So that's how it looks when three-pointers go in.
And boy, was it a sight for the sore eyes of Memphis Grizzlies fans.
The Grizzlies canned seven three-pointers -- including four in the 4th quarter -- to put away the Indiana Pacers, 112-103. Though you certainly couldn't call it a "barrage" of three-pointers in today's NBA universe, the treys felt like a big deal because of when they came -- and who they came from.
Matt Barnes, Memphis' latest ostensibly effective long-range shooting acquisition, shot 3-6 from deep, and his two second-half bombs were huge. The first came with 1:30 left in the 3rd quarter, just as the Pacers had taken a nine-point lead, their largest of the night. Barnes' three from the wing kicked off an 11-0 Grizzlies run, and inspired my inaugural I-don't-hate-Matt-Barnes-anymore fist pump. Barnes' final deep ball of the evening came as a call-and-response to a CJ Miles three that had snapped Memphis' 11-0 run.
The Grizzlies' other shooting savior? The starting lineup's (rightful) scapegoat, the freshly-demoted Jeff Green. Green blew open a blundering, back-and-forth foul-fest with a transition triple that broke a 96-96 tie. And then, a couple minutes later, Green elicited another Pete Pranica "bango!" with a three as the shot clock dwindled.
Green's two-for-two performance from three is liable to be some small-sample-size sorcery -- and he should continue coming off the bench -- but the moments in which those shots occurred should be an encouragement to Green, Dave Joerger, and the multiplying Jeff Green Twitter angst.
Though the Grizzlies got key contributions from some much-needed contributors, it remains notable who didn't contribute to the aerial attack. Mike Conley -- who played an otherwise swell game, ringing up a 13/10 with points and assists -- converted his only three-point attempt of the night. And Courtney Lee, who never seemed to find his rhythm in this game, was 0-4 from long range. Obviously, the Grizzlies' nightly grind does not afford Conley and Lee each a half-dozen three-point attempts, but it would be nice to see the volume of attempts increase.
And that leads us to the eternal issue for this Memphis Grizzlies bunch -- how the hell to score points in the halfcourt.
Memphis' first-quarter blitz came via their active defense, leakouts, and semi-transition points. The team's second-and third-quarter scuffling came as Joerger trotted out various lineups and various schemes to varying degrees of success (Conley/Brandan Wright pick-and-roll: 100% YES). And the fourth quarter felt like a return to old-school Grizzlies ball (which, hey, sometimes really works!), playing through Marc Gasol, who led the team with 20 points.
The three-point buckets, which overcame the third quarter deficit (Barnes) and ultimately sealed the win (Green), still feel untenable. Barnes' shots came in the flow of the offense, while Green's came on scrambly-type plays. Conley and Lee (and Jordan Adams, anybody?) need to be more involved.
Can the Grizzlies find more three-point shots in the flow of their offense, and maintain their one-night-in-Indianapolis efficiency? As usual, that's the big question on Beale Street.