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Well, what a nice cold dish of revenge. No, Bulls fans, you didn’t have Rose-but the Griz were/are still without ZBo.

This game followed a similar path to a few other Griz wins of this still-young season-get out to a nice double-digit lead, then almost choke it away.

But the near, not full, choke proves a nice point about the Grizzlies of this season……and that thing is that they can play with a lead. Just like the victory over the Kings, just like the victory over the Wolves, the Grizzlies jumped out to a large first-half lead, only to see the “well, we knew they’d make a run” thing happen.

The common things that are appearing more often that definitely made a difference in this game?

-BOARDS. No Rose? Ok. How about no ZBo? The Grizzlies hustled their way to a +12 on the glass this game, and it was because of good, old-fashioned, hard-nosed work. Sometimes the Griz went higher to get the board, sometimes it was about positioning.  Speights, in particular, showed good grit against Noah and Boozer, using his size to have maybe the best rebounding game of his career (maybe the high-water mark wasn’t too far up there, but still). Gasol, in a broken-record style, once again showed that in ZBo’s absence, he’s by far the Griz’ most important player. At times, he displays an almost Waltonesque ability to control his team’s defense within the paint, calling plays, rotations, and screens while not losing his man. Yes, I said that. He’s a great help to Speights, too-playing behind Elton Brand is not the best example to see regarding defense, and Marreese is now learning how to do it. The guards, especially Mike Conley (more on him later), got into the act as well, showing no fear over getting into the paint and fighting for misses.

-the other parts of defense were not too shabby either-and I’m gonna give it up to none other than Mr. Ovinton J’Anthony Mayo for his relentless chasing of Kyle Korver, not letting the Kutcheresque One get loose enough to get a rain of 3’s started. Korver went 0-4 with zero total points. Shutting down a screen-using spotup guy like that involves two aspects: proper scheming (up to the coaches, yes, but up to the player or players to follow said schemes) and effort. The effort part is entirely up to the players involved, and OJ put out a great amount of effort. OJ didn’t have his best game otherwise, but he did the thing the Griz needed him to do the most. Conley, although his game was marred by an uncharacteristically high number of turnovers, had another great game living in the other team’s passing lanes.

-Rudy Gay. When he came back in with eight minutes to go and almost immediately made the hook shot with and-one, he did what he must become able to do for the Griz on demand-help salt away a game where the opponent has come back within striking distance. For a third straight game, he did a great job mixing up his shots-getting the outside working to keep his defender honest, and then heading inside when the situation calls for it. Perhaps Rudy’s play of the year was the patented Rudy Gay iso, this time with taller but slower Joakim Noah playing the victim. Gay went right around him and rocked the rim, and a case could have been made for the and-one on that play as well.

And also, Brian Scalabrine had a blocked shot.

Another great national TV win, and the revenge factor made it all the sweeter. If the Grizzlies can hold at .500 or a bit better ’til ZBo gets back, the playoffs look like a more reachable goal. Keep it up Grizzlies.

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11 Responses to Grizzlies Move to .500 By Out-wrestling Chicago Bulls

  1. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    Grizz got their nut today.

  2. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Great win today, although it would be nice if they could hold one of these monster leads to get the stars a bit of rest. Can’t understate how important Conley is to this team … One question I had – where was TA in the 4th quarter (maybe even the entire second half)? I felt like we didn’t see too much of him today.

  3. HPTMattNo Gravatar says:

    Good question about TA-if you notice, he never gets as many minutes as Gasol/Gay/etc. In my purely subjective opinion, the biggest reason for this is the coaches’ concern over keeping him fairly fresh and injury-free.It’s known that TA has had some VERY serious knee issues in the past (torn ACL several years ago IIRC), and for him to be injured would be a devastating blow. Today in particular, the defense OJ played made TA a bit less necessary, and so he was able to do his towel-waving thing a bit more than he might have otherwise. Thanks for reading, and GO GRIZ

  4. stevedNo Gravatar says:

    Where is Hamed? I can’t find any info on him. It would be great to have 8 minutes a game from Hamed instead of going small when Gasol is allowed to rest.

    Also, why does Sam Young not get more time? When he plays, he seems to do a lot of things right. Fighting for time with Qunicy sure, but who is the better overall player?

  5. […] Grizzlies Move to .500 By Out-wrestling Chicago Bulls | …By HPTMattGrizzlies Move to .500 By Out-wrestling Chicago Bulls. By HPTMatt On January 16, 2012 · 4 Comments · In Uncategorized. Well, what a nice cold dish of revenge. No, Bulls fans, you didn't have Rose-but the Griz were/are still without ZBo. … — A Memphis Grizzlies Fan Blog […]

  6. GermanGrizzFanNo Gravatar says:

    @SteveD: I agree. Don’t know why Hollins is so enamored with Pondexter, Sam Young is a better player IMO. But whatever…

    Big, big win by the Griz. Great effort on both sides of the court, Rudy, Mike and Speights ripping it, gotta love it. Let’s keep this focus and energy up and we’ll be fine even without Z-Bo.

    GRIT and GRIND is back!! :)

  7. AussieGNo Gravatar says:

    Nice day to be a Grizz fan. There is hope yet.

  8. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    Hamed is still working on getting his work Visa, I believe.

    Great game by the Grizzlies all around. I’m loving Speights in blue!

  9. not an issueNo Gravatar says:

    The Grizzlies are like fleas on a dog. They keep biting and sucking the blood out of other teams. And, no matter how much you try to shake them off, they keep biting and sucking the blood out. Go Grizzfleas!!!!!

  10. MichalNo Gravatar says:

    yeeaahhh well while the bulls contend you grizzlies fans can reminisce about last year. this might give you some hope but last year raised expectations and this team will fail to live up to then.

  11. […] Grizzlies Move to .500 By Out-wrestling Chicago Bulls3 Shades of BluePerhaps Rudy's play of the year was the patented Rudy Gay iso, this time with taller but slower Joakim Noah playing the victim. Gay went right around him and rocked the rim, and a case could have been made for the and-one on that play as well. … […]

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