Ok, here’s the story.
Each Grizzlies game should be a fourth quarter against the Warriors. They’d never lose.
There’s a bit of a problematic trend here, however, and we’ll find out about that after we sort out just how the Grizzlies won another close one…
The “energy squad”. From when they were down 84-72, the Grizz went on a 26-10 run to close the game. Cunningham and Arenas, powering a comeback? Huh? Yeah. It’s just hard not to use that word “crafty” in reference to Arenas. Yet another game for Gilbert with zero turnovers. I like seeing this trend in a backup PG, and it will be very interesting to see if he gets some minutes guarding VC against the Mavs. He sure wasn’t afraid of KD35, he wasn’t afraid of any Warrior, so we’ll see. Just can’t mention the word energy without mentioning Dante Cunningham. Can’t help but think that the Griz win that Rockets game if he doesn’t twist the ankle. Water under the bridge, though. Had him back this game, and it was great to see him using his length in combination with a good ear for listening to his coaches and his ability to position himself smartly on D. Going 6-6 from the field doesn’t hurt either. Having this energy squad in the game also gave Hollins the ability to rest most of his starters for tomorrow’s third consecutive game (Gasol was in there, but still only played 33 total minutes). Zach Randolph also got to rest, as his knee and his conditioning only allowed him 15 minutes this game.
OH-OH-OJ MAYOOO FOR THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. “On a tear” is not too far out of the applicable lexicon for what he’s doing lately. He’s got that look in his eye for sure, and Hollins has gotten to where he’s trusting him for stretches at PG. Interesting from Hollins’ postgame: he likes to play Arenas and OJ together, gives him the ability to interchange his SG/PG guys. When OJ gets out of control, he goes to Gilbert as ballhandler, then goes back to OJ when he’s calmed. Smart stuff from a guy who has proved his naysayers wrong. The streak will end, OJ will have a cold game, and maybe Rudy, or maybe ZBo will have a couple killer games. That’s ok, ‘cuz we KNOW now that none of these players care about who’s taking the shots. They want to win, and this most recent hot streak is coming at a most opportune time.
Nate Robinson, perhaps talking trash to Mr. Mayo and Co. was not your smartest maneuver of the day.
Mike Conley comes back, the Grizzlies have over 50% FG’s assisted. Yes, he only played 29 or so minutes, and he only had two assists-but his ability to direct the team should not be underestimated. 7-11 from the field with a crazy 3-4 from three was great too-for Conley to get to another level (which is not likely, at this point in his career, but his upward curve has been pretty dramatic), his ability to score must become a bit more automatic.
Now, the disturbing trend. This Fast-Eddie-Felsen-esque method of taking teams down in the fourth is not gonna work in the playoffs. Not only because of the quality of opponents, but also because of teams’ desire and ability to take better care of the ball late in games. This game (and a couple other of the GSW games, the MIL game, there have been others) is exemplary of this problem. Stronger starts and halftime leads will become a bigger and bigger deal as the playoffs approach.
Dallas next, and it should bode well that no Grizzly besides Gay went over 33 minutes.
Huge game to insure the tiebreaker over the Mavs…homecourt has to be the goal. Keep it up Grizzlies.