No Rudy Gay. No problems.
No Straight Outta Vancouver. Well, I hope no problems.
The Wizards aren't a great team, but they, like the Grizzlies, are always dangerous because of the number of weapons in their lineup. Unlike the Grizzlies, however, they're struggling to piece it all together this season, and I'm doubtful that this overtime loss will help forge an identity for Washington.
The Wizards played the Grizzlies tight through three quarters, but about halfway through the 4th it looked like the Grizzlies bench was about to win this one for Memphis. O.J. Mayo, playing with the subs, lit it up and the rooks were strong on the other end of the court. Washington shot 2-10 to start the 4th.
Oh, and while we're on the bench, Jamaal Tinsley did this:
Looking at the boxscore and watching the game again, it's shocking how well the Grizzlies moved the ball in this one. They shot only 46% from the field, but with 25 assists (well above average for Memphis) you would have thought they were dropping every look they got. And, by the way, for the haters out there, yes, the extra ball movement might have something to do with Rudy on the bench.
But even all that passing couldn't save the Grizzlies when the Wizards started charging back with time expiring. With 30 seconds left, the Grizzlies completely blew the lead, as the Wizards went up 2. But then with .2 seconds left, Zach Randolph got to the line for two heartbreakers that evened the score.
In overtime the Grizzlies pulled it together, with Zach and Marc Gasol playing their games to get the kind of looks the Grizzlies love inside. Both scored over 20 points and double-doubled, and more importantly led the Grizzlies to big advantages in points in the paint and rebounding.
Quietly Mike Conley and Hasheem Thabeet also both had huge impacts, Lil' Conley had a quiet 22 points with 4 boards and 5 assists, which, to put it in perspective, is kind of like when Chris Paul goes 30-15-10 for Mikey. Hasheem's game has obviously improved, he got 17 minutes and had 6 boards and a block in those limited minutes. Most importantly, he was +7 on the game.
Got to love seeing these Grizzlies elevate to beat another team they should beat at home, even without Rudy Gay. The starters had to play bigger minutes then usual, yes, but the bench took on a bigger load, too. DeMarre Carroll started and gave everything he could. Sam Young closed the game aggressive. And the Grizzlies still put on a show for their holiday crowd.