Wow, I think I’d rather watch Snooki paint her toenails than see an NBA game that ugly.
Actually, that’s crazy. I’d rather watch 500 subpar NBA games than watch 5 minutes of Snooki doing anything.
The Grizzlies won this game by gathering almost 60 rebounds, bottom line.
A few items of import?-Rudy Gay is just struggling. Yes, he had almost 20-but his body language is not good, especially on offense. On D this game, he provided a good example of what he’s finally learned to do-use his length in combination with good footwork to play passing lanes without overcommitting. His confidence in the guys behind him is still shaky, but there’s a reason that he now owns the franchise record for steals (and took it in a lot fewer games than a pretty decent steal guy, Mayor Battier). Yes, Rudy had some big buckets and a couple emphatic dunks, with the shot to put the Griz up 80-67 likely being the biggest, as Barea hit a three immediately thereafter, to go with some nice dishes-but the frustration he’s channeling into those dunks is somewhat troubling. He’s still in his own head. He needs SO BADLY to bust a 35-or-40-point game to help himself get to the next level confidence-wise. Will he do it? Only he knows.
-As previously mentioned, MAJOR domination on the glass for the Griz this game. Speights had a pretty poor game otherwise, but the importance of 15 boards, 11 in the first half, cannot be overestimated. It wasn’t a particularly pretty effort even with this much of an advantage on the boards, though-smart positioning was more important than high-flying super-leaping energy rebounds. Dante Cunningham, as always, was a spring-loaded spider on the boards, but Gay, Speights, and Gasol got their boards from being in the right place at the right time. However it works is ok with me.
-Along with Speights’ major contribution on the glass, Pondexter’s career-high 17 points was a huge lift for the team, especially his opening 4-4 streak. Smart player, and with Pargo’s above-abysmal game, I’m almost reconsidering my recent negative opinion of the GV trade. Jury’s still out, though. Getting quality time from guys like Pondexter and Pargo is going to be huge as the season wears on.Sam Young, I suspect, has a nice 20-point game in him somewhere coming up soon.
-RUBIOOOO with one. Made. Basket. One. Lonely. Assist. AND four big fat turnovers. What the Grizzlies did was pretty brainy-with no Love with which to concern themselves, they went after Ricky, keeping his pick and roll partners in check, and keeping him from being able to run into open spaces to look for teammates. Proper shading, making him go in directions he didn’t like, and good communication make him look like a rookie. Conley, OJ, and a couple other Griz all did well on him. Yes, Barea had a good game-but he does that. He’s a talented little squirrel.
-OJ Mayo had another putrid shooting game. He’s due for a good one, and it will be very interesting to see if he’ll be able to do it against the solid Pacers’ bench on Friday. His looks were good-but he did not convert at a reasonable level. In rhythm, in his spots, he’s got to be able to make teams pay from outside to give himself a chance to get to the rim. He’ll always turn the ball over, but that’s tolerable-as long as he’s ringing up hoops.
As the esteemed Pete Pranica noted after the game, this one won’t be going on the wall at the Dixon Gallery-but for a struggling team, any win is great.