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How often does it happen that a team seems to play better as a unit during a loss than in a win?

Well, it seemed to happen over this pair.

Two grinders, one loss, one win.

Couple  thoughts on a couple players, couple superb performances, and one VERY COOL stretch in the Philly game….

-Rudy still isn’t all the way out of his own head, and we’re too far down the road for this to be about “reintegration” or some such. However, the two threes he hit in Q4 against the Sixers  along with some late-game prime-time scoring during the recent briefly-interrupted win streak show that he’s ready to do what the team needs him to do. Will it continue to work out when ZBo gets back? I’d put forth a mild yes-both players are all about winning, and there’s not enough ego with either of them for it to go south due to one of them wanting to be the sole King of the Grizzly Hill. Rudy with only 3 turnovers in these two most recent games combined is a wonderful trend-what he’s done is to display a bit more control on the offensive end, and a few plays that might otherwise have been turnovers…he’s actually started to get the benefit of the whistle. Who would have thought that? Risky play on D, but is that bad in and of itself, or does it show more trust in the other four guys playing D with him?

-Kyle Lowry’s month is now complete, he won a game against the Griz. Why this cat still treats every Griz game as a grudge match, I’ve no idea-but he does so, no doubt about it. Also, he’s really good. Better than Conley? Apples to oranges. Kyle is a tougher defender, as he showed Monday night in Houston-but Conley definitely has the catlike side of things covered as compared to Lowry. Finishing in the lane? Conley, over the last couple of seasons, has brought himself easily into a zone of equality with Lowry in that aspect of the game. Conley didn’t have two of his best games over these two, for different reasons. Seven-for-thirteen in one game, but only 4-14 in the other. It would seem like the better-shooting night would be the win, huh? No. Weird, but ok. Weirder? Conley with the monster (-ously meaningless) + 26 in the win over Philly. Shows how one-dimensional the Sixers were when Holiday was making all his points.

-Cunningham. No player the Griz employ more personifies “embracing a role” than does Dante. Observation compels me to call him the spring-loaded spider, and that’s great-since that is what the Griz need him to be and what they hired him to be. 3-5 with 7 boards in under 20 minutes in the Philly win, with every board seeming like a big one. Players like him are the reason the Griz can stay close on the boards and generate extra possessions.

Ok. Marc Gasol is amazing, and anyone who would DARE debate whether he belongs in the All-Star Game should be forced to watch the Philly game over and over. Yes, he was playing against a mismatch most of the night…and that’s all the more reason that his performance this night should be looked at as spectacular. Everyone knew where the ball was going, it went there, and Gasol did not once fold under the pressure. I predicted as soon as ZBo went down that Gasol, not Rudy, Conley, or Allen, would become the leader of the team, especially on the court-and that prediction has come to full fruition. 15 and 14, 7 ast, 5 blk, and only 2 TO. That’s just absurdly ridiculously awesome. Usage rate? Looks down on Everest. Team’s trust in him? High as the moon, and ZBo’s coming back soon. It might just get crazy after the break. Gasol was also part of something really, really cool that Hollins did in the Philly game…

-…the International Twin Towers. Haddadi and Gasol at the same time, with hardly a Sixer over 6’8″ on the floor. No, the Griz didn’t go on a crazy run during that stretch of a few minutes-but rebounds? All Griz, and Haddadi was able to gain some confidence on offense, playing against guys half a foot shorter than he. This lineup, with Gasol playing one of the weirdest “stretch 4″ positions in basketball history, could be advantageous against teams who can be big but not all that athletic inside (Spurs, I’m looking at you), or against teams who are full of undersized guys like the Sixers.

A great way to coast into the All-Star break. Will Z-Bo hit the once-predicted March 2 return date? Only time will tell.

In any case, get ready for a nail-biting second half of the season.

Wow I’m glad that stupid lockout got solved…..


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22 Responses to One Down, But One Up. Grizzlies Split Back-to-Back.

  1. Anthony MorrisonNo Gravatar says:

    19-15 with only one really bad loss (at Phoenix) thus far – not bad! I’m thinking as many as 39 wins for the season and a 6 seed, which would help us avoid OKC for as long as possible. Go Grizz!

  2. Joel B.No Gravatar says:

    I had an Idea about the looming trade deadline and the ever present “let’s trade OJ” idea. here is the deal, we need a Three point specalist, and a springy, athletic player might be a nice addition, so how about this. We trade OJ to the Spurs for Matt “im going to drain every 3 against the Grizz” Bonner and Kawhi Leonard. we would be losing about 600K$, but gaining two player that are averaging almost 15 ppg. i know the Positions played are different, but we can move things around a bit, and damn can bonner shoot the ball, and leonard is a spark plug. so what do we think about this idea?

    • Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

      I will never want to trade any Grizz player for the Red Rocket. What he makes up for in 3pt% he lacks in athleticism, skill and overall balance for any NBA team. He plays mediocre defense at very best, and makes a shot that this team neither takes nor needs to take a playoff spot. I’d rather sit at home and root for the Lakers during May/June than take on the Red Crockett and expect him to positively contribute to a team that already has 6-7 players that play above the skill level of Bohner. If we need a token ginger player to make 2-3 more treys a game to win then I’d rather sit out another season until our current talent base has enough gusto to muscle out a playoff spot. F-the-Red-Rocket

    • Chip CrainNo Gravatar says:

      I don’t think the Spurs have any intention of letting their rookie surprise go and they know what they have with Bonner.

