Marc Gasol wasn’t present during the fourth quarter of the Memphis Grizzlies‘ loss to the Brooklyn Nets, and he was upset because of it.
On Sunday, the Grizzlies fell to the Brooklyn Nets 98-88, marking their eight-straight loss. Marc Gasol, Memphis’ three-time All-Star, didn’t play a single second in the final frame and was verbally disgruntled by the coaching staff’s decision.
“You take it personally,” said Gasol, according to the Associated Press. “I do not know the why (behind not playing down the stretch),” he continued. “It’s a first for me, trust me, and I don’t like it one bit. I’m more (ticked) than I can show and frustrated.”
JaMychal Green was the only Memphis starter to log any minutes in the fourth. David Fizdale rounded out the rotation with Ben McLemore (12 minutes), Deyonta Davis (12 minutes), James Ennis (12 minutes), Tyreke Evans (9:52) and Andrew Harrison (2:08). That unit outscored Brooklyn 23-19 while shooting 47.4 percent from the field.
Fizdale got asked about his star center being upset, and he elaborated on his choice: “We’ll address it if it needs to be addressed, but it was a pretty simple decision what I did. It’s nothing against him. I’m trying to win a game. I’m desperate.”
Also Read: Exploring The Tyreke Evans Renaissance
Gasol played 28 minutes overall and scored 18 points and hauled in five rebounds. He also shot a meager 6-of-17 from the floor and was a minus-17, the team’s second-worst mark. In the third, when the Nets pulled away and put up 32 points to Memphis’ 18, Gasol had just two points and missed all four of his shots. And Memphis was 17 points worse with him out there.
The poor play from the 32-year-old is puzzling. Gasol’s having the best season of his career and is averaging 19.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 blocks. Usually, a coach would want their best player on the floor down the stretch of a close game, but it’s a different story when he’s playing poorly. Marc Gasol is a star center, but even players in that tier aren’t protected when the production isn’t up-to-par. If he were a superstar, it’d be different.
Another thing to remember is that the Grizzlies lost. Losing makes everything worse. Losing eight games in a row is throwing coal into the fire. Had Memphis came from behind and pulled out the victory, Gasol would’ve been fine because team success trumps all. Memphis looks to snap their losing streak against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
Start a conversation with me on Twitter