3 takeaways from the Memphis Grizzlies win over the Cleveland Cavaliers

Dec 14, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Troy Daniels (30) shoots as Cleveland Cavaliers center Chris Andersen (00) defends in the second half at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Cleveland 93-85. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Troy Daniels (30) shoots as Cleveland Cavaliers center Chris Andersen (00) defends in the second half at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Cleveland 93-85. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

A night after the Memphis Grizzlies rested Marc Gasol, the Cleveland Cavaliers sat LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. The Grizz won 93-85.

While the Memphis Grizzlies did pull off a win, many Memphians were upset about the game. After their match-up in Cleveland, Tyronn Lue announced that LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving wouldn’t travel to Memphis for the game. This move not only angered the fans who bought tickets, but also the NBA world.

Luckily, for the Memphis Grizzlies, they took advantage of Cleveland’s absences and won 93-85. Behind their solid three-point shooting (12-for-23), the Grizzlies improved to 18-9 on the season.

Memphis Grizzlies stats leaders

Point leader: Troy Daniels (20; 4-for-8 shooting from three).

Rebound leader: Marc Gasol (11).

Assists leader: Toney Douglas (5).


1. The Memphis Grizzlies have a sticky situation with Toney Douglas.

The Memphis Grizzlies’ hardship exception expires soon. Therefore, a decision about Toney Douglas’ roster status has to be made. He was exceptional in this game (14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc). However, does he make sense once Mike Conley returns?

Andrew Harrison has been a quality producer for the Memphis Grizzlies, thus far. Like every rookie guard, he has his great games and his awful games. Harrison has solidified the back-up point guard spot. He’s been the starting point guard during their 7-2 run without Conley. Because of Harrison’s steadiness, Douglas isn’t the man for the back-up point guard spot.

While some think he could make a quality third point, why would any team have 4 point guards on the roster? There’s no chance in hell they give up Wade Baldwin, last year’s first round pick, or Andrew Harrison, another young player with upside, for someone who’s a one-year veteran rental. At least, I hope not.

The Toney Douglas era has been a fun one, but it’s time to develop the future. Trust the process.

2. The Memphis Grizzlies finally have steady three-point shooting.

For years, the only thing holding the Memphis Grizzlies back from title contention was perimeter shooting. This season, they might have the three-point firepower.

In this game, the Grizzlies connected on 12 of their 23 attempts from downtown. Marc Gasol’s continued his rejuvenated play, making all three of his three-point attempts and moving to 8th in the three-point percentage leaders (45.6 percent). Troy Daniels knocked down 4 triples. Vince Carter and Toney Douglas each drained 2 three-pointers.

What’s crazy is that they don’t even have some of their best shooters back. Before his injury, Mike Conley was shooting at a career-best rate. Conley’s shooting 46.7 percent from beyond the arc (6th in the league) on 90 attempts. Chandler Parsons (37.8 percent career three-point shooter) was signed for his prolific perimeter scoring, . James Ennis has shot the ball at a 34.1 percent clip from three-point range.

In year’s past, teams were able to leave the Memphis Grizzlies open from the perimeter. Now, they might want to think twice.

3. The NBA must solve the rest conundrum.

As we all know, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving didn’t travel for the game, leaving many fans disgruntled. In their last match-up, Marc Gasol and Irving sat out to “rest.” The NBA must solve this issue.

There’s not a punishment for resting players. In fact, while many fans don’t like hearing it, coaches have the right to do so. Yes, “players play,” but owners make an investment on their roster. If Fizdale wants to rest Conley, Parsons or Gasol, he can. Robert Pera spent $250 million on them not for a shot at winning one regular season game, but for a shot at a NBA title. In this case, through regular season and playoff games, LeBron James has played at least 600 games in the past 6 years. The guy can sit out one night.

While rest logically makes sense, it’s not a great look for the NBA. The schedule is not player-friendly. In addition, it doesn’t produce quality basketball. How could we expect high-level basketball from the best players in the world, when they’ve played and traveled the night before?

Luckily, in the new CBA, the NBA is looking to reduce the number of preseason games and start the season earlier. In doing so, there will be a decrease in back-to-back games.

It’s sad to go to games and not even see some of the best players in the world. Hopefully, in the future, there will be a solution for the “rest” issues.

I hated not seeing some of basketball’s stars in their only trip to Memphis. However, it doesn’t beat the great feeling of a Memphis Grizzlies win.

Next game

Match-up: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Sacramento Kings.

Date: Friday, December 16th.

Time: 7:00 p.m. CT.