I promise to never use the Simmonsian "Trick or Treat Tony" gimmick again.
Well, after tonight.
It's Halloween! The ghoulish souls of the dead are among us! Some kids just knocked on my door and I considered offering them beer! I've spent five minutes wondering what Hammed Haddadi is dressed up as!
After trailing at the half to Indiana's cast of friendly ghosts, the Grizzlies haunted the third quarter, outscoring the Pacers 33-14, even reeling off a spooky 27-2 (!) run there at one point.
Zach Randolph wore his costume (headband) and continually took candy from Luis Scola, racking up 22 points and 13 boards. Marc Gasol had another nice all-around game, scoring 20, snatching 6 rebounds, and getting two steals, blocks, and assists apiece. Tayshaun Prince -- terrifying, I know -- even had a nice run. With the poltergeists of Paul George, David West, and George Hill on the Indiana sideline, the Grizzlies let some Pacer randos have good games offensively (like, say, Chris Copeland, and Damjan Rudez!). But, excepting the second quarter, the Grizzlies defense was hawking and haunted housey.
Let's get to the game -- we're going to do it, one last time, trick-or-treat style.
Trick - Jon Leuer. I'm sorry, y'all. I just don't get it.
Treat - In the first quarter, Marc Gasol tapped out a pass to Mike Conley that tasted like a Sour Apple Blow Pop (you gotta love those), but Conley then missed the layup so oh well.
Trick - The defense in the second quarter! The Pacers scored 34 points and several children in ghost costumes hit three-pointers.
Treat - Luis Scola throwing the ball directly out of bounds on multiple occasions in the first quarter.
Trick - Whoever that was in the Mike Conley costume for most of the first quarter.
Treat - The actual Mike Conley once he slid over to two-guard and played alongside Beno Udrih (this point copyright Brevin Knight, 2014). He immediately hit a jumper, attacked the lane really quickly in a very Conleyian manner, and hammered a three on a sweet baseline out of bounds play, scoring seven Grizzly points in a row.
Trick - The ghost of Tayshaun starting the second half.
Treat - The ghost of Tayshaun playing really well in the third quarter! He played really lengthily (a word?) on defense! He swung the ball with fervor on offense! He hit a three! This anecdote merits only exclamation points!
Trick - Courtney Lee's concussion. Damn, that really sucks for Lee. Here's hoping it's not nearly as bad as it looked.
Treat - Lee's game before the concussion. He was easily the Grizzlies' best player.
Trick - Three Gasol fouls in the first half.
Treat - That aforementioned baseline out of bounds play near the end of the first half. Tony Allen threw a slick one-handed, cross-court bounce pass that netted Conley a three. It was tight.
Trick - ALL OF LAST YEAR! This just in, guys: Tayshaun Prince was sick last season. I mean, we knew he was sick in the preseason, but it obviously carried through way more of the season than I thought it did. When he checked into the game tonight I gasped -- it was like he was wearing a Tayshaun Prince mask from Party City. He looked...healthy. With, like, a full face. Was it maybe the beard? It looks like he's been eating, too -- like, in a good way. Are we sure he ate any meals last year? I'm back on board the Tayshaun train.
Treat - Just your classic 27-2 run there in the third quarter.
Trick - Halloween. It's just a big trick. Candy? Costumes? Willingly getting scared? Give me 100 Grizzlies/Pacers games over one Halloween.
Treat - The Gasol pump fake and dish to Conley, who hit a Frankenstein-sized three with 3:15 left. That shot was the wooden stake driven into the hearts of the Frank Vogel Vampires (if that's not the name of an Indianapolis-area kickball team by this weekend I have failed), and the final treat in the Grizzlies' Halloween grab bag.
And hey, being 2-0? That's the best treat of all.