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Yes, bandwagon Heat fans, the Grizzlies were unusually hot from three. Sure, the Heat shot 61% from the line.

However, that ain’t what won the Grizzlies the game. There were a few factors that are significantly more common in Grizzlies games to which one could point as the reasons for this HUGE victory…

WAYNEELLINGTONWAYNEELINGTON. Also, Wayne Ellington was a +36 in this game. Ok, got that out of my system.

Also, BAYLESS WITH THE BLOCK ON RAYRAY AND ELLINGTON FOR THREE so well epitomized this game for the Grizzlies….but that’s just another superlative single moment, not the whole story of the game.

Ball movement was what won the Grizzlies this game, along with a heavy dose of the good ol’ GNG.

It wasn’t just Conley, either-best assist of the game (maybe aside from the Conley lob to Gay for the slam thanks to a KILLER screen on Battier by Gasol) belonged to Quincy Pondexter. He received the ball in the corner, as he often does, headed toward the hoop, froze ZBo’s defender with his penetration move, and made a beautiful wraparound to Randolph for the layup. Gasol went 1-6 from the field, but had six great assists, with four coming early in the game to help set the rhythm for the evening. Yes, it’s the NBA champs-but just like any other team without a top-notch post defender or three, the Heat were victimized by the consistent and resilient Grizzlies big men and their ability and willingness to share the ball. 68% FG’s assisted for the Griz this game. Great performances from Conley and Gasol in particular in terms of finding the open man, and it doesn’t hurt when a guy like Ellington is hotter than the surface of the sun.

To use Tony Allen’s second-most-popular phrase, the Grizzlies shut off the water against what anyone would agree is a 93-octane offense. They employed the “let Lebron and Bosh get theirs, just don’t let anyone go crazy from three or let any second-tier Heat player go nuts for 30”, and it worked. When you hold Wade, sick or not, to 3-15, rendering him pretty much invisible, you’ve done your job well.

The reason? Rudy Gay. Not on Wade in particular, but  it was plain to see that Rudy took this game more personally than perhaps any game I’ve watched him  play. Sure, Lebron had his points-but Rudy had four steals, and deflections to boot, and took LBJ to the ankle clinic for a thunderous dunk on one occasion.

Ok, derail for a minute. Rewatching the fourth quarter, and just saw the “good effort” sign in section 108 right behind the Heat bench. Whoever you are, you rule.

Ok, back to Rudy Gay. This game, perhaps more than any other, could serve to demonstrate that he’s sick of being known as “disappearing Rudy”. He had another rough shooting night, but his defense was constantly visible, and no visible pouting. Is Rudy finally ready? We’ll see….

As I said earlier, there were a couple of fluke-ish aspects to this game, but a bunch of fluke-ish aspects combined add up to a resounding victory. “Oh, the Griz hit threes”. “Oh, the Heat couldn’t hit FT’s”.  By definition, flukes come in ones, not bunches.

Also, Zach Randolph had another double-double. In other startling, unexpected news, my four-year-old hates to go to bed on time.

No way in God’s green Earth the Grizzlies go 81-1, but tonight, they played a great game. Too bad it doesn’t get any easier…


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6 Responses to Heat Fans in FedEx Forum Sent Home Crying. GRIZZLIES WIN.

  1. AndyNo Gravatar says:

    Grizz never trailed the Heat in 2012….. Better luck next year, LeBron!

  2. chriskf1No Gravatar says:

    What a great performance! This is already my favorite bench since Hubie’s beloved 10-man rotation from 03-04. Bayless, Ellington, Pondexter, and Speights all seem to know AND EMBRACE their specific roles… have all bought in to the team’s persona, and all seem equally prepared to both be and defer to the hot hand. All while — at worst — competently backing up a starter (or 2!) with minimal drop off and, at best, offering a change of style and skills when someone is facing a bad matchup, has run into foul trouble, or is just having an off night. Can’t wait for Arthur to add his P-n-R game to the mix!

  3. KyleNo Gravatar says:

    Rudy with a full stat line, and even when the shots aren’t falling he still seems to get his… Good game all around by the grizz

  4. danielNo Gravatar says:

    Sure Lebron got his at times, but Rudy played great D in one on one situations against Lebron, often forcing wild, low percentage shots from Lebron.

  5. Anonymous GrizzlyNo Gravatar says:

    Best game from Rudy we’ve seen in some time – and it’s not a coincidence it came under the bright lights that come necessarily with playing against LeBron. Awesome all-around effort. While the 3-point shooting numbers aren’t susainable, I’d venture a wager that Marc Gasol will get more than 2 points too.

    Just imagine the bench when DA comes back! The Bayless-DA PNRs with Q-Pon and Wayne waiting in the corners for kickouts will give most benches way more than they can handle.

  6. JoelNo Gravatar says:

    I have been complaining on this site for MONTHS about how if we got at least ONE consistant 3 point marksman, that the Grizz would be on a whole new level offensivly. And while we will NOT be able to keep those numbers up, we will keep the defenders honest, giving Z-BO, Marc, and Rudy an open lane to work with. Last night, the D on Marc was fantastic. when Marc shoots up to the foul line, Conley picks up both defenders, and passes to marc for that open jumper, the Heat were all over Marc. Aside from that one issue of Marc not getting a good look all night, everything else was amazing. We never trailed, and when the Heat came storming back in the middle of the 4th, I was nervous. I had a Nam-style flashback of the 20+ point lead we lost to the Clips a few months ago, but everyone stepped up, and we were able to get our end of the bench players 3+min of good experience. I am looking forward to a similar effort against OKC this week, I just hope Kevin Martin left his Grizz killing stroke in Houston, fingers crossed.

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