First off-Quincy, get well soon man. This team NEEDS you. Sprained MCL was the accidental/freak injury suffered by ZBo last year when OJ fell on him in Chicago. Who knows how long he’ll be out, but we must all hope it’s a short time.
As for the game, the Grizzlies defense held a VERY potent offensive team under 75 points. ALMOST held ‘em under 70.
Also, the Grizzlies’ offense was once again, uh, what’s the opposite of “stellar”?
Oh, yeah, except for Hamed’s dunk and Rudy Gay’s mini-detonation in the late fourth….and those two things were enough.
More after the jump….
I just LOOOOOVE unpretty basketball. It’s pretty anyway, and not in an ugly-duckling kind of way. To watch a team like the Grizzlies, who play best at what could lovingly be called a smashmouth pace, shut down such an athletic, long team like the Nuggets is a thing of beauty.
Tony Allen, the undisputed “main man” for the Grizzlies’ defense (in terms of actual play as well as mentoring his teammates on the oh-so-fine art of guarding a whole team at one time”), had many typical hustle plays tonight.
What TA says in this clip says a lot about how much he believes in what Hollins says, and we know why-what coach wants to do is what TA happens to be GREAT at doing.Disrupting opposing offenses with good rotations, deflections, and steals. All of which, by the way, the Griz did this night-nine steals, six blocks, and sixteen forced turnovers (more on the TO’s in a moment). Tony Allen also did something else I LOVED this night-he went 3-5 from the field. Five to eight shots is all he needs-couple garbage shots, a spotup wing jumper maybe if it’s open, and a fingernail-biter breakaway or two.
Mike Conley was sick as a dog, and still had six assists to zero turnovers. YET ANOTHER nasty shooting night for him, but that’s ok-the barometer is his ability to hold on to the ball, and he did that. Speaking of holding on to the ball, Bayless had a nice game as well, with five AST to only one TO. Good stuff, and some great defense on Andre Miller, who has many times cemented his place on the roster of all-time Grizkillers. Kept his eyes on the whole opponent, not just the ball in his hands.
Gotta give Rudy Gay a big pat on the back. He needs one, with his grandmother very, very ill back in his hometown, and he deserves one for helping the team so much in that fourth quarter. Great defense and an 8-point run on his own. He went to the basket some, and the fadeaway from the corner was just Rudy showing that he can get his shot whenever he wants…now he’s just gotta get back to wanting it all the time.
Then, HAMED HADDADI!!!! If Pondexter is out for a while and DA is shoved over to the 3 position, Hamed is going to have to play at least a bit more (which would mean “at least a bit”). Would MC/JB/RG/DA/HH be a viable lineup for short stretches? Will Hollins go to it? Here’s what coach had to say about tonight’s win:
He’s willing and able to juggle lineups due to injury-heaven knows he’s had to do it the last two seasons-and I’d be surprised if the Grizzlies went out and signed someone right now, even if Q is going to be out for a long time. Now, when ten-day contracts start in earlyish January, that could very well change and I’d not be a bit surprised if the Griz did bring in a young shooter/wing for a 1.5 week look.
Most important bit of Hollins’ statements after the game? He referred to Andre Miller as a “kid”. Doesn’t he know that Andre Miller helped that guy hang those peach baskets oh-so-many years ago?