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Can’t say I’ve ever seen a Grizzlies team playing with more of a winning mindset.

There were many things to like about this game from the Griz’ perspective, and a couple of items of concern…Great:

-Marc Gasol only had to play 32 minutes, Conley 34, and Rudy 39. Not all that common that none of those three go over 40, and it was a welcome sight with a still-brutal remainder of March awaiting the team.

-Rudy Gay again with another 20/10. So nice to see, and while he perhaps stretched it a bit thin on the threes in Q4, he was in large part responsible for the separation the Griz gained over a stretch between the third and fourth quarters. He’s finally getting out of his own head, and we’re now starting to see that Rudy can be the man.

-Mike Conley with 12 assists and only two TO’s. Spectacular. His placement of the offense in the first quarter was most of the reason that the Griz shot over 80 (!) percent over that 12 minutes, and was most of the reason that every single Griz FG was assisted. Sure, he only went 1-5, but so what. He was the orchestrator. He also had two big steals. Also, fire is hot.

-The Griz had their transition game workin’ hard. According to Synergy Sports, a whopping 24% of the Griz’ possessions were executed as transition breaks, and their points per possession was a very nice 1.54. Defense leading to offense is one cliche that the Grizzlies are executing well during this winning streak.

-Pondexter. More nice hustle, and it’s nice that when Dante doesn’t have maybe his greatest game, that the Griz’ other principal bench wing player can come up with a nice game, going 2/3 on threes and playing a steady game.

-Nate Robinson got REALLY frustrated, and that’s entertaining. The W’s just didn’t know what hit them when the Griz turned it up in the second half, and it’s nice to see that even when teams expect the Griz to play well and be stingy on D, they get a bit bewildered when it goes up another notch.

Of concern:

-Mayo’s still-present penchant for turning the ball over while playing his limited minutes at PG. It could perhaps be said that his TO’s in the fourth were mostly committed when the game had been all but decided, but his handle in the pick-and-roll needs to improve for the Griz to be able  to count more heavily on them due to Selby’s and Pargo’s presence near the back of Hollins’ doghouse.

-Don’t take the bait, and by this I refer to the chippiness that went down as the Griz gained separation. No one can blame the Warriors for getting frustrated as the Griz pulled away, but the foul on Speights by Nate was not cool, and OJ’s response wasn’t either. The Griz are a mentally “together” team for sure, but as the season gets more heated and playoff positioning and presence becomes even more important, level heads must prevail whenever possible.

Another great win for the Griz, now 8 games over .500.

Keep it going Grizzlies.

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11 Responses to Warriors Become Grizzlies’ Latest Victims, 110-92

  1. wtfNo Gravatar says:

    OJ Mayo has been good as the back-up point guard. This was the only game I saw him with a couple of bad turn-overs, but he has done an excellent job in other games. You excuse Dante for not performing well in a few games, but quick to judge OJ. I know you want Dante to be the man and you will continue to ride his jock because of your A+ rating, but OJ has been HUGE in this run, in particular the last game against Detroit. You do a poor job of assessing players and writing about “concerns” that are a non-issue over one game. OJ’s turnovers are half of what the “other” two point guards on the bench would produce. What OJ does with the ball in his hands at the point guard is make defenses respect him as a shooter/scorer and he is really effective because he is not afraid to shoot or drive. I think he is the perfect compliment to Mike and he has done an excellent job overall. Zero concerns from me on that, but what does concern me is Sam Young requesting a trade. Even though he is used sparingly, he is an experienced wing player that was key to last years success, and he could be a great value for the team in the playoffs when we might need to change the line-ups for match-up purposes, foul trouble, or injury.

