No easy fix
Brown can't cure woes as Grizzlies stay winlessPosted: Friday November 15, 2002 11:10 PM
Updated: Saturday November 16, 2002 2:06 AM
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Two days of practice under the direction of Hubie Brown weren't enough for the Memphis Grizzlies to reverse their losing ways.
Wally Szczerbiak scored six of his 22 points in the final two minutes to spoil Brown's return to the sidelines as Minnesota defeated Memphis 99-95, handing the Grizzlies their ninth straight loss.
"We asked a lot," said Hubie Brown, who returned to coaching after 16 years away. "We're very happy with what they did in two days and how they accepted the hard work."
Brown began working with the Grizzlies on Wednesday, one day after former coach Sidney Lowe resigned with Memphis the only winless team in the NBA.
Memphis trailed by only one point when Szczerbiak hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to give the Timberwolves a 97-93 lead. It was Minnesota's only 3-pointer of the evening.
Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves with 28 points.
Gordan Giricek led Memphis with 25 points, and Drew Gooden added 18.
The Grizzlies were tougher on defense than they have been for much of the season. Memphis point guard Jason Williams, criticized for slacking off on defense, often picked up his man in the backcourt.
"That's the first time I ever played defense like that in my whole career," Williams said. "It's not like I can't do it. I don't have a choice. It's either do it or sit on the bench and I don't like sitting on the bench."
Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said he expects the Grizzlies to get better under Brown, but not right away.
"They're not going to reap benefits early," Saunders said. "They'll reap them late in the year and next year."
Brown, an NBA coach of the year in 1978, coached for the Atlanta Hawks and the New York Knicks. He left coaching in 1987 and spent the past 15 years as a TV basketball analyst and director of coaching clinics.
Brown said he planned to focus early on improving the Grizzlies' defense. Upon his arrival, Memphis was allowing an average of 104 points a game and letting opponents shoot 46.6 from the field, the worst in the NBA.
Notes: Brown said his first game back coaching was particularly
special with his wife, Claire, in the stands and his son, Brendan,
beside him as an assistant. ...The Grizzlies put forward Robert
Archibald (back strain) on the injured list and activated center
Cezary Trybanski, who made his first appearance. ... Guards Michael
Dickerson and Brevin Knight remained sidelined with injuries. ...
The Timberwolves won on the road for the first time in five tries.