Marc Gasol was spectacular against the Spurs, but he can’t do it alone

Gasol shot 11-of-18 on Saturday. The remaining Grizzlies shot 20-of-61.

Marc Gasol picked apart the San Antonio Spurs for 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting in the Grizzlies’ Game 1 loss on Saturday night. He scored 25 points in the first half, setting a franchise record for most points scored in a half, and set his own playoff career-high in the process.

The problem? No other Memphis players stepped up as the Spurs extended a three-point halftime lead to a 29-point victory.

Mike Conley started the game five-of-six from the field for 13 points, but wouldn’t score again as he proceeded to miss his final eight shots. The Spurs outscored the Grizzlies by 39 in all lineups that included Zach Randolph on the floor. He finished with six points on three-of-13 shooting.

As a team, Memphis shot 39.2 percent from the field. All players not named Marc Gasol combined to shoot 32.8 percent, and that percentage went up in garbage time at the end of the fourth quarter.

Gasol had the best game of his career, yet his Grizzlies trailed by more than 30 points down the stretch.

Conley and Randolph have got to step up

The Grizzlies took a 30-25 lead over the Spurs into the second quarter. Why? Conley was playing like a $153 million man. He had 10 points on a perfect four-of-four shooting and had taken advantage of his matchup against an aging Tony Parker.

And then the Spurs switched Danny Green, a solid perimeter defender, onto Conley. He never scored again after the 8:40 mark in the second quarter.

The same goes for Randolph, who was only able to score once during San Antonio’s second-half run. The Spurs had a four-point third-quarter lead when Z-Bo entered with nine minutes remaining. They entered the fourth quarter with a 20-point cushion as Randolph scored just two points in the period.

Memphis was already at a disadvantage in a series against a San Antonio team with the league’s second-best record. The Spurs have the best player in the series, Leonard, and have Gregg Popovich’s coaching expertise to make the supporting pieces work.

Memphis was at another disadvantage after losing Chandler Parsons, who signed a four-year, $94 million deal over the summer, to a season-ending torn meniscus.

But the Grizzlies were able to get this far with the roster they have. And while Gasol has been magnificent, at least through one game, Memphis could see a very early playoff exit if his co-stars don’t pull their weight.

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Open thread for Saturday night owls: Trump’s ‘permanent uncertainty’ is causing lasting damage

At the New Republic, Brian Beutler writes—Trump’s Chaos Is Causing Lasting Damage—The terrifying impact of the president’s permanent uncertainty:

The consolidation of Republican power in Washington was supposed to create huge dividends for every kind of interest group by eliminating legislative gridlock and brinkmanship and giving a single party power to set policy. By the same telling, this was supposed to be a particular boon for business owners (and, downstream, for workers), who would welcome a climate of lower taxes, laxer regulation, and greater certainty with new investment, and thus more jobs.

The concept of “certainty” was one Republicans in Congress wielded as a brickbat against President Obama for eight years only to abandon it when President Donald Trump, through a mix of incompetence and malevolence, turned uncertainty into a weapon.

In the realms of health, immigration, and foreign policy, Trump has managed to leave stakeholders on all sides of issues—consumers, providers, civilians, enforcers, diplomats, and entire countries—completely befuddled in ways that threaten to cause great harm. The question is whether people around Trump can convince him that the policy environment he has created needs to change, or, more ominously, whether he has convinced himself that chaos gives him the upper hand.

Trump is certainly capable of such delusion. Since Congress failed to pass Trumpcare, the president has threatened to use policy levers at his disposal to disintegrate the individual insurance markets, on the presumption that it will force Democrats in Congress to vote for a more systematic dismantling of the Affordable Care Act.

In reality, it would create a long and indefinite suffering for which, polling suggests, the public would hold him and Republicans accountable. We will find out soon whether Trump is serious or bluffing (or whether he simply needs someone to spend 10 minutes explaining reality to him).

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QUOTATION

“In 1906 I indulged my temper by hurling invectives at Neo-Darwinians in the following terms. “I really do not wish to be abusive [to Neo-Darwinians]; but when I think of these poor little dullards, with their precarious hold of just that corner of evolution that a blackbeetle can understand—with their retinue of twopenny-halfpenny Torquemadas wallowing in the infamies of the vivisector’s laboratory, and solemnly offering us as epoch-making discoveries their demonstrations that dogs get weaker and die if you give them no food; that intense pain makes mice sweat; and that if you cut off a dog’s leg the three-legged dog will have a four-legged puppy, I ask myself what spell has fallen on intelligent and humane men that they allow themselves to be imposed on by this rabble of dolts, blackguards, imposters, quacks, liars, and, worst of all, credulous conscientious fools.” 
                   ~George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methusaleh: A Metabiological Pentateuch (1921)

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New stunning video surfaces of run-in with Georgia officer. https://t.co/T0Df21ruwb@gabegutierrez reports. https://t.co/pTLKOUz4gP

— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) April 15, 2017

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—Paul Ryan’s ‘welfare state,’ everything but tax cuts for the rich:

Here’s a snippet of Rep. Paul Ryan’s closing remarks during the debate on his budget plan:

We don’t want a welfare system that encourages people to stay on welfare. We want them to get back on their feet and lead flourishing, self-sufficient lives. So let’s reform welfare for people who need it, and end it for corporate welfare for people who don’t need it. Number four. Let’s do the work of lifting this crushing burden of debt from our children.

And there you have it. While you thought welfare was reformed two decades ago and no longer exists for Republicans to beat up on, you were wrong. Basically, everything but tax breaks to the wealthy is welfare. Any domestic spending, welfare. Let’s look at what Ryan is actually slashing, here, what he calls welfare.

LINK TO THE DAILY KOS STORE

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Rudy Gobert injures knee on first play of Jazz vs. Clippers

Utah could be without its league-best rim protector.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert went down with a knee injury just 11 seconds into Utah’s Game 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. The Jazz deemed his injury a left knee sprain, and he will not return for Game 1.

Gobert banged knees with Luc Mbah a Moute as Gordon Hayward came around an off-ball screen on the Jazz’s first possession. He was unable to get to his feet under his own power and was carried to the locker room by multiple teammates.

This is very, very bad news for the Jazz

Hayward may be Utah’s lone All-Star, but Gobert makes the Jazz tick. He has more of an impact on both ends of the floor than any other teammate, and his rim protection (2.6 blocks per game) is the staple of one of the league’s best defenses.

Gobert is arguably the front-runner for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, and potentially losing him for the series (or longer) could crush Utah’s chances at competing for a second-round playoff appearance after its most successful regular season since the Jerry Sloan era.

It is unclear how severe of an injury it is, but there is definitely cause for concern since he could not get to his feet under his own strength and hasn’t returned to the Jazz bench.

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