As I was sitting in Oracle Arena, I promised myself that I wouldn't be too negative if the Grizzlies won the game. After all, I've always tried to measure the Grizzlies by their ability to win more than anything else. And the Grizzlies won the game!
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Therefore, I will only mention the Grizzlies' deficiencies briefy.
First, they should run some plays that aren't isolations. Second, Conley passes when he should shoot.
Third: Darko. The Grizzlies should waive him. Don't even bother trading him. He was playing so terribly that the turning point of the game was his ejection after 12 minutes in the game. That's when Iavaroni was forced to give his minutes to Arthur and Warrick who were quite good.
Also, there were at least two times when no-dunk-Darko was above the rim with the ball, and instead of dunking, like any normal seven footer would, he dropped the ball through the hoop or flipped it in.
That's enough of that for now. The Grizzlies won the game:
First, Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo are not only extremely talented scorers who can create their own shot, they also have the right attitude. In the third quarter, Gay became angry as the Warriors were making a run due in part to careless turnovers from the Grizzlies. His demeanor changed almost in an instant and he started playing aggressively drawing fouls and converting free throws. It reminded me of Pau Gasol on opposite day.
Second: Hakim Warrick. Unlike Darko, Warrick likes to dunk. He does it a lot, and he does it well. He does give up size on defense, and the Warriors, particularly Bedrins, punished the Grizzlies under the basket when Arther and Warrick we playing together. However, Warrick's athleticism and aggressive rebounding make up for his smaller size.
Third and most important, the Grizzlies won. This is a team that wasn't supposed to win 20 of 82 games, and they have already won 3 of 6. They currently have a better record than San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, Portland, and Philadelphia. Think about that for just a minute - The Grizzlies are .5oo, and they have played more than 2 games.
Furthermore, they are guaranteed to at least split the series with a Western Conference team. Many analysts projected the Grizzlies as the worst or second to worst team in the entire league, and they have a strong chance of winning the season series with a team that was over .500 last year.
This is the first time in a long time that I have gone to Grizzlies game with the feeling that they could win the game, and that is a welcome change.