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Running Diary: Grizzlies Win Battle Of The Shorthanded Squads

A running diary of the Grizzlies' win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports


The first time I did a running diary, the Grizzlies got crushed by the Denver Nuggets. I hope that tonight's outcome is much different this time around. As usual, I have the announcers on mute, a Sprite to my right and Kanye in my ears. I CAN'T GIVE UP ON TRADITION.

Mike Conley is out for the Grizzlies so Beno Udrih will get the start. I don't know how he is going to fair on defense against Damian Lillard, but it might not be good. Robin Lopez is out for the Trail Blazers, so Meyers Leonard is going to get extended run against Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph. Poor guy. This is also Jeff Green's home debut. Should be interesting to see how he plays against one of the other top teams in the West.

First Quarter

12:00 - Kaman wins the tip. HERE WE GO! Kaman looks like a the dude from the movies that you totally think is the serial killer, but ends up having a mushy heart the whole time. He usually saves the day with an axe or a shovel or something. Also, he has to wear flannel.

11:12 - Marc Gasol jumper in Kaman's face. AGGRESSIVE MARC has come to play and I'm not totally sure Kaman can guard him. I think Kaman is good, but Marc is just on another level than him.

10:21 - Tony layup off a Marc laser pass. Tony is shooting like 10000% on layups lately. (*After game note: I jinxed him. Jinxed him real bad.)

9:57 - Wesley Matthews 3 to make it 5-4. Wesley lights Tony Allen up more than any other NBA player ever. He is the Grizzly killer. i can't think of another one like him. Maybe Kevin Martin when he played for the Rockets, but that didn't last for very long.

8:11 - Marc just gave a homeless man...I mean Kaman that work in the post. Little one foot Dirk fadeaway that we haven't seen much from Marc.

6:51 - YOU DON'T JUMP WHEN A BIG MAN PUMP FAKES! Marc just fouled Aldridge after a pump fake. Aldridge splits the free throws and they keep showing Robin Lopez on the bench. or is that Slideshow Bob in a suit? I can't really tell.

6:11 - Hey guys, anyone want to guard Wesley Matthews any time soon? We're allowing him to roam freely on the perimeter, which you cannot do if you want to beat the Trail Blazers. Luckily CLee responds with a three of his own.

4:20 - Green enters the game for his home debut at a suspicious time. He's playing the three and I think this means we could be seeing Jon Leuer tonight.

3:41 - Beno leaning jumper to put the Grizz up 8. That's the only way he makes them and I like it. His percentages on mid-range jumpshots coming off the pick and roll must be higher than any other Grizzly shoots from anywhere on the court.

2:50 - Meyers Leonard just tried to push Z-Bo around in the post. Hold on one second. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.) Ok I'm back. He looks like he belongs in a Hollister ad, not a basketball court. The offensive foul was called and Z-Bo ran down the other way laughing with me. Jeff Green missed jumper and I'm fairly certain he needs to be fined if all of his shots don't come at the rim.

1:53 - Did Aldridge just hit a three? 24-19 Grizzlies. I don't like this development at all. He can't start cooking or the Grizzlies will have to go twin towers which could tank the offense.

:4.8 - Calathes jumper to end the half. Yea I didn't really see it coming either. The Steve Blake/Nick Calathes matchup should be one for the ages.

End Of Quarter - Jumpers on jumpers on jumpers. The Grizzlies have to get into the paint because we all know the jumpers aren't going to fall. They have to get into the paint or they will be in some serious trouble. You don't start trading jumpshots with the Blazers and come out with a win.

Second Quarter

12:00 - That's another missed Z-Bo jumper. I don't know if he's tired from the back to back or if Chris Kaman is freaking him out, but Z-Bo is just settling for too many jumpers. He needs to go into the post for quick buckets or Z-Bounds. Z-Bo the jump shooter is not as good as regular Z-Bo.

11:20 - JEFF GREEN HIT A THREE OFF AN AWESOME PASS FROM CALATHES. AHHHHHHHHHH. Now we can all stop holding our breath, hoping for the best whenever he heaves one up.

10:40 - Another Matthews 3. 33-26. This is becoming a serious problem.

10:20 - Calathes and Green have chemistry. He came tearing down the lane and Calathes hit him with the no look pass. We need to get one awesome alley oop out of this soon.

