MINNEAPOLIS – Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins skinned the game leaders after the Grizzlies’ 119-118 loss Saturday in Game 4 of their first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“We have to play better, but in my opinion, [this was] one of the most poorly executed matches I’ve ever seen in my NBA career, “Jenkins said at his post-match press conference.” All five of our starters at the frontier dropped out in the first quarter. Ten-plus error difference, 40 penalty throws. Yes, some things we need to clean up and get better at, but I’ve never seen a more inconsistent and arrogant official game.
“So I accept all the blows that come my way. I have to protect our guys. We know we have to get better, but right from the start it was foul, foul, foul, foul, foul, inconsistency. There was actually a game where mistakes were whistled before there was any contact at all. It’s embarrassing. “
In Game 4, Memphis officials whistled for 33 personal errors compared to 23 for Minnesota, where the Grizzlies’ start-5 came to 25.
“I do not even want to talk about the referee,” said Grizzlies striker Dillon Brooks. “When I was growing up, when I was in the league the first three years, and I watched playoff basketball, almost no calls were made. They let the players play and find out. I felt like they just wanted to run. “They want their name on the television, and their names are all over the TV, all three of them. It should be called out.”
The series, a 2-2 draw en route to Memphis for Game 5 on Tuesday, has been plagued by key problems for key players. In Game 2, the teams teamed up to attempt 33 free throws in the first quarter. The Grizzlies’ big man Jaren Jackson Jr., one of the team’s excellent defenders, has made 20 personal mistakes in the four games, while only converting 14 field goals. He knocked out Saturday night with 4:29 left of the match.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has also struggled. He sat on the bench for a long time with foul problems in games 2 and 3, both Timberwolves losses.