  3. Grizzfan85No Gravatar says:

    I had to comment after I saw that last post. No offense, but after that trade idea, you shouldn’t be allowed to post again. You want to trade our best bench player for the aging red rocket? I hope that was a joke. Also we don’t need another hustle player that can’t shoot (Kawhi Leonard is Sam 2.0). We are fine with the players we have until the end of season. Sounds like a Spurs fan to me.

  4. Joel B.No Gravatar says:

    haha, no im not a spurs fan, im a fan of people who can shoot, bonner is a shooter and there is no question about that, i mean 0.458 from three compared to 0.362. and you can look back at my previous posts, I am a HUGE supporter of OJ, he is my favorite player on the Grizz, but as the season moves on, keep in mind that we will most likly lose OJ after this season, so I decided to look at a possible trade, anyway im sorry you seem to be on your period, forgive me for trying to think of some way we could get something for OJ, instead of giving him away next season, sounds to me like you are full of good ideas like that, giving away players is always better then getting something in return, thats for sure -_-

    • Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

      Chris Wallace has already committed to making an OJ signing happen after this season …. Wallace and Heisley have only lived up to their talk at this point … trade Mayo for a solid guard/scorer/defender for the next 3 years and I’m okay … trade OJ for anything less and I say it’s sabotage to this year’s playoff hopes. Who else is going to score 15-18 pts off the Grizz bench? 2011-12 is our year …. make it happen now and worry about recruiting a guard next year.

    • Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

      sounds like you’re on the period …. young and inexperienced Grizz fan …. this isn’t 06-07 anymore

  5. choppasizzNo Gravatar says:

    good move by bringing in Hamed in the 3rd. If coach did that in Houston we would have won that one too.

  6. Emoore3No Gravatar says:

    *praises God* They said zbo is ahead of schedule and monday will be his first contact practice and he MAY be able to play against dallas!!! Come on zbo I know you gone put the team on your back unlike that 84 million dollar man who will go unnamed

  7. GrizzfanNo Gravatar says:

    Yea lets take the guy that couldnt make a three to save his life against the grizzlies in the playoffs last year. OJ is a way better player than bonner. You want to trade a six man for a 10th guy and another guy that cant shoot. Thats just stupid.

  8. Larry HarrisNo Gravatar says:

    Does someone on this board really think that San Antonio would trade Leonard and Bonner for Mayo?

    On Philly win: Can’t fault Hollins’ decisions because they resulted in a superb victory, but it must have been difficult to tell Cunningham he was done for the night after that spectacular first half (3-5, 7 boards, 2 blocks, a steal and numerous deflections). The Inferno kept his cool, though.

  9. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    Love the “International Twin Towers” LOLLLLLLLLLLLL.

    Great effort last night, great win. I liked the rotations last night. Bench (even Pargo, surprisingly) put in great minutes.

    I’ll be at the Pistons game 3/3…and will be hoping for ZBo’s glorious return!


  10. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    I liked Hadadi in the game moreso than Speights. Hadadi knows his limitations and actually benefits the team.
    About the OJ thing. I still don’t think they should trade him and would prefer they trade Rudy if anyone has to go.But if they do trade OJ,
    at least get comparable talent in return. Matt Bonner is not it, not by a long shot (pardon the pun).
    I would rather they trade him and Speights for Beasley on MN if they do trade him.
    Beasley would really increase their bench talent and would be great
    at providing backup to Rudy or Zbo at times.

    • Grizzfan85No Gravatar says:

      The best thing we can get in a trade is michael beasley or matt bonner after all these posts? As much as people criticize Wallace for making questionable trades, these ideas are far worse than any trade he has ever pulled off except for the VIn Baker trade with the Celtics. Best trade scenarios I have heard so far are Sam Young for 2nd rounder in a deep draft and trading OJ for Morrow and 1st rounder.

  11. Jeff YoungNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think we should trade OJ. I would trade Gay for AI. It kills me watching my Grizz play hard on defense and Gay standing around and watching. AI would give us everything Gay gives us plus a lot more defense. AI shut him down last night. He doesn’t like it when some one blocks his shot or steals from him. They do that and he is done for the game and hides. Trade Gay keep OJ.

  12. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    This seems crazy i know but with speights playing well at the 4 would it be so bad to bring randolph off the bench for the first half with oj. Gives us a strong bench to decimate second teams and of course he is in the game in crunch time.

    • Chip CrainNo Gravatar says:

      It’s not crazy and likely will be the case for at least the first couple of games. However, Speights is hot and cold while Z-Bo brings it every night. It won’t be long before Z-Bo is back starting and Speights is back on the bench.

  13. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Are people watching these games? Who actually thinks Philly would trade AI for Rudy?

  14. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Beasely for oj a bad trade? Are u kidding me? Puleeez! Grizz would be crazy not to do it. MB second leading scorer on the team last year over 18 a game. MN has bucket load of PF/SFs with addition of d Williams. They cant keep mb with love, dwilliams also playing the 4 and 3. Lakers will get Beasely and draft pick for Paul gasol anyway.

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