The Grizzlies are losing games and insist that is all there is to their recent slide.
They refuse to get down on one another or come apart.
"We're straight. We're going to stay together. It's just a tough time. We'll get our chemistry," forward Zach Randolph said after finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds Wednesday night in a 103-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Griz fell to 1-3 since trading Rudy Gay and, to a man, preached that their transition will require patience. Putting out a better effort would have helped against the Hawks.
Memphis lost to Atlanta for the 11th time in the last 13 meetings, and this one wasn't as competitive as the final score might suggest. The Hawks led by as many as 23 points and pounced on the lackluster Grizzlies.
Atlanta chased down loose balls, made hard cuts in the lane for layups and raced for high-percentage shots off fast breaks. Memphis' defense didn't show up as advertised and put up very little resistance.
"It seemed like we didn't have no emotion in the game," Griz guard Tony Allen said. "There was not grittiness to it. Once they made plays, we put our heads down. We didn't have that mindset to seek and destroy. … I don't know why we're not fighting. But it all starts on the defensive end. And we can't have distractions in our locker room. We've got to stay together."
The Grizzlies' second straight loss certainly appeared to be more about energy and execution rather than all of the sudden angst about offensive sets and lineup rotations.
Memphis routinely made mistakes defending Atlanta in pick-and-rolls and failed to run back on fast breaks. The Griz's 10-point halftime deficit quickly ballooned after the Hawks began the second half on an 11-0 run. Randolph gave the Griz their first basket midway through the third quarter, and coach Lionel Hollins made a wholesale substitution shortly after that.
Memphis Grizzlies fail to soar past Hawks, 103-92
Memphis Commercial Appeal | Feb 7