviewed with the Charlotte Bobcats for their vacant head coaching position, also interviewed with Portland GM Neil Olshey this week. Joerger is one of approximately a dozen candidates who had a first interview with Olshey. Caleb Canales finished out the season with Portland after Nate McMillan was let go mid-season and is a candidate for the job as well.
Chat with Pete on Wednesday at Noon - Join Pete Pranica in a Grizzlies.com live chat at Noon on July 18, 2012. Submit your questions in advance on Twitter by including #GrizzliesChat in your post.