Wow. What I would have given to be at Staples tonight…to see what was at times a pretty poor game.
But putting up with a pretty poor game would have been made just fine by that result. Game seven time baby.
Kinda odd for such a huge game, but the stats, as many times, tell the story….It wasn’t just about stats, it was about a ZACH RANDOLPH DUNK!! YAAAAAA!!!!
I’m a bit giddy-ish.
Just rewatched that first possession of the third, where ZBo hit that stepback over Fake-that was a ZBo classic as well.
On to the numbers that mattered:
-Gasol, Gay, and Randolph were the only Grizzlies with double-digit attempts. Balance. Not Rudy Gay’s best game, but he had a couple BIG baskets (a bit more on that later).
-20 to 7. That’s turnovers, folks. The Grizzlies with 13 in the first half and TWENTY for the game. Insane. Even more insane, the Clippers with a very CP3-esque seven for the match. Conley with an uncharacteristic 4 TO’s, but he was still able to get over that 2:1 ast/to number, with nine nice dimes. Thirteen steals for the Clippers, which tells us that the Floppers played the passing lanes well and pressured the ball nicely. Takin’ a page out of the Griz book wasn’t enough, though.
-48 to 32. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the rebounding tally for the game. A ginormous (my computer,BTW, did not try to spell-correct that word. Weird.) margin, which is perhaps the easiest way to tell that the Grizzlies were hungry. Hungry bears they were (and still are, I’m quite sure). Positioning? Sure. Energy? Sure. Physicality? Sure. Randolph? Sure. All the elements were there. Interestingly, only one player from each team with at least ten. Strange.
Ok. Now to the number that REALLY mattered-FOUR. As in, fourth quarter. Here’s the game-within-game of the fourth:
-Floppers rattled by the whistle. The and-one for Rudy, CP3 fouling out (and then whining about it succinctly post-game). The little-kid-jumping-up-and-down by Blakie-poo in the final minute was just priceless.
-The Grizzlies going down by eight and then going on a 10-0 run. RESILIENCE. And the redemptive Rudy and-one comes up again, as it was the capper basket on that run. Effort and belief from #22, a guy who’s been (sometimes rightly) much maligned over the series.
-ZBo with 7 and 7 in the quarter, even with KMart acting a fool in his face about forcing the jump ball. VINTAGE playoff Zach Randolph….except that three off the aforementioned jump ball. He, like the rest of the Grizzlies, flipped the switch in that fourth quarter….until he missed about a zillion FT’s. He was as sheepish as we’ve ever seen him about it too-he knew that if the team had lost, those two consecutive misses would have been the reason.
Quick question-is CP hypercompetitive or a sore loser? Both? Ok, that’s what I thought. He’s also an amazing player.
-Did Lionel give in to the #freetonyallen hashtag? It’s not like TA was doing anything that he doesn’t do in any other fourth quarter. What does plus/minus mean? ZILCH. However, it does “bear” mentioning that TA led the team with a +12. Chasing fools around like the madman he is on D, and even taking the ball to the hoop some, in classic “OH NO DON’T TONY” style.
-Some welcome clutchness from Conley on that final play, knowing just when to throw the ball into the air towards a teammate, not risking more missed FT’s and another possible Clipper miracle win.
I hope that FedEx Forum is up to seismic standards, ‘cuz that place is going to be SHAKING Sunday.