This game could have written itself. Prior to heading into the weekend’s games, I took a look at the trends for how the Grizzlies played on the road with 1 day’s rest in between games, and how they played at home on the second of a back to back game. In addition I did the same for the Heat at home & Pacers on the road. If you follow me on Twitter, which I strongly suggest doing (wink wink), you would already know that the Grizzlies were statistically supposed to lose the game last night, but win tonight.
Well, that’s exactly what happened. The Grizzlies started the evening on an 11-3 run, but the Pacers fought back closing it to 19-18 at one point. The Grizzlies didn’t really intend on getting into the mud, however, the Pacers wanted to go there, so the Grizzlies, inevitably, had no choice. After being drug into the mud, the Grizzlies not only had their way with the Pacers, outscoring them 46-24 in the paint, they took the Pacers lunch money too.
Here is the Post-game recap by numbers:
– 18,119 people in attendance, a sellout. Grizzlies now rank 17th in percentage full, and average 16,604 per game. This is the same position in the percentage ranking the Grizzlies have held for the past 2 seasons. The average attendance per game is equal to last season as well.
– 36.5% FG by the Pacers tonight, their 3rd worst FG% showing of the season
– 71 Pacers points, a season low for the Pacers
– 35 Pacers rebounds, the second lowest total for the season, they average 45.3per game
– 82 Grizzlies points, the second lowest total in a Win this season, averaging 98.6 ppt in wins, lowest in the NBA
– 85.4 Grizzlies Defensive Rating tonight, the third lowest of the season
– 2 career games in which Roy Hibbert has played 20+ minutes and failed to pull down a single rebound, had 0 tonight
– 4 Grizzlies players (Conley, ZBO, Gasol, Miller) scored more than All-Star Paul George who ended the night with 8 points on 2-10 FGs
– 36.9 points in the paint Pacers opponents average which is the lowest in the NBA, but Grizzlies score 46 Saturday night
– 37.2 points in the paint Grizzlies opponents average which is second lowest in the NBA, and Pacers only scored 24
Additional stats in honor of the Grizzlies since Marc Gasol’s return from injury on January 14:
– 97.7 Defensive Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) is the best in the league
– 4.6 NetRtg (Offensive Rating – Defensive Rating) ranks 6th
– 91.81 PACE (possessions per 48 minutes) ranks the slowest
– 82.5% of Grizzlies FGAs are 2 point shots, highest in the league
– 68.8% of points are from 2 point makes, highest in the league
– 49.8% of the Grizzlies points come from the paint- ranks 3rd
– 42.9% FG for Grizzlies opponents, ranking 2nd best
– 39.1 rebounds per game secured by Grizzlies opponents, lowest in the league
– 90.2 points per game scored by Grizzlies opponents, lowest in the league
– 24 wins is the most number of wins in the league since January 14
Post Game Takeaways:
#1: Marc Gasol’s presence is invaluable to this team. He not only should be the Defensive Player of the Year in my mind, I would put him as the Most Valuable Player to any team. Of course he will never get that, but it’s obvious his value to the Grizzlies on the defensive end is immeasurable by numbers.
#2: Mike Conley had a great game. We’ve been hearing a lot about his ankle and how it could effect the Grizzlies down the stretch and into (hopefully) the playoffs. Tonight, he had no problems with George Hill and the Pacers defense. He will have to fight through the mental, physical, or emotional block that’s been holding him back and really go hard the next month.
#3: Zach Randolph has scored double figures in all but 3 games in which he has played. He is becoming a machine in the paint. Playing exceptionally well, and bullying guys around. However, as a result of this style of play, he also will not receive a lot of whistles when he feels like he is fouled. The officials allow him to get away with a lot of shoving on the defensive end so he will most likely not get as many calls under the basket on the offensive end.
#4: Mike Miller unloaded the clip tonight and hit 4/6 from deep all makes coming in the 2nd quarter, scoring 13. He wouldn’t score after halftime, but did enough in the 2nd quarter to give the Grizzlies a 13 point lead and they held a double digit lead the rest of the game.
#5: Defense was incredible tonight. Every player gave something on the defensive end. As Joerger and others said, that was the most complete game played this season with contribution from every player.
#6: 9-man rotation was played tonight. 9 guys played over 16 minutes. I would imagine this will be what Joerger sticks with down the stretch, provided some unique matchup really causes him to play a 10th or 11th man, so get used to it Grizzlies fans.
#7: Yea, get used to it because James Johnson and Jon Leuer aren’t going to be playing much over the remainder of this season and into the playoffs. And Tayshaun Prince will be playing more (though only 19 minutes tonight) that you’d probably like. We are winning games. It is the lay of the land. I might not like it, you might not like it, but it is what it is as they say. We must learn to live with it. Please, for the love of everything good and fun and awesome, please stop clamoring for James Johnson every game. It’s becoming old. I love JJ. I’d love to see him play 20min every game, but at this point it’s not happening. I’ve accepted that. It’s time for you to do the same.
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— Zach Thomas (@zacharytthomas) March 23, 2014
And thanks for reading 3 Shades of Blue!
*All stats provided by basketball-reference.com, nba.com/stats & Grizzlies Media