It wasn’t easy but the first win in the Dave Joerger era has been accomplished as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Detroit Pistons in overtime 111-108. Even after having 20 turnovers in the game grit and grind basketball returned to FedEx Forum. Memphis improved its regular season record to 1-1 with tonight’s win and won its home opener in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.
Down 95-90 with 52.3 seconds left, the Grizzlies scored five unanswered points in less than a minute to force overtime. “Every guy that played, played his tail off…Every single guy came in and really put his heart out there and played really hard” Joerger said on his team’s performance. After recording its 20th turnover with 4:56 left in the fourth quarter, Memphis didn’t turn the ball over again the rest of the game.
This win for the Memphis Grizzlies was a big team win to bring some momentum as they head to Dallas. Here are some of my MVP’s of the game.
1. Mike Conley: Led the Grizzlies in scoring with 22 points (7-of-12) while also tallying five rebounds, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Conley had a rough first half only having 3 points and 2 assists.
2. Mike Miller: Mike Miller had two clutch 3 pointers in the game but was more important on the defensive side as he had a great defensive game against Josh Smith. “I thought Mike Miller did a tremendous job on Josh Smith, which is a tough cover for him” Joerger said after the game. Playing 32 minutes tonight might have some concerns for Grizzlies fans but Miller told the media after the game he could go another 32 minutes.
3. Zach Randolph: Randolph pulled off a better performance than he did Wednesday night against San Antonio. Randolph led the Grizzlies in rebounding while posting a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. This is the performance that Grizzlies fans love to see out of Randolph.
4. Tony Allen: Having 16 points, 5 steals, and 4 assists, Allen is getting better as an all around player every game. “He’s a warrior…He puts his heart out there every single night” Joerger on Allen’s performance.
Even after an emotional win for the Grizzlies there are still some concerns to look out for in this team. Turnovers still seem to be a problem for the Grizzlies as they ended the game with 20. Outside shooting got better in the 2nd half but still needs help. The Grizzlies finished the night 33% from 3-point range. Expect Jon Leuer and Nick Calathes to get valuable minutes against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
It was good to see FedEx Forum sold out for the season home opener. It was even more entertaining to see that many fans left the game early thinking the Grizzlies were going to lose with two and a half minutes left in the game. This was a much needed win for the fans to get excited about now that Grit and Grind basketball is back in Memphis.