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Grizzlies Loss Falls on the Coach?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 14, 2012 @ 7:25 am In All,Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
The Grizzlies closed the regular season with six consecutive victories to ensure a possible Game 7 would be played inside FedExForum, and it all seemed worthwhile late Friday when they won Game 6 to even the series at three. Tickets went on sale early Saturday and sold out in a matter of minutes. So the Grizzlies woke up Sunday with homecourt advantage and an understanding that (Chris) Paul (strained hip flexor), (Blake) Griffin (sprained knee) and Caron Butler (broken hand) were less than 100 percent, and the consensus around this town was that Memphis would advance to the Western Conference semifinals for the second successive year as long as Lionel Hollins stuck with the inside-outside philosophy that helped the Grizz win Games 5 and 6.
He did not.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol — the only two current Memphis players ever to be named All-Stars as members of the Grizzlies — combined to average 29 field-goal attempts in Games 5 and 6 but shot the ball only 23 times in Game 7. Memphis’ three primary guards (Mike Conley, Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo) finished 6 for 32 from the field.
“Gotta get the ball in the post,” Randolph said. “Gotta get the ball to the bigs down low.”
It would also probably be wise to not sit Randolph for four crucial minutes in the fourth quarter like Hollins did for some reason. But the Grizz coach previously had sat Allen, his best perimeter defender, for most of the fourth quarter in Game 1 while the Clippers erased a 24-point lead with less than eight minutes remaining, point being that Hollins has a history of using strange lineups during key stretches. That’s why it wasn’t a surprise when he did it again Sunday, nor was it a surprise when Memphis fans took to tearing up his Big Head at a local bar during a let-off-some-steam drinking binge.
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