But not without some help from Mario Chalmers.
Chalmers threw the ball away, missed a fastbreak layup and missed an open 3-pointer in the final 50 seconds.
Mike Ceide of WREG Memphis:
Grizzlies coach David Fizdale:
We didn’t deserve to win the game. We didn’t deserve to win the game. Our huddles were a joke tonight. Our communication was ridiculous. No one owned anything tonight.
Mario made a ridiculous play. I don’t really need to go too deep into that, and he heard it from, and he understands that. In the heat of the moment, he couldn’t own it. And that’s exactly what I meant. Twenty-five-thousand people was in here and saw that was the most ridiculous play of the whole game. But because of his brain was gone, he couldn’t just own it that it was a bonehead play.
No issue at all. He’s 100 percent right. Take ownership for the last, what?, two plays – the turnover, the missed layup, the missed 3. That’s on me. I filled in for Mike. I’ve got to be the person to take control like Mike takes control and run the team, and I didn’t do that tonight.
That’s all on me. I feel like I lost the game for us.
Likewise, Fizdale has established himself as a blunt truth-teller. Many players appreciate his candor, because he’s so consistent with it. I doubt Fizdale told the media anything he hadn’t already told Chalmers directly.
On some teams, this could embarrass and alienate a player. In Memphis, it’s more likely to go toward establishing a no-nonsense, no-excuses culture.