Normally I don't write about individual games. But with all the recent negativity, I want to highlight what was easily the best game of the season.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
More than in any other game I've watched, the Grizzlies played like a team rather than a group of individuals. It showed on defense where this season's worst offenders, Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo, were focused on staying in front of their men and everyone made an effort to contest shots.
And it showed on offense, where the team:
1. Ran offensive plays. (I almost forgot what it was like to see an offensive play.)
2. Made a concerted effort to feed Gasol and Randolph. (Multiple times on some possessions)
3. Minimized one-on-one play (Gay and Mayo stood out in their efforts to avoid this.)
I have never seen Gay focus like this and let the game come to him. I hate to use that cliche, but that's really what he did. In the first half he focused on defense, and he didn't force his offense.
Other positive notes include:
1. Marcus Williams looked comfortable at the point. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a butt injury soon.
2. Sam Young and DeMarre Carroll minimized mistakes and focused on their rolls.
3. Even Hasheem Thabeet looked like he knew what he was doing.
4. Marc Gasol is making a case for team MVP. Does he have what it takes to be the vocal leader the Grizzlies need?
We shouldn't blow one game out of proportion. There's still reason for concern:
1. Mike Conley
2. Too many unforced errors
3. They were playing against a lottery team with two injured starters and an injured 6th man.
In a season that's already become one of the Grizzlies' most embarrassing, this was an early highlight.