Well, that seemed awfully…pedestrian. Not weird at all.
And more happened than just the most beastly ZBo we’ve seen all season showing up…follow us past the jump for more discussion and some great locker room audio courtesy of Lee Smith….
It’s hard to think that this version of Randolph is something that we’ve barely seen in….quite a while. Was it the officiating? No…he did charge the basket harder this game. From the outset, Randolph looked to get to the hoop or the line or both, and it worked. Same positioning, same plays, just a bit more juice from ZBo. 27 points on 18 FGA? Really? 9-10 from the line? I’m too sick to take the time to go see when the last time he went for double-digit FTA’s was, but it’s been a rarity. Check out what Randolph and Gasol had to say after the game…
Aside from Defensive Player of the Year, Marc should win most diplomatic and best team player. This man refuses to take credit for what he does-in the audio, he acknowledges that the space he had around the FT line/elbow area was due to Conley running well-angled pick and rolls and Zach taking Marc’s defender deep enough into the lane on the dive to give Marc room to release his…devastating set shot? Huh? Marc is a ridiculously intuitive player on both ends, and he knew that defenders would be paying a lot of attention to Randolph as he tried to work the high/low. Conley did do a great job making decisions at the top of the key when both his principal big men were in the game. Speaking of Mike Conley..
Ten assists, no turnovers. WOW. 1-9 from the field…wow. A bit of an odd game for him, given the great scoring he’s been doing for the last few months, but like Gasol, he knows how to fit himself into the game and do well by his team. Also…he and every other Grizzly who got near Chris Paul did maybe the best job on him we’ve seen all year. 4-11, ZERO FREE THROWS, only 4 ast, and 5 TO’s. Now that is defense against the guy who’s been breaking the Grizzlies’ collective spine of late. Check out some audio of Griffin and Paul from postgame-CP3 knows exactly what happened and why it happened:
Whale of a defensive game by Conley and Allen principally, and the whole team-they outrebounded the Clippers by 12 and held them under 39%.
Does anyone remember the last time the Grizzlies went to the line 38 times in a game?
One more little tidbit..Eric Bledsoe and Jerryd Bayless canceled each other out, did they? Neither was a major factor in the game, with Bledsoe playing only 14 minutes and picking up 3 fouls, Bayless only ten minutes with 3 fouls. Interesting that a key bench backcourt player from each team was pretty much removed from the game’s framework and the Grizzlies are only outscored by 5 reserves-wise, with the Grizzlies’ bench hitting the 30-point mark…an uncommonly high number for them needless to say. Perhaps the only disappointing aspect of the Grizzlies’ bench was the big men-Arthur and Davis filled space, but were not as dynamic as the team will need them to be if they are to come back and try to win the series. Big men aside, if the Grizzlies can keep Bledsoe from making those basket cuts and wreaking havoc on the Grizzlies’ offensive sets, they’ll stand a better chance of succeeding over the series.
Holding the opposition under 40%, outrebounding them by double digits, Randolph goes for 27 and 11. None of this seems unusual, does it? Well, it darned well does within the context of the previous two games of the series. The home team won again, and the Grizzlies will need to keep the game in the mud if they are to win…three more games. Still a tall order, but not impossible….