What is greater? How is it achieved?
Greater is the desire to do more, to be more
It's the journey, the chase
How you fight, how you finish, how you win
Greater isn't given, it's earned
Game Diary: New Orleans Pelicans 74 – Memphis Grizzlies 110
➭ It's been a while since I watched a Grizzlies game (it was on January 30, a massive victory against the Denver Nuggets 99-69), so as far as I'm concerned before this game, the Grizzlies were 35-12. And all of a sudden, I just came back to reality after two months without reliable online connection to watch my beloved Grizzlies, and they are 52-25, the regular season is almost over, and we don't yet know which team would be the opponent in the first round of the upcoming playoffs.
➭ "You worry about seeding at all or just about playing good basketball?" asks Pete Pranica. And head coach Joerger says: "Let's just play well. We've had a pretty good season."
➭ Then in another pre-interview, Rob Fischer asks Conley something about the game and the New Orleans team, and everything you need to know about Conley's answer is this: "Tonight is a playoff game."
➭ OK, so let's do this.
➭ 11:00 - 3 by Pondexter from the corner to inaugurate the box score. Oh, Quincy, how can you do this to us?
➭ 10:42 to 10:20 - The awesome Anthony Davis gets the point of what a night in the Grindhouse is all about: first Z-Bo scores in his face with a long two, and then when he tries the same in the other basket, Gasol comes out of nowhere to block his shot. The brothers-from-another-mother want the win badly. Long night for you, Davis.
➭ 5:05 - Gasol and the whole Grizzlies keep trying, putting the best possible effort on the court, but the shots are not falling yet. In the meantime, the Pelicans are in love with the three point line and things are working out for them: another 3 by Pondexter and another one by Evans. They have the lead 16-12 and time-out called. I love you, Pelicans, but this isn't going to last.
➭ 3:23 - Carter replaces Green, and good ball movement starts happening for the first BANGO of the night for the Grizzlies, featured by Conley after a turnover and a good hustle by the all-over-the-place Randolph.
➭ Next Grizzlies possession - BANGO 3 again. This time it's Courtney Lee from far away.
➭ 1:26 - Gasol misses and Z-Bo just does what he does best: Z-bound and two more for the hungry Grizzlies. It's already his third offensive rebound of the night. Absolute Z-domination in the paint.
➭ Before finishing the quarter 24-27 for the Grizzlies - A couple of baskets by Davis for the Pelicans (they have to eat too), a beautiful jump-shot by Carter (he wants to teach some manners to his buddy Pondexter), and two more sweaty points for Gasol after showing some great footwork to the Pelicans' big fellas.
➭ 10:58 - Beno is totally feeling it. Running lay-up, then two points more and-one in a classic pull-up Udrih move, and awesome defense in the next possession. Green misses after that, but Kosta said, "I got you, Jeff," with anincredible offensive rebound and two more for the Grizzlies. 7-0 starting the second quarter, 24-34, and things are looking damn good!
➭ 9:52 - Beno dishes, and Carter BANGOs the net for a cute 3-pointer.
➭ 5:16 - Z-Bo wants to win and he shows his total determination to do it, while dribbling all around the Pelicans paint while the younger and faster and also thinner Davis keeps chasing him. But when Z-Bo wants it, Z-Bo gets it. Two more for the Grizzlies.
➭ 4:38 - Conley from downtown. Fourth Grizz BANGO of the night (4 of 8 so far from 3-point distance).
➭ 3:45 - Koufos playing great. Another bucket for him. He already has 6 points and 7 rebounds. He is the bench beast the Grizzlies need him to be (Memphis are winning the bench points battle too, 5-18).
➭ 1:25 until halftime - Grizzlies seem a little bit sleepy in the last couple plays offensively. But the smarter kid of the class, Courtney Lee, gets the steal and slams! Next play Z-Bo overpowers Davis in a classic bouncing-bouncing-ball-and-who-is-the-man play. And to finish the quarter, Conley beats the buzzer with his go-to move. 55-36 for the Grizzlies. The Grindhouse goes mad.
➭ 10:18 - 3-pointer by Green. And more money for the St. Jude Hospital thanks to the BANGO count. Everybody is happy now. Then some pretty play by Gasol facilitating Green for the easy basket. One thing for certain is that the Pelicans are looking a bit tired after the hard effort they put in the night before to win against the too-happy-and-cocky Golden State Warriors.
➭ 8:45 - It seems like I am just writing the BANGO plays, but I'm not. It's just that it's really fun to say BANGO, OK? Yeah, Lee with another 3. And then Gasol with an easy basket for him. Grizzlies are rolling.
➭ 6:42 to 5:30 - Or where the best big-fellas basketball players show a thing or two about playing in the paint. First Z-Bo with another Z-bound (he has already 13 & 11). Pranica is enjoying and shouts, "The big fella is in the building!" Then Davis shows Gasol why he is astonishingly good, adding two strong points for the Pelicans. And then ZBo and Gasol combine for another bucket featured by the Spaniard.
➭ 4:04 - Green dunks, and Allen laughs while doing the Harley rev from the bench.
➭ Not much after that - Memphis lead 52-81 going into the last quarter.
➭ 11:43 - Memphis still wants more, riding the momentum. Carter opens the quarter with a long 3-pointer, so BANGO again.
➭ 9:47 - Conley to Koufos alley-oop! How awesome that sounds. 30-point lead already.
➭ Less than seven minutes to play - Starters out. Calathes, Adams, JaMychal Green, Leuer, and Stokes playing.
➭ 5:00 - Pretty Grizzlies play: Calathes steals, Adams drives to the basket and dishes to Stokes, who slams ferociously.
➭ 3:30 to go - "Hammer, nail, and coffin," Pranica says a little bit too late, after Leuer makes a jumpshot. 63-100 for the cheerful Grizzlies.
➭ 3:13 - This is it. Last BANGO of the night. Our beloved Adams makes it, and put the Grizzlies leading New Orleans by 40 points (the biggest Grizzlies lead of the season).
➭ 1:35 - JaMychal Green was, before this moment, the only scoreless player for the Grizzlies and that was something that couldn't be tolerated. So he just slams the Pelicans basket. And game is more than over. 74-110, the final score.
➭ The ZBo-Gasol tandem absolutely dominated the game. 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists for ZBo. And 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists for Gasol. Also coming off the bench, Beno Udrih was huge for the Grizzlies with 14 points, revitalizing the offense when needed.
➭ Pete Pranica summed up all Grizzlies fans' thoughts after the game saying, "If the Grizzlies play this way during postseason, it doesn't matter which seed they're gonna get."
➭ And the author's note to close this amazing game is: It feels good to be back with you, Memphis. Even if I've never been there breathing your air, or holding a yellow "Believe" towel at FedExForum. But I know I can't wait.
➭ And even if some people just keep telling me that I should be more realistic (they say that the Memphis Grizzlies can't win the precious championship), I truly believe they just have what it takes to win all. So let's keep grinding, Memphis. #ChasingGreater is the road now.