Give up 54% for the game and get beat by 13 on the board and you aren't going to win on the road. It's just very poor at the defensive end.
Is this a step back ,or given what's on the line is this upsetting to to you?
Well, we've go to do better. It's as simple as that. We knew this was a capable team here, and we knew our effort was going to have to be really good to beat them. They shot 61% in the first half. That's just not going to get it done. It's just very disappointing, very disappointing.
Did you maybe underestimate them tonight?
No. They're an improved team. They've been playing well. They've won three out of four, now it's four out of five. They've got a good young team here, and it's a group that people in this town should get excited about.
Update on Sunday.
When did you know you weren't going to be able to make this game?
I wouldn't say I didn't know -- just the swelling. It swelled up. Anyone knows once your ankle swells up it's not a good thing. Hope to be ready for this next one.
Hard to watch?
It was tough tonight watching that. We had some opportunities. Memphis is a great team, of course they're going to come out here and play hard. It was a game we could have won. We've just got to turn it around and get ready for Phoenix.
Was tonight kind of a step back?
It's hard to say. Sitting back there and watching it you see so many different things. You can't just point the finger at one thing. We came out and laid it on the line, but Memphis just made some big shots down the stretch -- especially that three in the corner. I think that's what started it all.
It's coming down the home stretch. It's not like we have any easy games left. We can't overlook anyone. It's going to be up to us to go out and get the job done defensively.
Your thoughts on the Grizzlies?
They're just a young team and they play hard. They're not going to be in the playoffs but they have something to play for for next season -- go out there and show their fans that they still care -- that they're young and up and coming.
Losing a game like this is a big blow to trying to move up in the standings.
It's definitely a blow. Every game from here on is going to count for us. We don't want to just get in the playoffs, we want to move up. The only way to do that is to win games.
What's at stake Sunday?
There's a lot at stake. We're playing at our place. That's where we play the best. We've played those guys before. We know exactly what they're going to do. Stops and rebounds -- that's going to be the key to that game. I'm not really worried about putting the ball in the basket; we've got guys that can put the ball in the basket.
I missed a lot of shots there in the fourth that I've got to make. I had two great looks at threes -- one at the top of the key trailing. One on the wing with like a minute left. It's frustrating. We couldn't really stop them. They shot 54%. That's not good defensive effort, and it obviously puts a lot of pressure on our offense. If we can't guard them, if we can't get stops, if they get to the free throw line a lot that means we've got to score every time down. We just couldn't pull it out in the fourth,
Something about Memphis not being in the playoffs...
Not at all. That's what guys have to do. I've been in that position the first two years in the league. When you really don't have anything to pay for since the all-star break. But guys are professionals in this league. Guys play for jobs, and they kept competing. That's what teams do, they keep playing hard. Nothing is really given to you in this league. You've got to go out and earn it, and I don't think we did that from the beginning. We didn't set a good tone early on. They got whatever they wanted. They got like 16 points in the first five minutes or whatever. If you don't set that tone early that means they've got confidence. I've never seen Conley shoot the ball like that, and all of a sudden he makes step back threes and all that stuff. I think if we set the right tone early that stuff doesn't happen.
This team [Dallas] had been playing better defensively the last couple weeks. Was this disappointing?
No question. Disappointment. We know we have a great chance here to make sure we get into the playoffs and even move up. Utah lost last night, that means we're only one game behind and we lay an egg here in Memphis. Disappointed. Disappointing defensive effort, but you know Josh was out again. He was great the other night. He's out today and it was obviously a big factor for us defensively on Gay. We'll just see what his status is for Sunday.