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Darn it, Doron Lamb, why’d you have to hit that shot? I wanted to be able to write that the Grizzlies held a second consecutive opponent under 80 points. Oh well.

This game should not have been this close…the Grizzlies played STELLAR defense for almost the whole game (more on that in a moment), but there were a couple things that interrupted the team’s effort…

As against most opponents, the Grizzlies held a large perceived advantage in the paint going into the game. Duh. I dig both Mbah A Boute and Sanders just fine, but against Gasol and Zbo, they were overmatched. The steal on the interior pass by the Bucks on the Griz’ first possession of the game made me queasy, but once the home team figured out how to space themselves reasonably, they were able to work in the paint and, more importantly, dominate the glass. The Grizzlies’ starting frontline, as the are wont to do, pulled down almost 40 rebounds between the three of them. Special super-duper high-five goes to Marc Gasol-he picked up two fouls in the first few minutes of the game, came back in  for the second quarter, played, and played, and played…and didn’t pick up his third until halfway through the fourth. That, my friends, is the sign of a man who knows how to play smart and let his teammates help  him.

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Trick or treat, Tony…trick: 3-11 from the field, with a couple TA-misses-the-bunny cringe-inducers thrown in. Treat: four huge steals, with some of the smartest doubling/digging back onto the Bucks’ iffy post players one could expect. Trick: several fast breaks that TA  led with all the genteel affect of a charging rhino on speed. Treat: The Grindfather absolutely STARVED OUT Monta Ellis’ potent offensive game. There were other Grizzlies  involved on Ellis, but TA was the one most responsible for holding him to a wonderfully un-Monta-ish 1-14 (!!!) from the field and only TWO measly FTA’s. Shut. Off. That. Water.

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Speaking of tricks and/or treats, the Grizzlies’ bench has definitely been a rollercoaster ride this year, with a few more valleys than peaks…but this game, they did what they had to do and more. The reserves were responsible for 31 of the team’s 90 points, with Marreese Speights helping out a ton when Gasol got in his early foul trouble. Pondexter’s activity was very nice, and Bayless played off the ball with Conley for a short stretch and showed poise around the middle of the fourth quarter when the Bucks started high-trapping college-style every time the Griz brought the ball up. 10 and 6 with two blocks for Speights was just what the team needed from him.

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Amongst all the sorry shooting and rugged defense, the Grizzlies had 26 assists on 36 makes. I LOVE THAT. Efficiency of ball movement is ever-more important in a struggle game such as this one, and a nice balanced stat line from Rudy Gay is perhaps the best example of this from tonight-13 points, 8 boards, but most importantly, 5 assists. Great stuff from  Rudy, which was good…since he (and the whole team, really) missed more dunks in one game in my addled memory can recall.

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Hey…Zach Randolph had 15 and 17. Huh. Weird, he never does stuff like that. HAHAHAHA.

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Great game, but this weekend’s southwest division back-to-back will tell us a lot…can the chameleon Grizzlies come out to play?

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9 Responses to Grizzlies Win Ugly One More Time. Grizzlies 90, Bucks 80.

  1. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    That defense was straight Grizzly tonight. Good to see Marc grabbing boards too. Didn’t see very many of those annoying tip-out, scrambling threes that teams seem to get against us once or twice a game. Look forward to seeing TA bitch slap Mayo like he did on the airplane.

  2. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    Seems like the Grizzlies continue to struggle in the opening minutes of the first quarter. Its almost like they come out unmotivated and then they realize that either they are down and need to step it up or that the team they are playing against shouldn’t be within 2-4 points of them.

  3. Steve DanzigerNo Gravatar says:

    I’m loving the new post-game audio. It’s always good to hear the “you know”s from Zbo, you know?

  4. TJHNo Gravatar says:

    They seem to be doing all the little things except for taking care of the basketball. Tighten up the turnovers a litlle bit and this team is really hard to beat. Go Grizz!!!!!

  5. HPTMattNo Gravatar says:

    TJH-I noticed that too. The six first-quarter TO’s were QUITE bothersome, but they only ended with 16, so they did get that together to a decent degree. Those second and third rotations on defense more more than enough to make up for it :)

  6. Anonymous GrizzlyNo Gravatar says:

    It’s kind of incredible how big of a gulf there is between OKC, SA, MEM, LAC, NYK, MIA and the rest of the league. We’ve beaten 3 >.500 teams in a row by 9+ and haven’t really played our best ball in any of the games, we’ve largely just out-talented them. Great season so far.

  7. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    Great Grizzly defensive effort. Transition offense was horrible with way too many missed lay-ups and TO’s. Rudy needs to focus on making the basket, and not worry about the getting the ‘dunk of the day” on ESPN cameras. Your comment on TA “several fast breaks that led with all the genteel affect of a charging rhino on speed” is funny, but so right. Yet, his defensive Treats are so stellar, you have to overlook his Tricks.

    Grizzlies are looking good, but must work on early (1st Qtr) offense, transistion runs, spacing, ball control, and smart shooting. Thanks to our bench, we have been able to adjust and overcome early mistakes (deficits) and come back strong the 2nd half. We can do that against Bucks and some other teams; but need to adjust earlier, as had Bucks been shooting 45-55% … we could have dug ourselves into an early deep hole.

    Looking forward to a big Win over Mavericks on Friday. Keep up the defense and eliminate the stupid offensive mistakes … and Grizzlies will continue to dominate the West. Grit and Grind … GO GRIZZLIES.

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