A basketball game happened in Los Angeles tonight. I don't really remember too much about it. I pretty much just remember replay reviews. Lots of replay reviews.
By the way, are you aware that the NBA's state-of-the-art replay center is located in Secaucus, New Jersey?
Anyway, somewhere in between all of those reviews, Tony Allen fouled J.J. Redick on a three-point shot in the final 20 seconds of the game, there were a ton of controversial calls in both directions, and the Los Angeles Clippers came away with a 94-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, who looked a lot more like themselves, despite the loss.
1) Chris Paul played, and he probably shouldn't have
Chris Paul missed the Clippers' most recent game against Houston and was initially listed as doubtful vs. the Grizzlies due to a groin injury, but he decided to give it a go anyway. That might have not been such a great idea, because he very clearly didn't look like himself.
Paul played one of his worst games of the season, logging 14 points and four assists while shooting 4-10 from the field, and didn't look nearly as engaged as he usually is. Through the first three quarters he had only five total shot attempts. Paul finally started to show signs of life in the fourth quarter, hitting a few timely shots, but it wasn't nearly the complete performance you've come to expect from him, and the Grizzlies were able to take advantage and nearly come away with the win as a result.
2) It turns out that the Grizzlies play a lot better when their best players play well
A common theme this season has been that Memphis' best players, particularly Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, have been playing pretty poorly. That finally changed against the Clippers, and it made all the difference.
Conley came out of the gates spitting fire, burying three buckets in the opening minutes to set the tone. Gasol opened up ice cold, but was able to turn it around, finishing with 16 points and five rebounds on 5-8 shooting. It wasn't a dominating performance from the All-Star center, but he was efficient on offense and the team's anchor on defense on a night where the team's D looked to finally be back to its old self.
And while Conley and Gasol put up solid games, Zach Randolph was a damn monster. Z-Bo scored 26 points, and stuffed the entire stat sheet with nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.
There has been more to the Grizzlies' early season struggles than the play of the big three, but it's been arguably the biggest problem. That was rectified tonight, and it showed on the court, despite the loss.
3) Jeff Green kept doing mean things to an old man
Paul Pierce is 38 years old. His bones are basically dust. But for some reason, Jeff Green has no respect for his elders and decided he was going to do lots of really mean things to Pierce, such as this monster block on the fast break.
Jeff clearly didn't have enough fun there, since minutes later he dunked all over the poor old man on the other end of the court.