That game, or at least part of the post mortem, raised some issues for a rant from me now that it appears the NBA really is not going to give the Bulls a bye into the conference finals for the injury issues. Without Morant you figured the Grizzlies had little chance, but then there was that 20-5 record without Morant; so OK we'll wait. Memphis is a great watch, by the way, especially with Morant, who I suspect the way he plays at his size could have some issues. Too bad. It still is a big person's game, for the most part.
Anyway, Memphis is right there in Game 4 and a big part is poor Golden State shooting (great defense? ah, not so much). But it seemed the Grizzlies should have won easily with their size and Mike Brown coaching (joking). It has seemed like it's been a wonderful coaching job this season by whoever is coach there, though the Grizzlies have been making the fundamental mistake you make against the Warriors. You can't beat them small. I know, almost did. And then they did in Game 5. That is a very good and tough Grizzlies team even without Morant. Meanwhile, Golden State basically invented and popularized small ball. And Golden State has Jaren Jackson and Steven Adams. But Memphis kept shooting. And then still leading with a minute to go they take arguably three of the worst shots in postseason history. Maybe a slight exaggeration, though not much as the Warriors run to the rim and win.
Just one game and all that, but this next part is the part for the rant. Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins—hey, I remembered—immediately afterward for the interviews says how proud he was of his team for the way they competed. I'm not sure how responses works here, but raise your hand if your boss ever said he was proud of you when you didn't reach your goal. I know mine always said: Why didn't you get that story? But it's also why they can take shots like that at the end and no one says anything. And why it's often so difficult to coach in the NBA these days. Forget accountability. Better not hurt anyone's feelings. It's hardly just Jenkins. I hear this all the time of how proud the coach is for how hard they played or the way they competed or the effort they put in. What I remember best is when I screwed up and was told (forcefully) about it. Those closing shots were a selfish, stupid, abomination. For a basketball game, anyway. Yet the coach is there showering them with praise for trying. Participation trophies, anyone?