Friday, 15 December, 2017

Memphis Grizzlies' Marc Gasol was 'hurt' by benching in fourth quarter

Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale reacts in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Sunday Nov. 26 2017 in Memphis Tenn Brandon Dill Associated Press David Fizdale’s final game as coach of the Grizzlies was a loss to the Nets on Sunday
Edmund Wade | 28 November, 2017, 01:26

"After a thorough evaluation, I decided a change in course was necessary to move forward and provide the team and organization its best chance at success this season and beyond", Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement.

The Grizzlies are 0-8 in their last eight games.

As a result, the Grizzlies will now be turning to assistant coach J.B.

NBA Twitter has its opinions (as always), and it doesn't like the move.

Fizdale was an assistant on Erik Spoelstra's staff in Miami prior to taking the Memphis job, which is why both James and Wade are coming to his defense. "Feels like my man was a fall guy", James wrote. "I'm sure [the coaching staff] knew that would hurt me the most".

Fizdale was announced as the Grizzlies coach in 2016 and had a 50-51 record in his two seasons at Memphis. The Grizzlies have been missing star point guard Mike Conley of late due to an Achilles injury, but the Grizzlies are still not that bad to lose all of their last six games minus Conley.

"Obviously, you get frustrated, and I did, and mad and start wondering", said Gasol, who even while sitting out the fourth quarter tied Tyreke Evans for the team lead with 18 points.

Last season under Fizdale, the Grizzlies went 43-39 and reached the playoffs before falling to the San Antonio Spurs.

Fizdale was fined $30,000 by the National Basketball Association for a rant over officiating after a loss in Game 2.

Memphis is 7-12 after losing to the lowly Brooklyn Nets on Monday (AEDT) in a game which saw Gasol benched in the fourth quarter.

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