Pondexter Deals With Missed FT, Criticism

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OKLAHOMA CITY –
What did a deflated Quincy Pondexter do to shake off a crucial missed free throw with 1.6 seconds left in Sunday’s Game 1 followed by an endless barrage of R-rated — and downright shameful — Twitter criticism that followed?

He went out to dinner with teammates and saw Iron Man 3, rated PG-13.

“I was telling him we’re built for this situation,” Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley said after Monday’s practice. “We’re built to handle the negative, we’re built to handle the positive and I think he should be proud of how he played and all the effort he’s given us. Because I’d much rather have him in the game than sitting on the bench.”

Pondexter has had a productive postseason with four double-digit scoring games in the last five. He was set up to be the unsung hero of Sunday’s eventual 93-91 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second-round series opener. He already had 12 points and three 3-pointers, including a halfcourt heave to end the third quarter that put a temporary stop to the momentum shift that favored the Thunder.

But with 1.6 seconds left in the game and OKC leading 93-90, Pondexter, positioned at the left wing beyond the arc, got the ball and went up with the potential game-tying shot only to be inexplicably swiped on the arm by young Thunder guard Reggie Jackson. The third-year Grizzlies forward went to the line for three free throws.

He missed the first, effectively ending the game. After it he took to Twitter to take responsibility:

But that didn’t stop the immediate and vitriolic knee-jerk tweets that piled upon Pondexter and ignored the numerous opportunities the Grizzlies lost, including Conley being stripped from behind by Derek Fisher with 20 seconds to go and Marc Gasol‘s errant pass with less than five seconds to go.

“It’s part of the job,” Pondexter said after Monday’s practice on the Thunder’s home floor. “I just use it as motivation. It’s not the first time people have told me stuff like that it won’t be the last probably. You just got to take it all in stride and move on from it, and I’m going to be a lot better person and player from it.”

Pondexter even retweeted some of the nastier comments.

“I probably just retweeted because I was angry at the time. It was a tough situation,” Pondexter said. “Just to say, ‘You know what, I’m taking it all in stride.’ I probably think the same about myself of what those people were thinking.”

Athletes must have short memories no matter how difficult social media might make that these days. Pondexter said he’s ready for Game 2 on Tuesday night when the Grizzlies will try to even the series before heading back to Memphis for Games 3 and 4.

“People will remember the end of the game. I know I remember the end of it; I won’t forget it for the rest of my life,” Pondexter said. “I’m a tough kid, man. I’m as tough as any kid, and no matter what, nothing like that is going to ever break me down. So I’m looking forward to getting back on the court and if I get another pressure situation like that again, I’m going to knock it down.”

15 Comments

  1. mary says:

    It was not Que’s problem. The entire Memphis Grizzlies team are terrible free throw shooters. We need a free throw clinic!!
    We lose a lot of games on terrible free throw performance.

    Hollins take a look at this and work them over!!

  2. The Claw says:

    Good to hear thou.. Good luck and God bless.

  3. amitpal says:

    Whys everyone getting mad at pondexter. I didnt see any of those guys do anything to hrlp the team win. Pondexter is a 73% free throw shooter. Its not like he chocked hes just not a good free throw shooter. Lebron missed plenty of those as well and hes the best player in the nba.

    • garyhd01 says:

      im one of the not everyone is complaing watched the grizz since the move to Memphis and we used to have starters that couldn’t be reserves on other teams its refreshing to see good play hoping we get the 1 steal game in game 2 go grizz

    • garyhd01 says:

      not afraid to admit ive been a grizz fan since they moved to Memphis we had starters that couldn’t be bench players on other teams then slowly began to move up I for one am happy to see us compete nightly and see pondexter as an additional reason for why we are where we are not why we lost the firat game of the second series we went to okc to steal 1 game we just really want it tonite

  4. Fefe (Nets) says:

    Pondexter has been a key all season and in the first round!!!! So it can happen to miss free throws!!!

  5. tony says:

    Watching Nate Robinson destroyed the Heat I wonder why did Scott Brook let him go, he didn’t even have a chance to play at OKC. The playoff outcome of the last two year probably better if Nate played instead of Westbrook.

  6. W/E says:

    Why u guys picking on this poor role player, even superstars or the best ft shooters miss free throws, pressure was too much, u normally expect players to miss shots on those situations.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Because hang time blog loves the Grizzlies, and a loss could never be the fault of their precious Gasol, Randolph, Allen, or Conley, so who else can they blame?

  7. nbafan says:

    Oh please! Pondexter missed 1 free throw but the entire team shot 58.3% from the free throw line. They lost as a TEAM!

  8. Ben says:

    QP had a great game, and to me it wasn’t spoiled by his miss.

  9. scott says:

    WOW some people are just immature. If the game comes down to 3 free throws is it really the right thing to do to blame the person who misses them? obviously things weren’t going right the whole game. just like what nick said Allen, Conley, and Gasol didn’t have a great shooting night and Memphis has always been about team play. I feel bad for Pondexter for having to deal with those twitter idiots.

  10. Nick says:

    Its always easy to blame a young bench player. But Tony Allen and Mike Conley had bad shooting nights, Gasol shot only 4 of 7 from the line etc etc And they lost by two. So I would think its up to the big name players on this team to step up and perform their roles reliably before piling on a kid with little experience

  11. Fail says:

    whatever, don’t let it get to ya. a lot of people crack under pressure. just make up for it in the next few games, that’s all