Rudy Gay needs to get out of his own head.
Ok, not entirely, but close to it.
“But the Grizzlies played hard enough to win this game!”
Did they?Once again, a double-digit rebounding deficit. OUCH. That is, once again, the top of the list. It’s always good to be concerned about getting back on defense-but one man, at least, needs to hit the glass. It’s great to know that without ZBo, fastbreak points will be the lifeblood of the Griz-but everyone can’t leak out at once (see also: D’Antoni-vintage Suns).
Russell Westbrook took his revenge on the Grizzlies this game, having a Dr. Jekyll game. 30, with 4 assists and only two TO’s. We shoulda seen that one coming.
A few other statistical nuggets and what they meant to the outcome of this game:
-Rudy Gay with 3 whole rebounds all by himself in 38 minutes. That ain’t gonna cut it. His body language after that and-one in the second half tells the story-he knows it’s on him, and he knows he’s not providing his best for the team. He hung his head as if to say “finally” after he made the shot. He’s feeling the pressure. He’s just gotta get out of his own head-at this point, he’s like a pitcher who everyone knows can throw a n0-hitter on any given night, but is busy aiming the ball at the strike zone and getting whiplash watching it fly out of the park. He’s attacking the basket, but he’s not going at it with reckless abandon (which, in his defense, he’s never been a reckless-abandon sorta dude on the court…or is that an indictment of his motor? Hmmm..gotta think about that).Is he worried about the shoulder? Who knows.
-Jeremy Pargo, from the penthouse to one foot in the doghouse. Six minutes, only one assist, and one big ol’ goose egg in the points column. He’s not able to direct things without ZBo on the court, and he knows it. That’s bad, but what’s worse is that the guys who wind up sharing the court with him know it too, especially the opposition. With Conley on the court, the Grizzlies have a guy with whom the principal scorers are exceedingly familiar. With Pargo out there, as was evidenced in his short time on the court this game, the lack of familiarity is exacerbated by the lack of Randolph. Still don’t mind the Vasquez trade, I think Pondexter will be an asset for the Griz for a while to come, but I’m really close to rooting for Selby to get in there and mix it up. A little more speed-oriented attack by Selby with a bit more flash may be an exchange the Griz should be willing to make to lose a bit of strength and a bit of D.
-Marc Gasol, welcome back to the land of the living. So characteristically Gasolian. The shots he’s blocking make up for his not-so-swiftness on defense. Such a heady player. 20 and 14 with four blocks. This game, as much as any other, he showed his all-out hustle, as well as his inability to get the officials to show him some consistent love. Sure, he led the team in FTA (at a meager six), but when he bullcharges across the lane, there’s contact every time. Call it on him, call it on the defender, but there’s usually darned close to 600 pounds colliding out there, and the whistles get swallowed too often.
National TV game Thursday at home.
There’s never been a better opportunity for Rudy Gay to prove to everyone that he’s all the way back from injury.
Come on Griz. Can’t afford to let the hole get any deeper. Put away the shovels, and get a win.