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Game 72 Recap

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Oy.  A direct quote from the live chat:  Watching this game was like eating creamed lima beans.

Grizzlies 96  Blazers 92

Boxscore

Team Observations:

--To the eyes there were a lot of things that went wrong in this game.  Our defense was flat-footed and a step slow.  There were sporadic good plays but over the long haul we had more holes than cheese in our game.  We didn't hit a single three pointer all night and missed a ton of free throws.  Our offense was intermittent and frequently ugly.  We left them free for some transition buckets.

--If you just look at the stats, though, you'd wonder why Memphis won.  We shot 44% and they didn't even clear 40%.  We had 25 assists to their 15.  We had fewer turnovers.  We hammered them in the paint by 50-32.  There was an enormous gap in free throws made (they made 35 to our 20) and that ended up being the difference.  Even so, it seemed statistically like a game we could pull out.  We just didn't.  The fire, the energy, the intensity just weren't present long enough to make a difference.  This game was disjointed to the point that it looked like a game in November, not a game from a team with most of a season under its belt.

Individual Observations

--You have to start with Zach's career night.  This was a statistical masterpiece.  He scored a career-high 43 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, great shooting percentage, only 2 turnovers.  He was just about the best Zach he could be.  There were also a couple times when he didn't get back down the court on defense.  And at the end when we needed a three with Dan Dickau wide open in the corner and a clear passing lane he instead kept it to score on a layup himself.  To blame the loss on Zach would be folly.  But he did contribute, which marred an otherwise sterling offensive game.  Unfortunately this will lead people to question his agenda yet again.  Is it winning or is it stats...or does he think there's a difference?  In my mind we should probably say that this game counted towards the good for Zach because almost nobody else was coming through.  But I also understand why people will point to the loss and add an asterisk to his performance.

--Travis Outlaw was the other guy you noticed big time out there.  He was taking shots with confidence and ended up 6-10 for 13 points in 25 pretty active minutes.  The Mikes were speculating he might start next game.

--This was not one of Brandon Roy's better games.  He had 5 assists but also 4 turnovers.  He shot 5-12 for 13 points and aside from a few isolated moments looked largely ineffective.

--If Roy was ineffective fellow starters Jack and Webster were downright awful.  Jarrett played only 22 minutes and shot 1-6 with 3 assists.  Dan Dickau ended up taking whichever of his late game minutes that Sergio didn't.  Martell missed open shot after open shot, going 0-6 with 1 point, 1 rebound, and 1 foul after starting the game.  I think it's fair to ask if Martell is a small forward on this team or if the shooting guard role suits him better.

--Sergio played 21 minutes and got 8 assists.  He really sped up the game while he was in there.  He made a couple mistakes but at least he was productive, which is more than you can say for the rest of the backcourt.  I assume he'll continue getting minutes.

--As for the rest...Magloire played an OK utility game but could have rebounded more.  Jones and Dickau were off although Freddie did have a couple of nice passes.

Miscellaneous Observations

--I hope we enjoyed tonight.  Except for the Seattle game on the 14th of April every game from here on out is against a playoff-level team.  I assume we're going to come strong for at least a couple of those and notch a surprising win or two but that just makes you wonder why we couldn't do it tonight.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)