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Wow. Whoda thunk it. I’ll refrain from heaving any more “HEY MAN, C’MON, WE’RE GETTIN THE BAND BACK TOGETHER” jokes…but it is odd and rejuvenating in the weirdest of ways to have JWill and Battier back on the Griz.

There was a game to be played, and an unholy unstoppable BENO with whom the Griz had to contend.

The Grizzlies really started to look different after the first quarter. It was strange, and it was a positivevibe in the Force I have not felt since….April of 2006. No, I am not 100% confident that the Griz will make the playoffs-but I’m feelin’ pretty good about it.

Of note:

-Haddadi. Nice playin’. I still hold my belief that this guy is a marginal NBA player. However, maybe now that he’s not contending with Thabust for playing time, he will be able to play looser and with more knowledge that he’ll get some PT? I dunno. This guy enjoys cult status among many Griz fans, and he showed why tonight. He’sa majorly large human. Let’s not forget-he still faces a major language hurdle on the court (although I’m sure that’s become much less of an issue, as he’s been here for a couple years now), so what he does, he has to do on instinct. It’ll be sort of interesting to see what happens with his future with the Griz-he expires at the end of the season. Will a better option be available, especially if a strong finish makes the Griz a more attractive team situation for more players? In any case, loved what he did tonight against the ridiculously talented but immensely troubled Demarcus Cousins. First career double-double, only a bit of which was attained in total garbage time. Way to go Hamed.

-The rotation. Since we’re headed back to Hubie-ville, will a ten (or more)-man rotation return to FedEx Forum? Every Griz who played tonight got double-figure minutes except Greivis and Rodney Carney. We’ll give it a couple of games to see, but it will be just lovely if Hollins goes to a wider rotation as the season drags on to keep guys fresher from game to game. Yes, this was the Kings-but they are not a team completely devoid of talent by any means. It is SO nice to have a team deep enough so that giving out minutes becomes a struggle, and this without Rudy Gay. Big tests coming up for the Griz starting tomorrow night in San Antonio. What WILL they do? The odd combinations that were present on the floor tonight didn’t seem Keystone Kop-ish either, and that was great to see-guys knew where they were supposed to be, and Battier slid right in like he never was gone.

Ok. Break time. DVR is my friend, and I just ran back through the moment where Shane passed to OJ, OJ stepped behind the line and drained that three. SAC calls timeout, and OJ and Shane share a hug on the way back to the huddle.

Things are different folks. No, the Grizzlies aren’t gonna run the table the rest of the season, and things could go wrong enough for the Griz not to make the playoffs-but it’s palpable. The players appreciate what the FO did on deadline day, and the OJ issue was made to seem non-existent by that one single play. Then OJ hit ANOTHER three.

WOW.

And on that note-OJ with the doggin’, hawkin’, sweatin’ defense. Sure, he had no more makes than he did steals-but when that number is 4 for a guy who’s not exactly known as a stopper, I’ll take it-especially in light of the fact that he was almost banished to Indianapolis only two days earlier. He still didn’t show brilliant man D-but he (like Sam Young) has learned from Tony Allen how to pay attention at the elbow at make the opportunistic grab at the entry pass. Way to go OJ.

Through this oh-so-narrow window of time, Heisley’s moves to get the band back together (oops) look like sheer genius….but tomorrow is a very different day against a very different team.

Bask in the glory of a lovely box score.

Oh, by the way. Zach Randolph had 23 and 12. Huh. Whoda thunk it?

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