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Well, the Grizzlies win again. Again, like the Charlotte game and a couple others along the way of the still-young season, it wasn’t exactly a candidate for “most beautifully executed basketball victory in all human history”, but it worked.

Tony Allen in street clothes, and ZBo goes 3-8 with five measly boards. How in the heck did the Grizzlies win this game??

Conley and Gasol, to no one’s surprise, carried the team. Marc with four blocks, Conley with six (!!!) steals. That’s almost half the Pistons’ exorbitant 22 turnovers, and with the Grizzlies shooting a paltry 40% for the game, defense had to be how it was done.

The Griz’ ability to play such a defensive gem amidst their own offensive struggles reinforces an opinion that I’ve long held-that truly elite teams are chameleons. Such teams can win ugly (this game, the CLE victory, etc.) and can fly high under bright lights (Lakers, Heat, Knicks) and wow the world doing so. The G’n’G mantra comes in handy for the ugly wins, and the ability to get down and dirty against a team like Detroit with a couple of up-and-comers like Brandon Knight and Greg “every single person’s favorite young post player in the NBA” Monroe says a lot about a team who could easily have made the mistake of looking past the young Pistons.

We’ll not speak of ZBo having the foot off the gas, or of TA tweeting at 4:30 “game time” and then wearing a suit….

…Monroe flirted with the bad triple double, with 17 and 9 and seven nasty turnovers. Still love that guy’s game, though. The Pistons just have to…heaven help me, I’m gonna say it…GEL, and they will be fine. Brandon Knight ran into an equally quick and much more experienced PG in Mike Conley and went 3-9 with six turnovers of his own.

Wayne Ellington is killing me. 1-9 would have killed the Grizzlies against a better team, and we must hope that TA is not sidelined by the groin pull for tomorrow’s game at SAS. Wayne is not taking horrible shots, forcing himself to “shoot himself out of the slump”…that stinkin’ sphere just won’t fall for him.

Mike Conley is NOT killing me. That 3/and-one/3 sequence in the third after DET had tied the game at 57 was the pivotal moment of the game, no doubt. His  poise on the court continues to ascend.

Speaking of poise…at the end of the  season (y’know, sometime during the third week in June), we’ll look back on this game as “that game where we knew DA was ok”. Such hustle, and his hops came in handy against the athletic bigmen that Detroit can put on the floor who can cause big problems for ZBo and Gasol (haven’t we talked about that before????). Some great D, a wonderful roll to the hoop, and a couple patented DA 17-footers…and most importantly, his return seems to be motivating Mo Speights to get his game back to where we all know it can be. GREAT work on the boards for Mo (although the team were outrebounded by a margin of 7 on the night), and better focus with less helter-skelter.

Have a safe flight, Grizzlies, and get some rest. As Vince Lombardi was fond of telling the Packers after EVERY GAME (and lots of practices)…”gentlemen, tomorrow we begin the big push”.

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