8:47 - Vince just scored at the rim. I think I may be hallucinating. 37-28 Grizzlies. I WANT MORE OF THIS. I NEED IT. NO MORE CLANGING DEEP THREES OFF THE RIM. GO TO THE BASKET. PLEASE. I don't know how much longer he can keep missing threes. It just seems like the law of averages is in his favor at this point.

8:03 - JEFF GREEN JUST HIT ANOTHER THREE! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING? He's scored 7 points since I turned on Taylor Swift. Maybe he....shook off....those new team jitters. (Ed. Note: Nice. -KY)

7:10 - Calathes just threw a behind the back pass to Koufos. And he did the most Koufos thing ever, a jump hook. Never change, Kosta. Never change.

6:46 - VINCE JUST HIT A THREE. It pushes the lead to 45-32. *Jonah slowly looks around to see if the sky is falling* It isn't, we're all good. Calathes' play may make Coach Joerger decide they are never ever getting him back together with the starters. I really like the defense and playmaking that he's brought.

6:00 - Aldridge just hit another shot. The Grizzlies' bigs keep getting caught in this blank space on the pick and pop. They cannot leave him alone out there. That's not Meyers Leonard. You have to be inside Aldridge's jersey or he'll light you up.

4:55 - Marc baseline fadeaway followed by the sign of the cross. All he's being is mean to Chris Kaman who I'm pretty sure wears a ton of flannel in the off season.

4:26 - CLee for his second three of the game and a 15 point lead. Who is this Grizzlies team and what happened to all the mud?

3:30 - Z-Bo just became the Grizzlies all time leading rebounder. Who was it before him? How did he not have this title already? I'm just going to blame OJ Mayo and move on.

1:52 - Joe Mullinax is distracting me on the Twitter machine. Z-Bo is shooting free throws and the Grizzlies are up 15.


:4.6 - Beautiful play to end the half. Beno passed to Marc and Marc created enough space for Beno to drive to the basket unimpeded after a nice handoff. I love Dave Joerger out of a timeout. HE IS SO GOOD AT DRAWING UP PLAYS.

End of Quarter - The defense was spotty near the beginning of the quarter, but they shored it up and executed on offense to get an 18 point lead going into halftime. Pretty impressive.


I feel like taking a nap. This has been a fun game and the Grizzlies are on their way to an impressive win. I don't know if this lead will last, but we will see.

3rd Quarter

11:23 - Z-Bo just leveled someone on a screen and Dave Joerger is getting his incredulous face on. Doesn't matter - Marc rejects Kaman's weak sauce up and under move on the other end.

9:54 - Beno Udrih leaning jumper after some more good Grizzlies defense. The Grizzlies now have a 20 point lead for the first time in the game. Who saw this coming without Conley?!?!

8:43 - Marc is just working poor Chris Kaman. This whole game changes if Robin Lopez isn't hurt. His defense and rebounding seem to spark this team. They look kind of depressed without him.

8:15 - Tony Allen just shot a three. It did not go in.

7:26 - Batum hits an open three and Dave Joerger is super pissed. The Grizzlies offense has gone completely cold while trying to rely on TA to create and Z-Bo to clean up his mess. The ball has to go to Marc Gasol every time. Kaman cannot stop him. Green in for Allen out of the timeout,.Grizzlies lead by 15.

6:14 - Aldridge again and the Grizzlies can't buy a bucket on the other end as the lead falls to 11. You smell that...that smells like a collapse. BUT BENO IS HERE TO SAVE THE DAY WITH A LEANING JUMPER.

5:13 - Z-Bo just destroyed Damian Lillard after he got in his path. I feel bad for Lillard, but what did he expect? Z-Bo can't change directions like a normal person; he's more like an eighteen wheeler.

4:39 - Marc jumper to stop the bleeding and push the lead to 15. The Trail Blazers' bigs are more concerned with slapping people and the ball to go guard him out there.

4:14 - OH MY GOSH MY FAVORITE SEQUENCE IN A WHILE JUST HAPPENED. Marc Gasol AKA PointGasol ran the fast break and lobbed it to Green, but Green was falling at a bad angle. What was he to do? Z-Bo rumbles and fights his way into the lane as Green hit him with a pinpoint pass for an easy lay in. THAT"S WHAT WE CALL BEAUTIFUL BASKETBALL.

2:55 - Z-Bo just flopped... He may be hearing from the league about that one.

