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Before Monday night’s tilt between the Grizzlies and Thunder, I wrote a quick piece about some of the statistical anomalies that occurred in Game 1. Taking a peek at the Game 2 box score shows that the Grizzlies righted the ship on most counts, leading to a Memphis victory.

keep calm

Here is a look at the Game 1 concerns and Game 2 results:

  • Grizzlies shot 36.3% (33-91) from the field. That is well below the team’s 46.4% during the regular season. It was bizarre how many good shots at the rim just seemed to miss the mark and I expect more of them to fall tonight and in the coming games.
    • The Grizzlies actually out-paced their season average, shooting 49.4% (43-87) from the field. 
  • Grizzlies shot 18.2% (2-11) from beyond the arc. While the Grizzlies are certainly not known for their 3-point shooting, that is well below the 35.3% the team shot during the regular season and I would expect that number to rise.
    • Again, the Grizzlies shot slightly above average 40% (4-10) from beyond the arc in Game 2. 
  • Grizzlies shot 58.1% (18-31) from the free throw line. Again, this was well below the team’s season average of 74.1% and the numbers suggest this will improve going forward.
    • The Grizzlies shot significantly better than their season average, posting an 87.5% (21-24) clip from the free throw line.
  • The Grizzlies only turned the ball over 6 times. That is down from a season average of 12.9 turnovers/game. Staying at or below the season average will be a big key if the Grizzlies hope to steal Game 2, but expecting only 6 is probably asking too much.
    • The Grizzlies continued to value the basketball, only turning the ball over 9 times despite the extra 5 minutes of overtime. 
  • Kevin Durant only attempted 6 free throws in Game 1. On the regular-season, he attempted 10 per game. I expect him to meet or exceed that in Game 2.
    • Durant only managed to get to the line 8 times (hitting 7) despite the smothering defense played by Tony Allen and company.
  • Tony Allen played 33 minutes (the majority of which he was guarding KD) and only had 4 personal fouls. I expect Durant to be more physical with Tony and to force the issue, which will make it hard for TA to stay out of foul trouble if he has to play 30+ minutes tonight.
    • As if you didn’t know, Tony Allen played an amazing game and only picked up 4 fouls in 35+ minutes (2 of which were against Durant and 1 each against Westbrook and Fisher). Despite the fact that he guarded Durant most of the night, Tony only fouled him once in regulation and only once while shooting. 

What is the takeaway? The Grizzlies played a nearly perfect game and escaped with an overtime victory. You can’t count on out-shooting your averages, staying under 10 turnovers and Tony Allen being the best version of himself every night, but as long as you can check the majority of these boxes for every game at FedExForum, you have to like your chances of holding serve.

Grind on, Memphis.


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