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Credit- Justin Ford- USA Today

Credit- Justin Ford- USA Today

I’m going to do things a little different from now on. I realize that most of you either watched the game, already read a recap of the game from the AP, or follow the Griz beat writer for the Commercial Appeal, so a traditional recap really ins’t necessary. I want to differentiate our 3SOB post game from the others you may read.

I like numbers, so tonight I’m going to give you the recap in numbers, and then add my takeaways. After all, what’s the fun in sharing with you things you already can see with your eyes? Hopefully I can add some perspective to things, or at least confirm what you’ve been thinking.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Post-game Stats:
– attendance- The Grizzlies are 17th in the league in home attendance percentage at 91.7% full (click here for figures)
26– largest lead by the Grizzlies came with 5:50 to go in the 4th quarter (95-69)
7– largest lead by the Bobcats came with 7:14 to go in the 1st (15-8)
30:40– the most minutes played by any Grizzlies player (Zach Randolph)
30:02– the most minutes played by any Bobcats player (Chris Douglas Roberts)
12– Grizzlies players who played
12– Bobcats players who played
11– Grizzlies players who scored (James Johnson did not score)
11– Bobcats players who scored (Justin Hamilton did not score, who is that anyway?)
54– Grizzlies 3-point FG%
24– Bobcats 3-point FG%
18– players from both teams who contributed an assist
(+) – every Grizzlies player but James Johnson (-4) was net positive on the court, Courtney Lee being the best +21
(-) – every Bobcats player but Josh McRoberts (0) was a net negative on the court, Cody Zeller being the worst -21
60– Grizzlies points in the paint (30/53)
46– Bobcats points in the paint (23/44)
40– Bobcats FG% (37/93)
51– Grizzlies FG% (44/87)
15– points both teams scored off each other’s turnovers
5– Grizzlies players in double figures scoring (ZBO, Gasol, Conley, Koufos, Leuer)
1– Grizzlies player in double digit rebounds (Koufos)
7– Combined missed fast break FGAs (Grizz 7/10, Bobcats 8/12)

Post-game Audio:
Coach Joerger Postgame Audio
Marc Gasol Locker Room Audio

My Takeaways:
#1: Let’s just get this out in the open from the start. The Grizzlies boast the deepest bench in the league, spots 6-13. This roster is the deepest roster in Grizzlies franchise history. There are 240 regulation minutes to be played in every game. Depending on the matchup and who is playing well, Joerger is going to roll with those guys. As long as we keep winning games, it shouldn’t matter to you nor me who is playing on the court. 

I understand as fans it can be disheartening to see a guy like James Johnson get knocked down the bench and even out of the rotation for several games. My advice: Get used to it. It doesn’t mean coach doesn’t like him. It doesn’t mean there are deeper problems. (No need for conspiracies.) With such a deep bench, someone is going to be the odd man (men) out.

Coach has settled on a 10 man rotation for each game. For a while, it included James Johnson. Then it moved to Ed Davis. Now it includes Jon Leuer. The guys in the locker room know what is going on. For the next 20 games of the regular season and hopefully the playoffs, no one is going anywhere. Every player understands that at any moment on any night his time could come. Therefore, they are each preparing and working hard to be ready for that moment.

Personally, I’d like to switch up the rotations and play Tayshaun less. I’d like to insert TA into the starting lineup, or Mike Miller even. However, Joerger is the coach and I am not. For now, what he is doing is working. The Grizzlies have the best bench in the league, 2nd best defensive efficiency since Marc Gasol’s return and the starting lineup with Conley, Lee, Prince, Randolph, Gasol is now 15-3. Let’s all stop complaining, breathe a bit and relax. The Grizzlies are winning games, two in a row now, and poised to go on a run to finish the season well.

#2: Zach Randolph and Mike Conley played about 30 minutes and scored 16 and 20 respectively. ZBO scored most of his in the first quarter while Mike scored his evenly throughout the night, hitting 5 triples tying his career high for three point makes in a game. Marc Gasol played 25 minutes (second least of the starters) and scored 14 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. This may have been their most efficient game, from a production standpoint, as a unit.

#3: The bench added 48 points. While they didn’t need to rally as in previous games, they beat Charlotte’s bench by 16 points and out rebounded them 26-20. Back to the rotation thing, everybody is getting better. Mike Miller is now 5th in the entire league in 3pt FG%. Jon Leuer and Kosta Koufos are causing fits for opposing team’s defenses and Tony Allen and Nick Calathes are defending at incredible levels. Even Beno Udrih got into the game for the first time in Memphis. He had 2 open looks at the basket for 3 and knocked them both down. With the depth of this bench and its abilities, the Grizzlies can throw several different looks at teams offensively and defensively. It makes every game exciting. Instead of worrying about and complaining about the multiple lineups he had to use early on, Joerger turned a negative into a positive and now has the advantage of giving multiple looks to teams depending on the match ups.

#4: Happy Birthday to Grizz. The entertainment was awesome tonight. Seeing other mascots in action, especially dunking the ball with Kings of the Court, was pretty amazing.

#5: Memphis is now 10 games above .500 for the first time this season. With a little luck tomorrow, we could be sitting in the 7th spot by percentage points without playing a game. Weird huh.

Final Box Score:
Charlotte Box Score Grizzlies Box Score

Follow me on Twitter @zacharytthomas for more stuff like this all throughout the week.


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