Before Thursday’s games, Chris Herrington of the Memphis Flyer wondered if recent struggles by Memphis Grizzlies backup point guard Jeremy Pargo could open up playing time for the backup’s backup, Josh Selby:
Pargo is shooting 35% on the season and hasn't made a shot in his last three games, getting a quick hook with only six minutes over two stints of playing time against the Thunder. That Pargo is a strong, quick defender and has, so far, not been very turnover-prone for a rookie point guard suggests his spot in the pecking order is probably safe for now, but Selby looks like the more instinctive offensive player and his ability to handle the point in his brief stints so far has been surprising and encouraging.
And, at the beginning of the second quarter against the New York Knicks on Thursday, Selby got his chance.
He subbed into the game ahead of Pargo, hit his first NBA three-pointer and tied his season-high with nine points in just 15 minutes (he scored nine in 26 minutes on Dec. 30). Selby added two rebounds, two assists and three turnovers as the Grizzlies beat the Knicks, 94-83 (full stats here).
After the game, the Commercial Appeal asked the Grizzlies’ coach about the change in the Memphis rotation:
“(Pargo) wasn’t playing very well and he wasn’t getting into the offense and wasn’t guarding the ball,” Griz coach Lionel Hollins said. “I just thought we lost three in a row, so why not make a change? Selby came in and played really well in the first half.”
Starter Mike Conley also weighed in on his new backup. From the Commercial Appeal, again:
“Selby handled himself very well,” Conley said. “He did a good job of controlling the tempo.”
Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks) played just five minutes on Thursday night as the Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons, 102-93. Gooden played all of his minutes in the first half and didn’t attempt a shot. He did pick up three personal fouls in his short time on the court (full stats here). Rookie power forward Jon Leuer made his first start for the Bucks and played 31 strong minutes, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Larry Sanders also returned to the forward/center rotation after picking up a “did not play (coach’s decision)” in the last game.
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) sank two more three pointers and scored 13 points as the Suns lost to the Cleveland Cavillers, 101-90, on Thursday. Markieff played 22 minutes and had eight rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block (full stats here). He also committed five personal fouls — his highest total of the season. Markieff’s 2 for 2 shooting from three on Thursday pushed his season stats to 14 for 24 (58.3 percent).
Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) made his first start with the Warriors on Thursday as he filled in for starter Dorrell Wright, who sat out with a knee injury. Rush scored 12 points (with three three-pointers) in 39 minutes as the Warriors lost to the Orlando Magic, 117-109 (full stats here). He also grabbed four rebounds and passed out four assists.
In three D-League games during the past week, Marcus put up 33, 32 and 24 points to go along with big rebounding numbers (16, 12 and 9).
Brady Morningstar (NBA D-League - Tulsa 66ers) scored 10 points with four assists, two steals, one rebound and a three in 23 minutes on Thursday. Morningstar had just one turnover and posted a crazy +28 plus-minus as the 66ers won, 111-92 (full stats here).
Scott Schroeder, who covers the D-League for RidiculousUpside.com and NBCSports, tweeted that the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks might want to take a look at signing Greg Ostertag (NBA D-League - Texas Legends). Both teams just lost starting big men and could look to the D-League for replacements. Schroeder did put a bit of a caveat on his prediction, though, saying any interested teams should wait a couple of weeks until Ostertag is in better basketball shape.
Hoopsworld.com reported that Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta Hawks) is available on the trade market. Writer Eric Pincus said the Hawks could flip Hinrich, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, for a big man to replace injured starting center Al Horford.
Xavier Henry (New Orleans Hornets) practiced with the team on Thursday, according to a report on iSportsWeb.com. Hornets coach Monty Williams told the media on Wednesday that Henry might not play in games for another week.
7 p.m., ESPN, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the Chicago Bulls
7:30 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Dallas Mavericks
8 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the New Jersey Nets
9:30 p.m., ESPN, Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Denver Nuggets