The injury-rended Grizzlies entered tonight's game sputtering towards a playoff berth, needing four more wins to figure out if it's possible for every player to break or explode before the season's end. Pop decided to sit several starters tonight, and sadly LaMarcus Aldridge was not one of them. However, it's always nice when Pop treats us to the stylings of Boban, an Ent child stripped of its bark, and YMCA God and tenured professor Andre Miller.
The first quarter was rough. Grizzlies couldn't hold onto the ball, and LaMarcus couldn't miss. Memphis was unable to slow the ever-efficient Spurs. The second quarter was better, with Vince Carter helping us start with an 8 - 2 run. VC made several heart-stopping spins to the rim like Libertyland's Tilt-O-Whirl spinning off its foundation, showering the vicinity in loose, rusty screws. And somehow the ride didn't totally fly apart. What a sight to behold.
The Spurs quickly stretched the lead beyond single digits after the second half began, and the Grizzlies never got back within striking distance. LMA firebombed the Grizz on his way to another 30+ point game, and the rested Spurs look like they're hitting a good stride with Aldridge on the eve of the playoffs. After a slew of great games, Matt Barnes and Lance Stephenson set the dumpster aflame in this one. On the bright side, Jarell Martin got some minutes in the second half, making nice moves and sinking sweet jumpers. One shot in particular, off the left foot from mid-range, looked surprisingly pure. I'm excited to see how he develops into next season, and it's a promising testament to the forward-thinking insight of the front office.
We may have lost the game, but all in all it was nice to move another day down the schedule without someone's knee, shoulder, or face exploding. I hope that the injuries have strong-armed Joerger into being more adaptive with his lineups and willing to develop young talent. The Grizzlies face the Nuggets on Wednesday, one of the few "beatable" teams remaining on the schedule. To tank or not to tank: that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and boots of outrageous misfortune, or to take what arms remain against a sea of trouble.