Saturday night, the Memphis Grizzlies opened their third game of the season against an improved Dallas Mavericks squad looking to establish their Western Conference dominance early on this year. Dallas added Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert as their three biggest offseason names and looked to knock off a defensive-minded Grizzlies team that didn’t do a lot this summer.
Memphis only scored 16 points in the first quarter to Dallas’ 32, and at halftime had cut the lead to seven. But, in the end they lost by a margin of 111-99 thanks to a well-rounded performance from the Mavs who featured six guys in double figure scoring.
The loss was not by a lack of effort from point guard Mike Conley Jr., though. Conley finished the night with 24 points, eight assists, four rebounds, three steals and a block. Conley got to the line 10 times as well and only missed once.
The most impressive part of Conley’s night? He only turned the ball over one time, after doing so eight times in the first two games of his season. Conley was efficient on Saturday night and surely can not be blamed for Memphis’ loss to the Mavs.
The Grizzlies, so far this season, are giving up a lot of points through three games — over 106 per game to be exact. Memphis is also turning the ball over 17 times per game — how uncharacteristic are these stats from a normally-gritty, defensive team?
Maybe they are already missing Lionel Hollins.
Or, maybe it’s just early in the season and Memphis, like the rest of the league, has a ways to go before finding out just what kind of team they are going to be this year.
For the record, I’d be missing Hollins right now.