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Shut ‘em DOWN.

That’s how it’s done.

This was, perhaps, the most unpretty Grizzlies win of the season, one during which there have been many Grizzlies wins that no one would exactly confuse with a Haleakala sunrise.

A lucky, lucky seven to come for this, the 37th Grizzlies win….

Thing one: Hubie, baby, you’re killin’ me! That was a goaltend! Sorry, had to say it.

Thing two: Defense in the face of an assault by Deron Williams, and then…uh…Mirza Teletovic? Whoever, it didn’t matter, once things got tighter than Stewart Copeland’s snare springs at the end of Q4, the Grizzlies held the Nets scoreless for almost three full minutes at the end of the game. When the other guys don’t score at all, you only have to score one. Sure, the Nets shot 43% from three, which is disconcerting-but the Grizzlies did what they have done in other games this season by letting the top dog (Deron in this case) do what he does and just make sure that some half-baked NBA player doesn’t wind up going off for like 30.

Thing three: Tayshaun Prince. Five points in the last couple of minutes and the HUGEST steal of the season in the last thirty seconds of the game, and he got the steal by working hard and knowing what was coming. He looked at what Deron was doing, saw what his man was trying to do, and knew where the ball was gonna be before it got there. YEAH.  Could Rudy have made those baskets and that steal? Of course he could, we’ve seen him do such things more than once-but had he, much more would have been made of it because of…his name? I suppose. The question of proper fit is being answered with greater emphasis with each passing game.

Thing four: The rebounding problem (for this game, anyway). How is Reggie Evans, a guy who airballs free throws, such a Grizkiller? It’s not because the Grizzlies are skittish about where his hands might go if they get near him-it’s that he gets those zillion boards the same way ZBo does. Flat-out positioning. A completely useless offensive player who has carved himself a niche in the NBA based on basically one skill, and kudos to him for doing it. BUT I’M VERY SORRY REGGIE YOU DID NOT GET YOUR REVENGE FOR THE GRIZ “RUNNING  UP THE SCORE” WHEN THEY RAN YOU OUT OF THE FEF.

Thing five: The Grizzlies had two lonely turnovers in the first half, and only 11 for the game. Sure, the Nets didn’t have that many more-but when you lose the battle of the boards like the Grizzlies did this game, generating possessions is crucial. BKN had 77 FGA, and the Grizzlies only 71. Luckily, the Grizzlies shot a better percentage, and the Nets pulled the old Grizzlies “hey let’s play like we can’t make free throws” trick. To win unpretty, a HIGH value has to be placed on every possession.

Thing six: Zach Randolph had eight points in the second quarter, and the Grizzlies were +8 for the quarter. Coincidence? Ab-so-stinkin-lutely. However, his “quiet” 16 and 14 was essential to the win, just like his play is essential every night. Gasol was solid also, with 14/7/5 with 6-11 from the field. Considering the low overall score, these two rocks won the Grizzlies another game.

Thing seven: That. Fourth. Quarter. Amazing defense down the stretch, and the Grizzlies outrebounded the Nets 11-7 in Q4. Doin’ it when it counts, and thrilling the fans along the way (ok, maybe just nuts like me-but if a great “pitchers’ duel” sort of game between two talented playoff teams doesn’t stoke your basketball fire, well, we might not be able to be basketball friends).

The Grizzlies could easily have been caught looking past these last two wins, even though the Nets are a for-sure playoff-level team in light of the two huge ones the Grizzlies have coming up.

Gotta keep stokin’ the fires down in the belly of the grind machine.

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4 Responses to “Grinding a Net”. Never Heard That Phrase, Huh? Grizzlies 76, Nets 72

  1. KDawnNo Gravatar says:

    Glad someone else appreciates good defense. New to watching the Grizzlies (Tayshaun Prince fan), been enjoying the games since they got out of their funk after Rudy was traded. As a longtime Pistons fan I know what good defense is, the Pistons of old made their name with it. Tayshaun isn’t often flashy and NEVER puts himself/ego before team, though sometimes he should be more selfish. Crazy that Goal tend calls (or not) have been a bone of contention the last two game. Nice win.

  2. chriskf1No Gravatar says:

    This post-All-Star Griz team has been like watching a Ju-Jitsu specialist in MMA. Rarely the best physical speciman, not a lot of high-flying action, gonna make you get down on the mat and grapple with them, etc… And once that happens its an array of submission holds that end with the opponent either tapping out or unconscious.

    Average fans think their matches are boring and hate watching these guys… but not nearly as much as opponents hate facing them. Most everyone in MMA can take a punch so if you make a mistake and get kicked in the head most of the time you can recover. If you make a mistake against a Ju-Jitsu specialist, you’re going to be put to sleep and the match is over.

    This is the post-All-Star Griz in a nutshell.

  3. comments_from_daveNo Gravatar says:

    Might I propose thing 8?

    Mike Conley had zero points going into the 4th quarter and finished the game with 10. When the Nets went on their run, his offense was pivotal in keeping the Grizz in the game. It was reminiscent of the job he did in that first month of the season when he was frequently the calming force that pulled us out of bad stretches. He shot pretty poorly all night, but it was good to see him make huge plays when it really counted.

  4. HPTMattNo Gravatar says:

    I can dig that Dave. A viable thing 8, and it’s not the first time-Conley has hit a TON of threes especially, but other shots as well, that have given the Grizzlies a lead (sometimes back)or have helped get some separation late in games this season.

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