Desmond Bane – Grizz’s lack of ‘game plan discipline’ leaves LeBron forcing OT

Tim McMahonESPN Writer3 minute read

LOS ANGELES — Hours after coach Taylor Jenkins’ pregame admission that the Grizzlies are “nowhere near where we need to be from a maturity standpoint,” shooter Desmond Bane blamed the lack discipline of the game plan for the defensive failure that allowed the Los Angeles Lakers to force overtime in the 117-111 Game 4 loss to Memphis on Monday night.

Lakers star LeBron James – defended by Memphis center Xavier Tillman, not small forward Dillon Brooks – drove right for the tying layup with 0.8 seconds left.

This basket prevented the Grizzlies from concluding the game in regulation time. They return home for Game 5 on Wednesday trailing 3-1 in the series and on the verge of elimination.

“It always comes down to game plan discipline,” said Bane, who led the Grizzlies with 36 points. “I mean, LeBron has been a good right-hander since he came into the league 20 years ago or whatever time he was in the league. He takes his right hand, and we have two guys from this side that are supposed to be in the help and we did not run.

“It’s about as simple as that. Game plan discipline – we need it for 48 minutes, and it let us down.”

Brooks and Bane were the two defenders on the right side of the field who failed to help.

Brooks, who made himself one of the show’s main storylines by bragging that he’s ‘pushing bears’ and calling James ‘old’ after Memphis’ Game 2 win, refused to acquit of his NBA-mandated media responsibilities for the second straight game.

“I got out,” Brooks said as he walked past reporters in the hallway outside the Arena visitors’ locker room.

All-Star point guard Ja Morant, the face of the Grizzlies franchise who finished with 19 points on 8-of-24 shooting, also did not make himself available to the media.

Brooks, an All-Defensive contender who cherished the opportunity to keep the all-time leading scorer in a first-round streak he called a “good test” for the Grizzlies, has rarely served as a primary defenseman on James. in Game 4. According to the ESPN Stats & Information tracker, James was 4 of 4 from the floor when Brooks was his main defender, highlighted by James bracing Brooks for a layup that pushed the Lakers lead to five. with 29.1 seconds remaining in overtime.

James finished with 22 points on 8 of 18 shooting, a playoff career-high 20 rebounds and seven assists.

James is 12 of 20 with Brooks as the leading defenseman in this series, averaging 1.26 ppg. He’s 14 of 41 against the rest of the Grizzlies at 0.75 ppg. That includes 6 of 17 against Tillman , which begins because of Steven Adams’ knee injury.

“He did a good job with him,” Jenkins said, explaining the decision to let Tillman instead of Brooks defend James for most of the game, including the final possession in the fourth quarter.

Tillman blamed himself for allowing James to go straight to that drive, but he acknowledged the help should have come from the wing.

“If there’s somebody on the wing, then yeah, that’s our game plan to protect the paint,” Tillman said. “If there was, then someone was supposed to change.”

Brooks’ offensive struggles continued as he finished with 11 points on 4 of 11 shooting, including 1 of 7 from 3-pointers. He’s averaging 11.3 points on 33.3 percent shooting from the ground and 22.2 percent from 3-point range in the series as the Lakers regularly sag to protect the paint.

Brooks’ shooting misery had plenty of company among his Memphis teammates in Game 4. The Grizzlies shot just 39.6 percent from the floor, including 9 of 42 from 3-pointers.

“At this point in the season it’s win or go home so we have to regroup,” said substitute point guard Tyus Jones, who started in place of an injured Morant in the game win. 2 from Memphis but only played nine minutes in Game 4. “You can’t feel sorry for yourself. You can be frustrated, but at the same time you have to deal with it.”

Bane has always expressed confidence that the Grizzlies could come back to win the series, noting their 35-6 home record was the best in the NBA this season.

“We had two opportunities there,” Bane said. “And to win a series you have to win a game on the road. When we come back here for game 6 we will come with the right edge and the right mentality and steal one on the road and then see what happens in a Game 7.”

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