If you are into basketball for aesthetic purposes…the high-flying feats of athleticism, spectacular shooting…this weekend was not for you. This was a weekend of hard-nosed defense, tough rebounding, and physicallity. So while the offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders, the Grizzlies made things ugly and ground out two wins to extend their streak to 7 straight. Let’s take a quick look at the action…
Friday v. Orlando- I don’t want to talk much about this game. It was one of the worst displays of the game of basketball I have ever seen. Memphis was able to hold on for an 88-82 win over a Magic team that Magic dressed 8 players, including 4 rookies and an injured Al Harrington. In the postgame press conference Lionel Hollins was asked was it hard to tell his players the Magic could beat them. His response was “It wasn’t hard to tell them that.” That quote pretty much sums up this game. The Grizz played like they expected Orlando to eventually lay down and quit for most of the game. But Orlando oddly felt like playing but they didn’t have an answer at all for Z-Bo or Marc Gasol inside. The two combined for 35 points and 27 rebounds, making Nikola Vucevic (the guy I said was good in my preview for the game) look like a child. But overall, the Grizzlies were lucky everyone on the Magic sucks.
Sunday @ Brooklyn- Another game that defines the mantra of “Grit and Grind”. One would look at the box score and see Deron Williams with 24 points and figure he dominated the game. Williams put the score 70-65 with 6 to play after drilling one of his four 3’s. Then Tony Allen checked back in and Williams wouldn’t score again. Tony shut his ass down. The biggest moment came at the 26.9 second mark with the game tied at 72. Williams drove by Allen for a pull-up jumper but TA recovered and blocked the shot from behind. Tony then came down court, streaked to the basket, and drew two free throws (knocking down them both) to put the Grizzlies up for good. I singled out Tony’s defense but the entire team cranked up the intensity at the end of the game. The Nets did not score during the final 2:50 of the game. On the offensive end, Mike Conley and Tayshaun Prince were huge down the stretch. Conley scored all 10 of his points in the final period on a mixture of drives, jumpers, and two big free throws at the end. Prince scored 5 straight for the Grizzlies and came up with a big steal with 10 seconds left as the Nets were trying to tie the game.
Grizzlies Tweet of the Weekend Not from @HydeParkSwag
Someone tweeted that it feels like a COGIC convention, which could be why Z-Bo isn't getting much in the way of tips.— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) February 23, 2013
Grizzlies Article of the Weekend not from This Website
While not from this past weekend, Jordan Conn of Grantland has written an excellent piece on the play and development of Marc Gasol. Check it out here.
Grizzlies Tweet of the Weekend from @HydeParkSwag
I was obviously not happy at this point. Where’s Latrell Sprewell when you need him?
Someone shut PJ Carlesimo up before his ass gets choked.— Hyde Park Swag (@HydeParkSwag) February 25, 2013
Coming this Week
Wednesday v. Dallas- This has been an odd series so far this season. The first matchup saw the Dirk-less Mavs come into the Forum and get hounded right back out. Tony Allen shut OJ Mayo’s water off and Rudy Gay had one of his best games of the season as the Grizzlies won 92-82. In the second game, Memphis was coming off an emotional overtime win over the Spurs the previous night and got destroyed 104-83, the first of three consecutive 20-point losses. The matchup will come down to how the Grizzlies can defend the 3-point line. In the first game, Dallas shot 6-21 from outside. They were 11-17 in the second game.
A Look at the Standings
After the win last night, the Grizzlies are 37-18 and have control of the 4th spot in the Western Conference. They’re up 3 games on the Denver Nuggets and only 1.5 behind the Clipper for the 3 spot.
-Over the weekend, former owner Michael Heisley was hospitalized after suffering a stroke. While Heisley was often a frustrating owner, he was one of the major players in bringing the Grizzlies to Memphis. Here’s hoping he makes a speedy and full recovery. More details can be found here.
-With a take-away from CJ Watson at the 1:55 mark of the 2nd quarter, Mike Conley moved ahead of Rudy Gay to become the franchise’s all-time steals leader. Including the postseason, Conley has 662 career steals. For the season, he is averaging 2.25 steals per game, which is 2nd in the NBA behind Chris Paul.
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