If you had told me this time last week that Memphis would finish their road trip 2-2 and one of those wins would have been over the Clippers, I would have jumped on it.  But after two straight losses, one where you’re outscored 29-14 in the 4th and another where you only manage 9 points in the 3rd, some of the excitement from the Clippers win has been dampered.

The Games

Friday @ Denver- Everything was going great.  The Grizzlies led 66-58 to start the 4th quarter. Their defense was in lockdown mode, holding Denver to a 10 point 3rd.  Then everything completely fell apart including the D.  The Nuggets scored 29 points in the 4th. The Grizz managed only 14 with a style of play reminiscent of an 8-year old church league where half the players can’t dribble.  The most disheartening thing about this game was it was the type of game Memphis wanted, a methodical, physical, half-court battle, but they still lost.  Denver was 1-12 from 3 and had only 11 fast break points.  Memphis made Denver play their type of game and still lost.

Saturday @ Utah- Bed officially shat.  Save me your “4th game in 5 nights” comments. The Grizz came out and dropped a gigantic deuce all over the court, highlighted by a 9 point 3rd quarter that featured 4 missed layups, 3 turnovers, and only two made baskets.  Zach Randolph was dominant early, 15 points and 8 boards before halftime, but only scored 4 in the 2nd half as the team oddly went away from him. Jerryd Bayless did everything he could to keep the Grizz in the game but his 24 points wasn’t enough (and his turnover with 38 seconds left down 3 didn’t help…he did score 8 straight before that though).

I could go on a rant about Lionel Hollins substitution patterns here (only 16 points for Ed Davis?  Only 7 for Austin Daye and you yank him before he can even shoot once??) but my blood pressure just now got down to a reasonable level after raving about this topic all night Saturday.  At least this happened to entertain me...

 

Grizzlies Tweet of the Weekend Not From @HydeParkSwag

I cannot stop laughing at the video in this tweet.

 

 

Grizzlies Article of the Weekend

Marc Prada of SB Nation wrote this article on why Marc Gasol is the best defensive player in the league.  Check it out here.

 

Grizzlies Tweet of the Weekend From @HydeParkSwag

Most of my best tweets this weekend weren’t Grizz related so I guess we’ll go with this one.

 

A Look at the Standings

After dropping the past two games, the Grizzlies are back into the familiar 4 spot in the West, a game behind the Clippers and only a half-game up on Denver.

Coming this Week

Monday v. Minnesota- Hopefully this can be a bounce-back game after a day off.  The Grizz have won seven straight home games and hold a nine game winning streak over Minnesota.  The Wolves just got back two foreigner starters with names I’m not going to bother trying to spell [Editor’s Note: Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic (Blogger’s Note: Seriously?  You spell Andre with an “I” on the end???)]but they are still missing Kevin Love.  Ricky Rubio has been playing well of late but if Memphis loses to the NBA equivalent of Siberia (they’re extremely white and no one wants to go there), I’m going to be pissed.

Wednesday v. Oklahoma City- Every time these two teams play, something interesting happens.  Their first game, a 107-97 Grizzlies win, was the famous “I’ll beat yo ass” game.  Their second matchup, where the Thunder blew Memphis’s doors off, came a day after the Rudy Gay trade and saw Russell Westbrook cry and bitch like a 12 year-old girl while trying to fight his teammates.  So something weird is bound to happen.  Of course, Memphis is a completely different team from those earlier two games but the formula will remain the same: pound the paint on offense, try to keep Westbrook from penetrating, and do anything you can to slow down Durant (the real question is who will shoot more free throws, Durant or the entire Grizzlies team?).   OKC will be coming off a tough game the previous night against Denver.  Here’s hoping they pull that one out but get beat the hell up.

Additional Notes

-In the four games since returning from injury, Zach Randolph has averaged 17.25 points and 11.25 rebounds including a 18-18 performance in the loss to Denver.

-For the first time in franchise history, the Grizzlies are top 5 in the NBA in local TV ratings along with the Thunder, Spurs, Heat and Lakers.  The Memphis Business Journal has a short article you can check it out here.

 

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