The Memphis Grizzlies played two different kinds of basketball in each half of Monday night's game against the Orlando Magic. One style was a revelation, the other more manic and lackadaisical ... the kind of revelations people have with bad drug experiences. To credit the Magic, a lot of teams would have crumbled and folded after three quarters of wiping Zach Randolph stank off of their faces, but this Orlando team is a particularly pesky bunch of talented athletes, and the Grizzlies can still fall into stretches of playing down to their competition. Some fans might complain about the sloppy finish, but I feel like it was pretty obvious that the team collectively put it on cruise control. This sums it up well:
Hey guys, the starters didn't expend any energy in the 4th quarter. They weren't even trying. It's like they weren't even out there.— Matt Hrdlicka (@theRealHrdlicka) January 27, 2015
And this is a very important point to embrace as the Grizzlies hop on a plane to head to Dallas for another bout with the high-octane Mavericks. Memphis didn't need to provide a statement against the Magic tonight. They just needed to score one more point than their opponent and save some of Marc Gasol's energy meter for tomorrow night. Marc and the starters still played a fair share of minutes, but the heavy lifting of the second half was primarily shouldered by the Grizzlies bench, as they scored 12 of the team's 14 points in the 4th quarter.
The Memphis Grizzlies are 32-12 and that's pretty tight.
Moment of the Night
You'll be seeing this for the next couple of days, but I can't not mention it in the quick recap: