Remember what I said about the Denver Nuggets having a serious problem with focus? It showed tonight.
The Nuggets came out playing some seriously uninspired basketball, seemingly lacking any sort of respect for these upstart Memphis Grizzlies. After the Grizz took a 33-19 lead, the Nuggets quickly found some respect. After a little more effort in the 2nd quarter still kept the Grizzlies securely in the lead, Carmelo Anthony quickly realized that the Nuggets weren't playing in the FedEx Forum of old and turned on the jets.
And dang did Melo sure put on a show tonight in Memphis. He dropped 41 points, picking it up to make up for the absence of Denver's spiritual leader, Chauncey Billups.
But Carmelo's 41 weren't enough to net him Rockness Monster or the win. Get over the jump to see what our main man Zach Randolph got done, hear the Grizzlies side of the story, and to drop a line in the comments.
Rockness Monster: Zach Randolph- Zach Randolph had a season high in rebounds tonight -- not a personal season high, a league season high. He snagged 24 boards, including 9 offensive rebounds, even against defensive stalwart Kenyon Martin.
But Z-Bo didn't just hammer the boards. He scored 32 points also, including a set-play 3 pointer that seemed to stop the bleeding with under a minute left to go. The man just makes things happen for the Grizzlies. He keeps plays alive with his rebounding and has started to look like a legit leader. The Nuggets didn't have their spiritual leader tonight, but the Grizzlies might be finding theirs. By the way, that's terrifying.
U-Turn: The Bench- After a horrible, horrible, horrible, and terrible game last night for the bench, the Grizz bench played surprisingly nicely tonight. They might not have logged many, or hardly any, minutes out there, but they filled in nicely. Hasheem Thabeet and Jamaal Tinsley continue to be the most solid, consistent contributers -- yes, that Hasheem Thabeet.
Bitter Limon: O.J. Mayo- I can explain this one pretty quickly. O.J. Mayo: 5-19, 1-6 on threes. At some point you got to know when to start passing O.J. I've heard of shooting your way out of a slump, but in O.J.'s bad games it seems like he shoots his way into slumps.
Even with Chauncey Billups chilling on the sidelines, this is still another huge win for the Memphis Grizzlies. Yes, you're right, the Denver Nuggets were missing Big Shot and don't travel well, but this win was still every bit as momentous as those few against Cleveland, Dallas, and Miami.
The only difference is that all these wins against good teams are no longer shocking Grizz fans or even basketball fans across the country. Sound like pretty soon other teams are going to stop being so surprised too.