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Well, no one would call these two victories “excellent tuneups of the playoff engine”, but they were victories.

Some encouraging things, some not-so-encouraging things…

Encouraging:

-ZBo got to sit out a whole game on the second night of a b2b, and the team won…so that’s good. Let this be the first reference to the vaunted “rest vs. rust” cliche of the still-approaching postseason-do we need to get ZBo fully aligned game-rhythm-wise before the playoffs get here, or do we make sure that his knee doesn’t start protesting when he gets the stew beaten out of him every other night for…several more weeks? Do we think he’s still not in game rhythm? Seems as though he is. Randolph was sorta the “bright-ish spot” among a bright bench in the victory in CHA-14 and 6 with 4 ast in 21 minutes. Good stuff, and with good agility to boot. It’s known, of course, that Zach’s post play will be HUGE in the playoffs, and so I’ll say that it’s smart of Hollins to give him the night off.

-Rudy Gay flipping the switch against Portland, especially that block at the end. 9-16 wasn’t exactly bad for the game, but knowing that the winning play was there to be made was a nice sign for his awareness level as he approaches his first preseason. His hunger level has been almost entirely a positive-no ballhogging, just nice within-the-flow play on both ends.

-Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter. Two guys that embrace being bench players, and it shows when they come into the game. Both are instantly all arms and footwork on defense, and Cunningham is seemingly attached to the backboard as far as rebounding. Neither tries to do too much or is demanding of the ball in the least-but neither shrinks from a shot when it’s there.

-Mike Conley continues to show poise. That is all.

Not-so-encouraging:

-inconsistency on the part of Speights. Yes, overall, he’s been a big positive-but if those first one or two shots don’t go in or at least get him to the line, it can affect his whole night. A great dub-dub against the Blazers-his work on the glass was a major factor in the win-but he needs to put himself in position to catch the ball closer to the hoop on a constant basis to make the most of his offensive talents.

-In the POR game, Selby/Arenas/Hudson combined were an 0-for-too-dang-many. Not a good sign. Arenas is fighting a finger injury (torn ligaments are no fun, i can tell you), Hudson was obviously trying too hard in his first game back as a Grizzly, and Selby has realized he’s not in Reno anymore. One of these three guys (or Pargo) is going to have to get it together for at least ten or so minutes a game for the playoffs, or the team will be in big trouble. OJ has improved at handling the PG position, we’d all agree-but having one of these guys on decent form will be essential.

It’s about to get crazy, people. Really, really crazy.

Boy do I love rooting against the Clippers….

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10 Responses to Grizzlies Take Two in A Row, But…It Was Typically Imperfect.

  1. Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

    Next year … trade Zbo … use that $$$ to re-sign OJ, Speights and bring back DA for bench.

  2. JhugarNo Gravatar says:

    They continue the trend of playing down to bad teams (I only consider Portland a bad team when they rest Aldridge and Thabeet gets serious minutes), but at least they managed to get wins both times. It’s so strange how I feel like they could beat anyone, and at the same time, they could probably lose to anyone.

  3. GrizzdocNo Gravatar says:

    Agree with Jhugar. I think that they need to look closely at what happens tomorrow, and maybe rest Gasol against Cleveland. But we need to get these wins. Momentum is an important thing going into the playoffs. Last season we went in on a roll. Let’s not forget that the years when we were swept were all seasons where we rested key players down the stretch. That’s not a coincidence, even if they were different rosters.

    That is why I feel that we need to play our full roster in beast mode on Thu against Orlando. At least for the first 3 quarters, maybe more depending on whether home court is still at stake.

    Let’s get into the postseason with a head of steam behind us rather than limping in and going 4 and out…

  4. Joel B.No Gravatar says:

    trade Z-BO? NO, plain and simple, I love OJ and he has done a lot for us these last few weeks, but hell no to trading Z-BO. who are we going to trade for? no no no no no

  5. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    1) We’re not trading ZBo.

    2) Don’t you remember tanking the last couple games of the season last year to rest guys and so we could play the Spurs? That worked out quite well for us in the end.

  6. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Biggest surprise of the Portland game was seeing thabeet not only playing but starting. After three years since he was drafted he still plays the same like his feet are stuck in cement. He remains one of the biggest draft busts of all time. What a wasted opportunity.

  7. NickNo Gravatar says:

    Rudy is about to enter his first postseason, not preseason

  8. KyleNo Gravatar says:

    Completely agree that I enjoy the mess out of rooting against the clips an their baby “superstar” griffen

  9. KyleNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, and ZBo is the only one on the team that consistently came out in the playoffs with the ” you try to guard me, see where that gets you attitude” maybe Rudy will come with it this postseason, but we absolutely need ZBo for his sheer ability to take over games…

  10. HPTMattNo Gravatar says:

    thanks for the catch, that’d be POSTseason, not PREseason.

    if it were his first preseason, we’d be hearing Fratello talking about how Rudy can play shooting guard…remember that? Yikes!

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