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Six in a row, and the last two over two of the NBA’s best teams.

And on national TV to boot.

And with some typical sore-loser business from Perk.

And also, RUDY GAY. So much to like about this game. Gotta get busy rooting against the Clippers (not for the Heat, mind you, just against the Clippers), so I’ll not be long-winded, but there were some  key items regarding this game that served as bellwethers of how it turned out…

-Rudy Gay. YOWIE. Over the last two games, Rudy has faced perhaps the best two small (sometimes power) forwards in the NBA, and each time, he has proven that he is able, and MUCH more importantly, willing to match up with the top guys in the game. Lots of his FG’s weren’t assisted…and that is just fine. He’s much more comfortable initiating the offense (although the first pass not happening until the low teens on the shot clock will always make me crazy about Hollins teams), and he hit several of those impossibly lifted Rudy Gay shots with under 5 on the clock against OKC.  When the Thunder closed it to 75-69 on a Westbrook 3 (by the way, thanks as always for shooting your team into oblivion, Russell), Rudy took over. Three ISO-Rudy jumpers in a row to get the lead back to a more comfortable margin. And all with a “just going about my business” look on his face.

-Two key defensive stretches: the Griz held the Thunder scoreless for the last three minutes of the second quarter and for the last two minutes of the third quarter. I bet that just makes Hollins jump for joy (I think we’d all love to see him jump for joy over just about anything). Although outrebounded for the game by one, during these defensive stretches the Grizzlies worked hard on the boards and kept themselves in a position to maintain and stretch a lead. Speaking of stretching leads…

-…yep, the bench again. Ellington and Speights, largely due to matchups, didn’t see nearly as much floor time (although Ellington did manage to go 3-5 in only eleven minutes), but Bayless and Pondexter were huge. QP went 4-10, but his scoring was timely and his defense was heady yet intense.  Pondexter’s understanding of what is expected of him on both ends is keeping TA fresher on the bench (them knees ain’t 21 any more) for when his defensive intensity may be required last five minutes of a super close game. Bayless really looks like he’s finally found a home with the Grizzlies, and isn’t it nice to hear those words about YET ANOTHER player? Bayless was perhaps a bit overeager on D leading to some foul trouble (although, a couple of those calls…YEEESH), but his competence and scoring ability are giving the Grizzlies a reliable option at PG that they haven’t had since…well, if you don’t count GV…it’s been since, uh, Bobby Jackson? Has it?

-As Charles Barkley says, “you got to have a crazy guy”. Ask Kendrick Perkins, he might tell you the Griz have two (and Ken Mauer almost certainly would). ZBo is one of the only guys in the NBA who is completely unafraid to get in Perkins’ face, and I just love it. Odd to see two ejections without any strictly extracurricular physical contact-they must have been saying some very magical words to one another. Also loved Gasol popping Westbrook in the head and drawing a rise out of him. Funny stuff. No, Gasol’s not the other crazy guy, that’s TA of course, but it was just fine to see Gasol take out a bit of frustration with his offensive slump on one of the guys in the NBA who is most consistently an annoying gnat in the ear of his opponents.

Conley and Bayless combine for 11 assists and only 3 TO’s (the team had only 8 for the game). The Griz go 7-17, a perfectly respectable 41%.

The Grizzlies have rung the alarm clock on  the NBA-they’d all better wake up and notice.

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19 Responses to Wake Up, America. The Grizzlies Are Here.

  1. JasonNo Gravatar says:

    Respect is being earned…Go Grizz

  2. Stevie DanzigerNo Gravatar says:

    What an awesome game! It’s a great time to be a Grizzlies fan.

  3. HadToHappnNo Gravatar says:

    The NBA is in trouble!

  4. grizzfan85No Gravatar says:

    Okay so I had to rant about this after watching Thabeet suck it up for the Thunder. Here is the chronological breakdown of how the Thunder have downgraded their talent:
    1. Trade Jeff Green for Perkins
    2. Sign Thabeet thinking he is actually good at basketball after three other teams figured it out.
    3. Trade James Harden for Kevin Martin.

    These might have seemed like good ideas at the time but if you look at the Thunder now, they don’t make it to the finals again this year with Thabust playing significant minutes.

    • Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

      Lol, I hope there were some other people out there looking, hoping and believing that Thabeet would look as silly as he did here. It’s okay, part of me feels better about wasting the #2 pick on Thabeet rather than have Blake Griffin on this team (instead of Zbo.)

  5. Neon LeonNo Gravatar says:

    Check out Z-Bo and Perk at http://youtu.be/TUvp-JbYcS0 (be sure to turn your speakers up).

  6. Anonymous Grizz FanNo Gravatar says:

    What. A. Game. Awesome, awesome Rudy game – without him playing big we don’t win that. Rudy’s key is to imagine he’s playing every game against LeBron or Durant and keep up the high level and intensity night in and night out.
    Also, much love to Marc for shrugging off an abysmal first half to play his typical pivotal role down the stretch. What a time to be a Grizz fan.

  7. MrGillandNo Gravatar says:

    At this rate Rudy will earn a well deserved all star spot, he’s making highlights plus leading the Grizz to impressive victories. I think we finally at the level we been trying to get at the last couple of years

  8. [...] Matt of 3 Shades of Blue: “As Charles Barkley says, ‘you got to have a crazy guy’. Ask Kendrick Perkins, he might tell you the Griz have two (and Ken Mauer almost certainly would). ZBo is one of the only guys in the NBA who is completely unafraid to get in Perkins’ face, and I just love it. Odd to see two ejections without any strictly extracurricular physical contact-they must have been saying some very magical words to one another. Also loved Gasol popping Westbrook in the head and drawing a rise out of him. Funny stuff. No, Gasol’s not the other crazy guy, that’s TA of course, but it was just fine to see Gasol take out a bit of frustration with his offensive slump on one of the guys in the NBA who is most consistently an annoying gnat in the ear of his opponents.” [...]

  9. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    What a fun game. Had me on the edge of my seat all night. Rudy gonna get that All-Star nod this year.

  10. RobNo Gravatar says:

    If you listen to this video, you can clearly hear Z-BO say to Perkins “…outside i will BEAT YOUR ASS” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtPpvhRDasA&list=UUHVeLqRwekel9X_kgEXmKOg&index=9&feature=plcp

  11. JoelNo Gravatar says:

    Just a nice little piece of info, the ENTIRE Grizz starting 5 are going to be listed on this years All Star ballot. I think that is pretty awesome, our guys deserve the recognition.

  12. Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

    This team will have 3-4 All Stars this year if they continue playing at this level. Wow. I’m beaming with pride for this team.

  13. Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

    Oh also, can someone make up a batch of “Zbo Don’t Bluff” tshirts? I really want one

  14. htownse1No Gravatar says:

    I think I was the only one there with Grizz gear on. After that win,the look on those OKC fans’ faces were priceless!

  15. ACNo Gravatar says:

    Every year, one of the grizzlies players says something prolific that tends to define the season for us fans. In 2010 – 11, it was the infamous “all heart, grit, and grind”, ’11 – 12 was Rudy’s “make your own luck.” This year, I would love to see some t-shirts that say “We don’t bluff.” Seems fitting, seeing as this IS the bluff city. As always, GNG!!!!!!!!!!!

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