"But the Grizzlies are so much better than this!"
Do you remember what you were doing on January 6th, 2017? I do. I was yelling frustration at my TV because the Grizzlies were being throttled by the Warriors.
For 3.5 quarters, the January 6th matchup at Oracle Arena was frustratingly terrible. That shouldn't really be an issue - the Warriors blow out every team in the NBA at least once a season.
And that was true. I can only assume the team heard me, because something changed in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies starting scoring the ball, and the Dubs just stopped. The Grizzlies went on two separate scoring runs, 7-0 to start the fourth, and 13-0 to close the gap.
A late Mike Conley jumper tied the game at 111, Stephen Curry would miss a game winning 35-footer to send it to OT.
Memphis outscored Golden State 17-8 in overtime. A game that the Grizz trailed by 20 most of regulation ended in a nine point overtime win AT GOLDEN STATE.
In case you're not catching my drift, it was a HUGE WIN. No one beats the Warriors at their place, but the Grizzlies had just used a 4th quarter comeback to completely dismantle the Dubs.
Confidence boost? Yes. Minimal, but real national media attention? Yes. Only NBA team with wins against Cleveland, Houston, and Golden State? Yes.
This win was a statement by Memphis. It was pre-All-Star break, when the Grizzlies were playing consistently watchable basketball. But it also established that this team could win without a healthy Chandler Parsons and a super aging bench.
At that point in the season they had beaten the top 3 teams (excluding San Antonio, who Memphis played three times in the last two months of the regular season) and this was the second win versus the Dubs. To beat the most dominant team the NBA has seen in years on their home floor was special, but even more so in a comeback overtime win.
The Big 3 of Memphis, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley, and Marc Gasol, all scored 20+ points and shot 50% or better from the floor. That makes for a winning recipe. No one on the Warriors bench scored in double figures, 4 of the 5 GSW starters played 42+ minutes. No one on Memphis did that.
In fact, the Grizzlies had nine players who played 14 or more minutes, with Tony Allen leading all players at 48 minutes.
In other words, it was a true team effort. It was the style of basketball that the Grizzlies have shown to be successful since the creation of the Grit-N-Grind era. The Grizzlies proved that night how competitive they could be in the Western Conference.
It was a great night to be a Grizzlies fan.