The discussion then turned toward the bench players and a perceived lack of enthusiasm from the unit, when Casspi became vocal in his defense, sources said. Temple and Casspi exchanged words and had a physical exchange before they were separated, according to those sources.
The Grizzlies are outscoring opponents by a robust 7.7 point per 48 minutes with their main starting lineup – Mike Conley, Temple, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marc Gasol. Otherwise, Memphis is getting outscored by 3.0 points per 48 minutes.
But starters generally perform better than reserves. This is normal.
Are the Grizzlies backups giving full effort? That’s tougher to say. There’s a fine line between someone not trying enough and just not being good enough.
Ultimately, Memphis is about where I expected – 18-19, playing well when Conley and Gasol share the court and struggling otherwise. It seems the bench could be getting scapegoated amid a tough stretch. The Grizzlies have lost three straight and eight of 10.
Winning will ease tension, and this team is good enough to break out of this slump. I’m just not sure it’s good enough to perform much better than it has over the entire season so far.