It was a hard-fought battle against the Los Angeles Clippers but in the end, it was a heartbreaking loss for the Memphis Grizzlies that went the full seven. I talk to Matt Moore from Hardwood Paroxysm, Eye On Basketball (CBS Sports), and Pro Basketball Talk (NBC Sports) to get his reaction about these bears.
The series went seven... but, of course, it stands as a first round loss. Does this mean that the team is still far away from contending?
I mean, it's as far away as it has been. Losing in the first round to the Clippers doesn't mean that they've taken a step backwards, it means that the Clippers played exceptionally well, had some matchup advantages, and Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin got to pretend they're actual NBA players for two weeks. The team still got homecourt for the first time in team history. It was the best season production wise in history for the franchise, and you could still point to tons of things (Randolph and Arthur's injuries, stalled development) that lead you to think it could have been better.
Which players for the Grizzlies stood out for you, good and bad?
I thought Marc Gasol did a great job, as expected. Mike Conley was spectacular, and I though Quincy Pondexter did an excellent job at both ends. I think Mareese Speights encapsulated the year. Better than expected, with some major facepalms throughout. Randolph was never healthy, and Rudy Gay, who I have defended for three years really let everyone down.
So what's next for Memphis in terms of the roster? Should they make any big moves?
Well, OJAM's gone, no way they pay him after that debacle. Arthur's an RFA, but hopefully they'll match. From there it's just getting a legitimage backup PG. They thought they had depth there, but younger guys tend to lose time under Hollins over time, and Pargo and Selby did. the draft actually is huge. They need to get a guy who can play late in the first round, which isn't easy.
PHOTO CREDIT: Joe Murphy/Getty Images.