Well, it’s hard not to be happy that the Grizzlies swept another western road trip.
It’s harder to not FREAK OUT COMPLETELY OVER MIKE CONLEY’S ANKLE INJURY suffered about midway through the fourth quarter.
It’d be easy to write “Conley’s ankle is sprained” seven times, but let’s attempt to not do that. Seven things about YET ANOTHER road win for the Grizzlies…
Thing One: Conley’s ankle sprain. No point guessing, no point unnecessarily freaking out…but there’s no ignoring it. That was a heck of an ankle roll. Just one of those random things. So many questions are raised…is Nick Calathes ready to shoulder a bigger load? Does this spell the end of one of the big guys’ tenure in a Grizzlies jersey? Will the Grizzlies dip into the D-league for a PG signing? Certainly questions no one wanted to face right now, but they’re here. We’ll see.
Thing two: Tayshaun Prince, feel free to keep telling all of us “BOO THAT!”. He’s still not going to be the Prince we saw running around with Big Ben and Co. in 2004, but if he can get to where his thigh/knee/whatever it is/was isn’t slowing him down, his ballhandling ability will come in very handy due to thing number one. I’ll take 5/11 from him, especially if one of the five is a three-pointer as huge as the one he hit this night.
Thing three: Seth Curry? Tyshawn Taylor? Some relative unknown? Levien and Co. gotta do something, right? RIGHT? Ok, I’ll stop freaking now.
Thing four: Zach Randolph was viewing Kevy-Kev as though Love were that last, slowest wildebeest trying to cross that flooded desert wash and ZBo was the lion right on the tail of the herd. That fourth quarter was made easier by just telling whoever was “playing point guard” to wave four fingers in the air and get it to number 50. He relishes the opportunity whenever it arises, which relishing is perhaps the only remaining vestige of the “it’s about me” ZBo…but when he does it to the tune of 26 points on 20 shots to go with twelve boards and four assists, who cares.
Thing five: The Grizzlies’ bench took, an, um, backseat (get it?) this night, with only 20 of 94 points coming from the reserves. with only Mike Miller logging over thirteen or so minutes. Just fine for them to be a bit anonymous this game, for tomorow, with the Bucks coming to town, they’ll certainly see a lot more time. That’s no insult to the Bucks-they are a viable NBA team-but after three road wins and a late-night flight home tacked on top of 40-minute outings for Randolph and Gasol, the reserves will see plenty of court time Saturday night.
Thing six: The Grizzlies were outrebounded this game, and the battle of the boards went to the Wolves big-time during that disastrous third quarter. Sure, Love is a top-three rebounder, and Gasol had to be fatigued after a big road trip-but the Grizzlies’ way is to kill people on the boards, and they’ll need to keep fine-tuning that part of the machine.
Thing seven: Victory through defense again. Just can’t express how much I love watching good defense. The Grizzlies gave up 90 points once in the three game road trip. Once. Against three pretty darned potent offensive teams. We’ll take it, huh, Grizzlies fans?
Rest, ice, compression, elevation, and NEGATIVE X-RAYS OH PLEASE LORD.