Last night's win in Houston was pretty huge.
Huge in the sense that the Grizzlies actually logged another win in Houston (for only the 7th time in franchise history). Huge in the light of overcoming a superhuman performance by Chandler Parsons. Huge to the confidence of a struggling defense that shut down one of the most potent offenses in the NBA and crushed their hopes in the waning minutes of the game.
You would like to see some better execution, no doubt. And there were still a couple of minutes where my Dave-Joerger-Bozo-Lineup-Alarm went off, but I felt as though DJ nipped it in the bud a little bit quicker than he has in previous games.
That being said, three things I learned/now know/reaffirmed about the Memphis Grizzlies last night:
- The Grizzlies are no longer reliant on Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph for the bulk of their scoring. We now have a roster chocked full of various players that can go off on a given night if the matchup or scenario favors their skill set.
- In spite of Marc Gasol's plodding comeback on the offensive side of the ball, his return from injury has made an immediate impact on the defensive end of the floor. The Grizzlies have not given up more than 95 points since the return of the Wendigo. Coincidence? Nah.
- Memphis still has that "next level" in regards to clutch-defensive prowess. This is especially encouraging to see without Tony Allen suiting up for the Griz at the moment. While there is still plenty to clean up, the Grizzlies appear to have reintegrated a killer instinct into their identity.
Speaking of killer instinct - Memphis could really beat their chests with a win tonight in the Grindhouse. The Griz need to continue to buffer their record with a not-so-easy road trip coming up next week.
I feel good about tonight's rematch. If the Grizzlies can limit the production of D12 and James Harden, not even eleven straight 3-pointers from Chandler Parsons could take down the Grizzlies.
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- Memphis Grizzlies value closing in on half-billion mark according to Forbes Magazine