2:32 - ANOTHER JEFF GREEN THREE. HE"S NOT THE GREEN WE DESERVE, BUT HE IS THE GREEN WE NEED. I have no idea if Gasol was passing to him or if he was blocked, but it went straight to Jeff at the top of the key and he drained it.

1:15 - Another LEEZUS three. When he's not hesitating he is so good. Blazers respond with a three. I really don't want to get in a three point shootout with Portland. I can't think of a worse idea besides getting into a three point shootout with the Warriors.

:19.7 - Z-Bo free throws after getting slapped in the post. Jeff Green is bleeding and he looks kind of irritated about it. Z-Bo misses both and the Grizz lead is now 11.

:.8 - Good defense on a Llilard three point attempt, but poor rebounding and no awareness lead to an open Matthews three so the Blazers finally cut the lead to 8.

End of Quarter - Well everything kind of fell apart after getting the lead to 20. Blazers hit five threes and turned the Grizz over five times to help bring them back in it.

4th Quarter

11:42 - Matthews is hot now. He hits a floater in the lane, but falls down on defense so Jeff Green gets an open dunk.

10:45 - Jeff Green missed 3. Maybe don't take threes every time you touch the ball out on the perimeter? No. Are you sure? Oh yea you're sure. Ok.

10:11 - Z-Bo just hurt Meyers Leonard when Leonard fouled him. Now Z-Bo in the lane. Nobody can stop that bully ball. THIS IS GETTING EXCITING!!! 10 point lead now for the Grizzlies and I've been listening to the same song for 20 minutes and kind of want to rip my hair out.


7:57 - Z-Bo fouls Aldridge after he blows by him and we get more Twin Towers after Aldridge drains two free throws to cut the lead to 7. I am not enjoying this.

6:49 - So Wesley Matthews fell down and Kaman rushed to help him up like a good teammate, but busted his ass on a slippery floor. Smooth move xlax. Grizzlies lead by 9.

5:28 - Things are falling apart as Calathes is blocked on whatever in the world that was. Then Wesley Matthews shook/pump faked Old Man Carter to the floor and drained a three in his face. What was at one point a 20 point lead has been cut to 2.

4:39 - Good Grizzlies defense forces a bad shot, but Koufos loses it out of bounds and it leads to a Lillard three. Man Koufos looks like he's about to cry as Z-Bo gets up to check in for him. Grizz lead by 2.

3:54 - I missed what happened as I was typing, but the Grizzlies have a five point lead and Aldridge is shooting free throws. Three point lead and I'm starting to get the nervous shakes. Joerger is rolling with Green over TA for offense.

2:48 - Marc nails a midrange jumper. DEAR LORD THERE"S TWO MINUTES LEFT. This is when Lillard comes alive like a robot.

2:09 - Lillard just stripped Beno and went on to score uncontested. That's not ideal. Beno has to be less loosey goosey with his handles if he's going to be playing crunch time.

1:50 - G-bound up and in. His off the dribble game adds a nice layer to the Grizzlies fourth quarter offense that has been missing on the wing.

1:06 - Lillard three. He is great in fourth quarters, it's so irritating.

:38.4 - BENO FADEAWAY JUMPER WITH THE SHOTCLOCK RUNNING DOWN. Four point lead with 38 seconds left is just the perfect scenario for Damian Lillard.

:29.9 - Good Grizzly defense forces a bad three from Wesley Matthews, and Z-Bo is going to the free throw line. He hits both and the Grizzlies have a six point lead.

:27.3 - Tony Allen lost Damian Lillard on an out of bounds play and he swished a three. HE IS TOO CLUTCH IT'S RIDICULOUS. I'm interested what the Trail Blazers' strategy out of this timeout will be. They may be able to get a stop without fouling. Tony has not been good in this game.

:8.7 - BENO SEES YOUR CLUTCHNESS, DAMIAN LILLARD, AND RAISES WITH A LEANING JUMPER AFTER LEAVING YOU IN HIS DUST.  Five point lead with 8.7 left. I think the Blazers regret letting the clock run down.

:.8 - Courtney Lee going to the line after an Aldridge tip in to seal the game. And he does by splitting.

End of Game: Grizzlies win! Grizzlies win! That was a weird experience. Usually the Grizzlies are the ones fighting back down from 20 points. One thing is clear: Memphis desperately needs Mike Conley back, even if Udrih and Calathes both played very well. The offense died way too much and both backup point guards were playing out of role. Still it was a good, impressive win.