Tonight's game had a lot of positives and a lot of negatives. Lets star with the positives.
The Hornets are starting to turn things around and that's great. The team seemed dead in the water a couple weeks ago but after getting through a tough part of their schedule and fighting some injuries it seems things are coming together. The Grizzlies are one of the top teams in the NBA this year and the Hornets going toe to toe with them is a great thing.
Bismack Biyombo seems to have finally caught on to a role. He played 10 minutes tonight and there wasn't a Jason Maxiell in sight. Biyombo still has many issues on offense but his defense is better this year and the Hornets can use that in small bursts.
Gary Neal has become a legitimate 6th man for this team. While there are still some problems with his role during the late parts of the game he's been playing well this year and had a solid game tonight as well.
The Hornets defense played really well tonight. They still struggled during some key moments but overall they played well grinding it out with a tough Grizzlies team.
Only two players played over 40 minutes tonight. Considering the Hornets are on a back to back tomorrow, that's huge to have guys not playing too much after a big game like tonight.
Kemba Walker was incredible and a huge part of what kept the Hornets in the game. While he struggled at the end, it was his play that kept the Hornets going all night.
Cody Zeller started and played a lot of crunch time minutes which is a huge increase in his role with the team.
Now for the bad....
Marc Gasol is one of the few people in the NBA that can stop Al Jefferson. Big Al had 16 points on 21 shoots, oof.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist only played 19 minutes. Admittedly he hasn't played in quite awhile and is out of game shape but the Hornets really could have used him late in the game.
Steve Clifford once again made some questionable rotation decisions. Albeit he could have just been trying to keep players as rested as possible for tomorrow's game.
A large part of why the Hornets lost tonight was just exhaustion at the end. In a grind it out game the Grizzlies will always come out at the end looking fresher. The Hornets had no energy at the end of the game and it showed.