Once the Memphis Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay, it was reaffirmed that this was Zach Randolph’s team. Last night, it didn’t look like that.
In the first three quarters, Z-Bo was looking like his old self. Against the Phoenix Suns, he had 17 points on 8-16 shooting and 11 rebounds. Neither Luis Scola or Marcin Gortat could slow him down. He carried the scoring load with Jerryd Bayless as Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Darrell Arthur all struggled offensively. The end results?
21 points and only ONE shot in the entire 4th quarter. And who did he blame for him having one shot? Lionel Hollins, of course.
“That’s what coach wants,” said Randolph. “Our game is pick-and-roll now.”
To put things into perspective, here is the shot breakdown in the 4th quarter for the Memphis Grizzlies: Arthur: 0-4, Gasol: 0-2, Conley: 0-2, Bayless: 3-4, Ed Davis: 1-1, Austin Daye: 0-1 and Randolph: 1-1. While Lionel Hollins isn’t the greatest coach, you have to question his game-plan going into the last quarter.
By the looks of things last night, it seemed as if the locker room for Memphis wasn’t too pretty. While Gasol and Conley are a nice pick and roll tandem, the alpha-dog has been named and when he receives only one shot in the fourth quarter compared to, per say, Arthur’s four, that isn’t the easiest way to make him happy. Before tonight’s game, Randolph had scored 20 combined points in the last three so seeing him with a pep in his step was a good sight for this offense. But they’ve got to figure out ways to get him the ball.
Gay’s absence means that there is one less person to create off the dribble. They squandered a lead in the fourth to Phoenix that could’ve been settled by getting the ball to the big man. And maybe they don’t win the game, but the feelings in the locker room would be much higher than they are now. We’ll see if things change as they take on the Atlanta Hawks tonight.