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News » Questions mount for Grizzlies

Questions mount for Grizzlies

Questions mount for Grizzlies

Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni walked into the locker room Saturday with an uncomfortable 111-103 loss to the hapless Oklahoma City Thunder in tow, and said very little to his troops.

The gist of his brief message was that the Grizzlies win together and they lose as a team.

Iavaroni told media that the loss to a team with the NBA's worst record was one to sleep on.

"Gather thoughts and not say something emotional or something that's going to be taken the wrong way or deliver the wrong message," Iavaroni said. "That's the most important thing."

Sunday was a day off from Basketball for the Griz. But that didn't silence critics, who believe the Griz have to be concerned about player development, an identity crisis and coaching issues.

Atop the list of questions facing the Grizzlies is when will they win their next game after losing six in a row - currently an NBA low in futility along with Sacramento and Golden State?

There's more:

When Kyle Lowry simply said "we need to improve" in response to the fans' booing, wasn't that the only response?

What does it say that the Grizzlies allowed the biggest road win by a team on a 14-game losing streak since the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Seattle SuperSonics by eight, ending a 17-game skid in their last game of the 1999-2000 season?

Is the Grizzlies' best "small ball" lineup Lowry, Javaris Crittenton, Greg Buckner, O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay with Mike Conley and Hakim Warrick on the bench?

Why did Mayo and Marc Gasol seemingly take the Thunder loss harder than anyone else in the locker room?

How is the psyche of Mayo, who scored 30 points last Saturday after tossing in 32 last Friday at San Antonio making it the second time this month that he's scored at least 30 in back-to-back games?

How can the Griz lose back-to-back games when they shot a season-high 57.7 percent against Oklahoma City one night after setting a season-best mark with 54.5 percent at San Antonio?

Why is Gay's body language on the court so bad?

Is Gay pressing to keep up with Mayo's scoring?

Does Gay attempt too many bail-out baskets and one-on-one shots instead of scoring on plays designed for him?

Will Mike Conley be traded?

Is Iavaroni losing confidence in Conley, who had an animated exchange with his coach during a timeout last Wednesday at Utah?

Is Iavaroni on the hot seat?

Have the players lost confidence in Iavaroni, who is in his second season as an NBA head coach?

Is Iavaroni too lackadaisical and inconsistent with discipline for such a young team?

Will owner Michael Heisley remain patient with the coaching staff until January like he's told confidants?

Is youth an excuse when execution and focus are problems?

What's the halftime speech when the Griz are 0-10 in games in which they lose the third quarter?

Why does the offense look rudderless?

Are the point guards that incapable?

Should the Griz be ranked last in assists among 30 NBA teams?

What happened to tough, disciplined and defensive minded when the Griz allow 100 points and 46-percent shooting on average?

Is Kevin O'Neill, the Grizzlies' recently hired defensive specialist, getting enough time to run practice?

Why doesn't a team so young and athletic run more on offense and press defensively?

Can Marko Jaric contribute?

How about Javaris Crittenton?

Where is Hakim Warrick?

Are the Grizzlies developing or downgrading talent?

Or is 17 games too soon to tell?

Will losing 10 of 11 after starting 3-3 create fan apathy especially when five of those defeats have come at home?

Did Gasol essentially sum up things best, alluding to the fact that no one is immune to harsh criticism when losses mount?

"Effort?" Gasol responded to a reporter's question Saturday. "I'd say it's effort."

- Ronald Tillery: 529-2353

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 2, 2008


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