The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors in a game that Grizzly fans will remember forever. It wasn't the Splash Brothers that everyone left the game impressed with, but the Grizzlies Bash Brothers.
There are some moments that are career defining. The moments that will be talked about amongst the fans long after the player is gone. Brought up at your retirement ceremony and if you're lucky your Hall Of Fame induction. These moments will last forever.
Mike Conley just had one of these games. I will always remember the night Mike Conley braved through a surgically repaired face, sprained foot and two messed up ankles to help the Grizzlies upset the one seed at home. It was the single greatest performance we've ever seen out of a Grizzlies player.
Before the game nobody knew what to expect from him or the team. Then, the Grizzlies point guard outplayed the newly elected MVP with a mask covering his face. Conley contributed to the suffocating defense played on Curry and clearly helped the Grizzlies offense control the pace of the game. The 27 minutes he played were laboring at times as Conley tried to get his feet back under him.
His 22 points on 8-12 shooting were a game high. His one turnover was the lowest of any point guard that played. Everything looked like it was going to take a turn for the worse when Draymond Green decided to go for the ball while Conley was on the ground and had clearly called timeout. Green hit him in the face and Conley was in pain. Zach Randolph was suspended for less in last season's playoffs. Conley was able to power through and hit a clutch three pointer with two minutes left to put the Grizzlies up by 10.
The Grizzlies played fantastic team defense in the win at Oracle Arena, but Tony Allen stole the show. He lived in the passing lanes, blew up play after play, made incredible hustle plays and was peak Grindfather. The nation learned of his rallying cry of "FIRST TEAM ALL DEFENSE," which he has used all season when making a big defensive play. It seemed like he was all over the court on Tuesday night.
The Grindfather played a team-high 37 minutes and had a game-high four steals. It was clear that he was in Klay Thompson's head from the get go. Thompson had 13 points on 6-13 shooting and it was a struggle for him. The Grizzlies defense, especially Allen, didn't let Thompson have the easy shots so he could get into rhythm so he looked uncomfortable the whole game. He wasn't the only one.
Never in my life did I expect this season's MVP to have 19 points on 7-19 shooting. He airballed multiple shots. Instead of being open when they come around screens the guards were met with a Grizzly defender. Some of the shots they missed were because they had been made so uncomfortable earlier in the game. The Grizzlies defense was the best it has been all season.
The Bash Brothers were great, but they weren't without help. Zach Randolph had 20 points on 7-16 shooting and was forced to play center for stretches to matchup with a super small Golden State lineup featuring Green at the five. He bullied Green and Bogut on several occasions. Courtney Lee was also awesome. His defense was bigger than his offense and his ability to stretch the floor is huge for the Grizzlies. He brought the same intensity and toughness as Allen did to that side of the ball and it paid off.
The Grizzlies are returning home and will play Saturday night. The Warriors have the ability to win three straight games and they absolutely could, but whatever happens next shouldn't make us forget what happened on a Tuesday night in Oakland.
- I can't believe Draymond Green didn't win DPOY. I haven't ever seen someone defend Gasol and Randolph that well in the post.
- This was the first time all season ZBo and Conley both scored 20 points in the same game.
- Both teams had 42 points in the paint while the Grizzlies (21) outscored the Warriors (19) on the break.
- The Grizzlies continue to struggle with Leandro Barbosa, which isn't frustrating at all......Just kidding it really is.
- Shouts to the guy that helped me navigate my street after my power went out so I could find a place to watch the game. You the real MVP.