Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Go To...Who?

I think it is painfully obvious now why Jason Williams cannot be on the court at the end of a close game. So now, if anyone asks, "Why does Mike Fratello stick with Earl Watson in the 4th even when his offense looks so bad?", just pop in the tape of last night's Grizzlies/Nuggets game, and they will understand.

Andre Miller did whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted against Jason Williams. Late in the game, Miller posted up against Jason, and it was as if Miller was posting up a 12 year old. He backed J-Will down as easily as could be, then finished with similar ease. Jason Williams is capable of defending, but he simply does not want to put forth the energy and effort required to defend. Earl Watson, for all his offensive inconsistency and poor (at times) decision-making, puts forth effort on defense. That's why he has to play.

Lorenzen Wright had an interesting comment after the game. He said that he felt the team was "stressing", and that they were pushing too much, trying too hard to make a perfect shot. Interesting.

That would, of course, explain the 3-11 free throw shooting in the 4th quarter. It would also explain how the Grizzlies have shot a combined 20-98 from behind the three-point line since the win at New Jersey. Mike Miller has missed a number of wide open looks, as has Brian Cardinal. Shane Battier has, at times, looked afraid to shoot. This team needs to relax--but relaxation is hard to come by when you know that Minnesota is just 2.5 games behind you with a much more favorable schedule. Relaxation is also hard to come by when you're playing against a team that seems to have your number--Denver owns the Grizzlies this year.

Here's a question to think about: when the chips are down, and the Grizzlies need a basket, who takes the shot? I don't know--but the bigger problem is that they don't know, either.

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