What a way to rebound from a rough end to a road trip.  After dropping their last two in a 4 game trek out west over the weekend, Memphis came back home and got two important victories to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race. One was a laugher and one was arguably the best regular season game I have witnessed in the FedEx Forum.

The Games

Monday v. Minnesota- It sure was nice to shake off the cobwebs from the weekend. After starting a bit slow, the Grizz locked this one up again with another dominant 3rd quarter.  They opened the 2nd half on a 13-2 run and went on to outscore the Wolves 29-14 for the quarter putting the game out of reach. I’m not the biggest Lionel Hollins fan in the world but one thing at which he excels is halftime adjustments.  It was just another day at the office for Marc Gasol who dominated the defensive end, knocked down a few midrange jumpers, and dropped a couple of dimes (including a no-look lob to Jerryd Bayless).  Gasol finished with 16 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, and 4 blocks as he continues to try to fully take over the mantle of best center in the NBA. Both Tayshaun Prince and Zach Randolph added double-doubles and Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless also combined for 35 points on 15-26 shooting.  The rest of the bench pretty much sucked but it really didn’t matter in this laugher.

Wednesday v. OKC- I could sit here and write 1,000 words on how great of an all-around game Marc Gasol played; or how clutch Jerryd Bayless was (it cannot be understated how incredible he was at the end of regulation); or the toughness of Zach Randolph (and Nick Collison as well); or the bullshit officials (seriously Michael Smith…you’re an abortion); or how big of a bitch Russell Westbrook is; or the defense of Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince; or how Scott Brooks cost his team a final shot…

But I’ll just let Marc Gasol tell you what happened.

 

Grizzlies Tweet of the Week Not from @HydeParkSwag

This may be one of my top 5 favorite tweets of all time not involving boobs…

 

 

Awesome Grizzlies Gif I Can’t Stop Watching and Will Use All the Time

 

Grizzlies Article of the Week

Matt Moore (@hpbasketball) had a great sit down interview with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph for the Eye on Basketball blog on CBSSportsline.  It’s a must read.  Check it out here.

Grizzlies Tweet of the Week from @HydeParkSwag

Not only do I give you new and inventive ways to use the F-word, you also get basketball analysis.

 

 

A Look at the Standings

The Grizzlies remain in 3rd place on the basis of percentage points as they’re in a dead heat with the Clippers and the Nuggets (who just aren’t going to ever lose again).  The Clippers play Brooklyn while the Nuggets play the Kings (both at home) on Saturday. Memphis really needs to win two games this weekend to keep pace.

Weekend Preview

Friday @ New Orleans- While I’m a huge fan of Tony Wroten and really like what Jerryd Bayless brings to the team, it irks me to no end the Greivis Vasquez is no longer on the roster.  Vasquez played a huge role as backup PG in the 2011 playoff run, but got thrown onto the Island of Misfit Backup Point Guards by Lionel Hollins after a bad defensive rotation in the Thunder series.  That Vasquez was traded away (for Pondexter who I like as a player) because Hollins and the old front office thought Jeremy freaking Pargo could handle toe back up duties makes me mad enough to punt a baby.  After averaging 9 points and over 5 assists in mainly a backup role last season, Vasquez has taken his play to a different level as a starter, averaging 14 points and over 9.3 assists (3rd best in the NBA) per game.  While some of those numbers are definitely the “someone has to get them on a bad team” numbers, I cannot fathom the level of ineptitude that determined Jeremy Pargo was better option… (bangs head against desk repeatedly).  As for the actual game, my preview remains the same as the last matchup….SOMEONE FREAKING GUARD RYAN ANDERSON!!!

Saturday v. Boston- FIRST ONE TO 85 WINS!!!  I don’t really know what to make of this Celtics team (seriously…the more players that get hurt or miss games, the better they are) but they’re always on of the best in the league on the defensive end.  Jeff Green has been playing well of late (43 points in Monday’s 2 point loss to the Heat) and Paul Piece is always a danger but Boston has a 2-10 record on the road against Western Conference teams.  Couple those struggles with the road game with Dallas on Friday and the Grizz have a good shot at the W.  Pound the paint, own the boards (Celtics are 29th in the league in rebounding), and don’t let Pierce get hot.

Additional Notes

-There is still no news on the return of Darrell Arthur.  He has missed the last 9 games after a nasty fall against Orlando.  He remains listed as day-to-day.

-Co-owners Ashley and Peyton Manning (Vols, stand up!) are expected to be at next Friday’s home game with the Rockets to meet with some suite holders and sponsors.

- If you don’t get the reference in the title this week, do yourself a favor and  listen to this.  Shout out to play-by-play guy Eric Hasseltine for being absolutely spectacular (as usual) during this game.  Here’s a link to his  call of the game-winner as well.

 

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