(Ed. Note: Matt's back for more, art selection was mine to pretty it up for the front page.)
Holy Hell, we did it. We've come out with at least a split on the LA-CLE back to back. I'm assuming a loss tonight, but then, I assumed a loss last night. Still, a roadie against LBJ? Oh, hey, their point guard is out. Wait, nevermind, Conley exists. Sigh.
But, after weathering the storm this week, sunny skies are on their way. Let's take a look at what's coming up for the Grizzlies, what they're doing well, and what they need to focus on.
Here's the thing. January was supposed to be the hard part. Twelve games against teams with winning records. Throw in the Cavs-Lakers double-set, and there should have been no way Memphis got to the first weekend in February over .500. But they did. And things look SO much better in February.
Finish out the back to back tonight, and the Grizzlies have a back to back this weekend, home and away, but the SEGABABA (SEcond GAme of a BAck to BAck-courtesy of Pounding The Rock) is against Minny. Atlanta off two days rest at home and then the sweet, merciful rest of All-Star Weekend. Open up against Phoenix at home, who we know they can beat, and a tough road SEGABABA against Toronto. But then look. Miami (who's imploding), New Jersey, at LA for a loss (maybe?), Washington, a revenge game against Charlotte at home, and New York. The SEGABABA's get so much easier this month. SO much easier.
Looking at the Grizzlies' win profile over at 82games.com you notice a 9-3 mark against teams with 'poor' net points averages, and 7-8 records against the other two. Particularly, there are some terrible defensive teams in the month ahead. New Jersey, Toronto, Washington, and the Knicks are all bottom ten in defensive eFG%, a category the Grizz are 7-4 in. If the Grizzlies manage to get a few surprise wins in like they have for the last two months, and beat the teams they should (a more dubious task), they'll be in good position. With the Rockets and Hornets struggling (except against Mike Conley), the Grizzlies might be able to get some separation heading into March.
Lester Hudson might be becoming the backup guard they need in a bad, bad, bad way.
Darrell Arthur should get back soon.
Rudy Gay woke up.
DeMarre Carroll is showing marked improvement in making the right plays and decisions.
Mike Conley still has a Memphis uniform.
OJAM's struggling, picking up fouls and getting a lot of defensive attention.