    • wtfNo Gravatar says:

      I will say that I love the fact that Rudy is starting to shoot the 3, and Q-Pond is starting to knock it down as well. If these guys continue to stroke the long ball –> no homo shawty, then we will have the best inside-out game in the league when Zach gets back. I will say that Speights has been a maniac on offense and the man is going to be awesome coming off the bench. I wish he would do a better job finding the open man when defenders crash down on him, but he is knocking down his outside shots and imposing his will on the guys in the post. He is definitely showing a better postgame now than what he showed when he first came to the team. There was no doubt about his 15-20 ft range, but now he can really put the ball on the floor.

  2. boNo Gravatar says:

    ithink the oj point guard experiment is a huge success.
    he actually splits the 2 defenders, which conley NEVER does, and gets OJ a drive or a dish…
    yeah, he makes a bad pass sometimes, but i’ll take that with
    the much different offense the grizz play when he is PG.
    and mayo’s defense and rebounding have been fabulous.
    work in haddadi to get gasol a few more minutes…
    plus, haddadi blocks EVERY shot in the lane when he comes in.
    just pressure the shooters, let them drive, for a different defensive look…..

    • lugeneparkerNo Gravatar says:

      I have to disagree with Conley never splitting two defenders. Go back and watch some earlier games in the season and you will see what i’m talking about.

  3. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    |”OJ’s turnovers are half of what the “other” two point guards on the bench would produce.”

    Couldn’t agree more. I like what OJ has done for us at the point. He can create multiple shots for himself, and can pass the ball very well (when he doesn’t try something fancy).

    |” Rudy is starting to shoot the 3, and Q-Pond is starting to knock it down as well.”

    So glad to see this, as well, but we knew they wouldn’t miss them all season long.

    Last night’s game was great. Golden State is a great team with a potent offense. The second half was a fantastic showing by Memphis.

    NUMBER 3 BABYYYYYYYYYYYY

  4. HamdawgNo Gravatar says:

    I totally agree with wtf. It is clear to see that OJ is not one of your favorites, but he hit timely shots last night, (the buzzer beater in 3rd was huge!) he scored 16 huge points. He has also been an integral piece to the Griz playing well in the last 10 games. He has been a total and complete upgrade at the backup point and Lionel basically lets him play the point in the 2nd half so his minutes there are spot minutes at most. OJ played well and deserved mention in the Great column.

  5. GrizzliesDieHardNo Gravatar says:

    Respect O.J Mayo. He took too many shots and has a penchant for forcing the bounce pass but he completely undressed Steph Curry at the end of the 3rd quarter with the vicous crossover pullups. We love Juice and we want him on the floor as much as possible. The best thing for O.J. to do when he’s running the point is play the Jason Terry role and put up buckets. He’s getting better playing the ppoint something that should have been done two seasons ago. I know you are fond of our Grizzlies but it’s time you start to respect Juice!!!

  6. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Never been a huge Mayo supporter, but GrizzliesDieHard has both a contradiction and a really good point. Mayo should be our Jason Terry, who comes in and just makes huge buckets. Unfortunately, we need him to be our PG (the contradiction). However, saying that, while running the point, who exactly is he supposed to feed? Cunningham’s buckets come from hustle, and Pondexter is inconsistent at best. Running Juice at the point may be the best way to get himself some looks with that group and become a scorer (the good point). Anyways, I dig it. Praying they don’t deal Juice at the deadline b/c this season could be something special and w/o Juice we’re not going anywhere this year.

  7. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    Nate Robinson is a horrible human being.

  8. AlexNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah Nate is a classless player. Always has been. I found myself at the end of the game when he was trying to bug OJ into a turnover with 5 seconds left yelling, “you little b***h!”at the tv. He’s like Kyle Lowry and thrives on being a punk**s.

  9. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    I think that the real value of having Juice at the point from time to time is that he gets to have the ball in his hands. I think it helps get him going, as opposed to running off of screens and waiting for the pass.

    All that said, I would still rather have a reliable backup for Mike Conley. Juice is improving at PG, but I still wouldn’t want to put him in the starting lineup in that role if Conley were hurt.

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