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Apr 11, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) and Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen (9) during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies beat Philadelphia 76ers 117 - 95. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 11, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) and Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen (9) during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies beat Philadelphia 76ers 117 – 95. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

I admit, I looked up what a 76er was before I wrote that title. Alas, put 1776, Philadelphia, and the constitution all together and boom the 76ers.  So get it? Liberally. Constitution. Politics. Oh, forget it.

Tonight, it was 2 teams, headed in very different directions. One team wore Memphis across it’s chest. The other team had 6 guys on its roster who have lived or played in Memphis in the past, 5 of which played. Per a pre game quote from Brett Brown, the 76ers coach (and I don’t blame you if you have never heard of him), they were in Memphis on Friday night to get a win. And a win they got! They inched ever so closer to securing the second most ping pong balls in the NBA Lottery draft (only 2 games ahead of the Bucks). I mean you can’t actually think he meant “win” as in win the game right? Why would they be trying to do that?

Enough craziness, let’s jump into the numbers and see just how efficient these Grizzlies are playing.

Post-Game Stats:
115.7-
Offensive Rating tonight for the Grizzlies, their second Ortg of more than 115
101.8- PACE the fastest of the season by far. The 2nd fastest PACE game (97.2) was the 76ers game on March 15th.
13- Number of consecutive home wins, tying the franchise record with one final home game to be played Wednesday night vs Dallas
30:38- the most minutes any player from either team played tonight (Marc Gasol)
25- players got in the game. 13 Grizzlies, 12 76ers
25- players scored
0- players received a DNP, all active roster players saw the court.
45- Double Doubles for Zach Randolph on the season, 1 back of Dwight Howard who is in 4th
16- Games out of 27 since the All-Star Break the Grizzlies have shot 35% of better from the 3 point line
18- wins since the All Star Break, 9 losses. The 3rd best winning percentage in the West
10.9- NetRtg in wins post All Star Break
12- Negative NetRtg in losses post All Star Break
102.1- Defensive Rating post AS Break, 7th best in the league
4- wins of the year where the Grizzlies lead from start to finish

Post-Game Audio & Video:
Coach Joerger Press Conference
Marc Gasol Locker Room Video
Mike Conley locker room video
Tony Allen Locker Room Video

Apr 11, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Mike Miller (13) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers guard Hollis Thompson (31) during the game at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 11, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Mike Miller (13) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers guard Hollis Thompson (31) during the game at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game Takeaways:
1) The 76ers are bad at basketball. They have glimpses of talent, but overall it was a bad basketball game. The Grizzlies let them hang around for far too long before finally plundering the Sixers collective will and ultimately putting the game out of reach. There really isn’t much to take away from this game.
2) The Grizzlies were really good offensively.  The pace was frenetic and the 76ers pushed it and scored a little too easily in the paint due to the Grizzlies lack of transition defense. The 76ers hate playing defense and also don’t know how to play defense. It was very reminiscent of a Bluff City game, where offense ruled the day.
3) Marc Gasol hit a three. It was superb. Just when I think I’ve seen it all (Zbo hitting one against Miami last game), something else comes out of nowhere.
4) Mike Miller seems to have found his stroke again. He scored 19 points, and after being 3-16 from 3 the past 7 games, he was 3-4 Friday night and 8-11 overall.
5) Zach Randolph can ball…..and take charges. Who knew?
6) The Memphis guys on the 76ers performed well. Thad, Adonis, Elliott and Jarvis (does he really count?) all shot around 50% from the field and each scored (see Final Box below).
7) The locker room after the game was jovial. For a few minutes, everyone was looking at their phones, players, media, staff all waiting to know the outcome of the Phoenix/Spurs game. The guys seemed relaxed. It was a complete 180 from last week’s locker room after the Nuggets win. 3 games left. As Mike Conley said, the goal should be to win them all, one at a time. Statistically, the Lakers are a bad team. The Grizzlies should beat them. However, as I have chronicled, it is a dreaded road game on 1 day’s rest, where the Grizzlies are an abysmal 4-9 since Gasol returned. However, if they can muster some defense just long enough to align with the high flying offense they’ve recently found, the Grizzlies should come out victorious heading into the showdown in Phoenix on Monday night.

It’s easy to look ahead and see Phoenix without focusing on the Lakers. But it didn’t seem in the locker room Friday night that the players or coaches were going to let that happen. All is focused on Sunday night in LA.

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Final Box Score:
Memphis Grizzlies FInal Box Philadelphia 76ers Final Box

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