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Ronald Tillery of USA Today reported the situation in the locker room following game, noting that “several Grizzlies players didn’t appear to take the loss hard given the amount of laughter and joking between them.”
Neither interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff nor veteran Marc Gasol were in the locker room when it became available to the media.
Although Gasol, a three-time All-Star, didn’t play in the second night of the back-to-back, the lineup still featured several regulars like Tyreke Evans and JaMychal Green.
Evans specifically took the loss hard based on the reaction from the Hornets players.
“They were out there just laughing,” the guard said. “It was embarrassing. The whole thing.”
Charlotte scored at least 37 points in each of the first three quarters, going up 112-57 going into the fourth before seemingly taking it easy with backups in the last 12 minutes. Kemba Walker scored 46 points in just 28 minutes of game time, while Jeremy Lamb finished plus-51 on the floor in 26 minutes.
Memphis is obviously well out of the playoff hunt and is tied with the Phoenix Suns for the worst record in the NBA at 19-53, so the loss won’t mean much in the standings. Fans and the front office likely are even rooting for losses at this stage to potentially earn a higher pick for the 2018 NBA draft.
However, the young players on the roster are fighting for future roles, and they clearly aren’t showing much right now. A nonchalant attitude after losses could only hurt their chances of keeping their jobs going forward.