Found January 10, 2012 on
Fox Sports Tennessee:
The Grizzlies lost 90-82 to the Lakers on Sunday, but they got a strong performance off the bench from center Marreese Speights, a recent trade acquisition.
Speights scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds at Staples Center.
With the injured Zach Randolph out for the next seven week while he heals from a torn medial collateral knee ligament, Memphis needs front-line points from someone else. The 6-10, 255-pound Speights, who has always been offensive minded, might eventually break into the starting lineup.
That would be something for a player that the 76ers basically gave up on. Speights hadn't played a minute this season when Philadelphia traded him last week. The 16th pick in the draft out of Florida in 2008, he played in only 39 games last season, averaging 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.5 minutes.
"I felt good about the trade," Speights said. "It was hard to leave Philadelphia, because it's the only team I've been with. But I need this fresh start."
And the Grizzlies would like double-digit scoring and maybe five to seven rebounds per night from Speights. They know he has always been an offensive-minded player, but Memphis coach Lionel Hollins is a defensive-oriented coach.
If Speights doesn't want to consistently guard someone, he may be stuck on the bench. If he does fall in love with defense, he could become a key in Randolph's absence.
The Grizzlies' lack of outside shooting -- 1 of 9 on threes -- again hurt them Sunday against the Lakers. Memphis could have made a huge move on the Lakers at the start of the fourth quarter when Los Angeles missed its first seven shots. But the Griz scored only the first six points of the period to cut the Lakers' lead to 78-74 before L.A. woke up.
"We outscored them by two in the second half," Griz coach Lionel Hollins said, "but one of the things I said before the game was we didn't want to get into a hole with them, that we wanted to jump on them first. But we didn't."
F Rudy Gay, G Mike Conley, C Marc Gasol and injured F Zach Randolph have been placed on the ballet for this year's NBA All-Star game set for Feb. 26. With the season just out of the gate, Gay, who's averaging 15.8 points and a career-high 8.2, is probably the top Griz candidate, though he has to raise his scoring considerably.
Memphis is 2-2 since Randolph went down with the knee injury in a 40-point loss at Chicago on Jan. 1. Memphis opens a four-game home stand on Tuesday night against Oklahoma City.
C Marc Gasol went 0-for-9 from the field, scoring just two points vs. the Lakers. He contributed 11 rebounds, seven assists and four steals, but the Griz really needed his offense.
You can always tell when G Tony Allen draws an exceedingly tough defensive assignment, such as trying to slow down Lakers' G Kobe Bryant. When Allen expends so much energy and focus on stopping a star like Bryant, his offense suffers. He scored just four points in 13:15 of playing time Sunday.
"Obviously, you exert a lot of energy," Allen said. "I was trying to make it tough for him, but Kobe is Kobe."
PF Zach Randolph (partially torn medial collateral right knee ligament) is out for eight
QUOTE TO NOTE
"Man, I don't want to talk about Zach Randolph. Zach is not here. This is our fourth game without Zach and we get beat and now somebody wants to ask me about Zach." -- Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins
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30-year old SG/SF Tony Allen is doing a decent job for the Grizzlies so far this year. Allen has played in 9 games (all starts) for the Grizzlies so far this year and he is averaging 21.9 minutes, 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game. The Grizzlies need Allen to keep up the good work as they are off to a very slow start to the 2011-12 season.
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The Grizzlies were outrebounded 51-39 last night and it did them in. Marc Gasol led the way for the Grizzlies last night with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 blocked shots. Rudy Gay (16 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal) and Mike Conley (15 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals) also had solid games for the Grizzlies last night. O.J. Mayo (12 points, 5 rebounds,...
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Jan 10, 8:00 PM | FedExForum
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