Editor's Note: This here preview is Will(iam) Rikard's first piece here for SOV. He's a die-hard Griz fan and a Memphis native. Give him a big SOV welcome!
Remember those times earlier in the season when we criticized Lionel Hollins for his, "a win is a win is a win" mentality after close games to teams who probably should have been blown out?
I would just about give anything to hear that speech again, if indeed it came after a win.
Tonight the Grizz meet the Kings who are bringing a 15–24 record into the Forum and are winners of two in a row, and are no doubt looking to pour more salt into the open wounds of Hollins and the crew.
But these are the Kings, right? Surely tonight, a Friday home game against a mediocre Sacramento team after a day off will provide the perfect opportunity for the reeling Grizzlies to gather themselves. And plus, the past three games can be rationalized and explained in an endless variety of ways, of course: Dallas was the tail end of back to back, Rudy out verse the Clips threw off the team’s mojo, the Spurs are, well, the Spurs, etc.
That is all very well, and believe me when I say I am one fan that has not even thought about hitting the panic button, but that being said there is no way a loss tonight is acceptable.
Whatever distractions surrounding the Grizz right now: trade rumors, ownership problems, general fatigue, or all of the above, it is time to place them aside and get back to the basics of Grizzly basketball.
Forget the losses, forget the negativity that has been creeping up the past week, and go play ball. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol need to bully DeMarcus Cousins down low. Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless need to harass Tyreke Evans all night long. The Kings have young talent in these two players, and if the Grizzlies fail to impose their will onto this team, these guys can bring enough energy to ignite a decent Kings roster and hang around till the fourth.
We need to hit him hard, and hit them fast.
We need to build a lead and settle it before the fourth, so that the starters can rest, and so that Grizz Nation can have the seed of optimism planted back in their hearts. And so we can see Tony Wroten dish out some sick nasty dimes.
But, most importantly, we just need to win. Because even if it is to the much chagrin of all Grizzly fans, Lionel is right indeed when he says there is no column for an "ugly win".
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