Before this game, I said I didn’t think it would be pretty. Well, technically I was right, just not in the way I initially thought, This game felt like it should be a blowout, but instead, the Grizzlies eeked out a close win in one of the ugliest games of the season, beating the Magic 88-82, for their sixth straight win.
Much like Tuesdays game against the Pistons, the Grizzlies were somewhat relaxed early on, playing down the Magic’s level. Then, in the second quarter, they picked things up considerably, and it looked like the game was a forgone conclusion. This game was a lot closer than Tuesday’s affair, however, since it took forever for the Grizzlies to put it away. Late in the 4th quarter, with a decimated Magic team holding on by a thread, they managed to cut the Grizzlies lead the only three. For a bit there, it looked like the Grizz might get severely embarrassed.
Luckily, they caught a break when two of the seven players in the Magic lineup tonight fouled out towards the end. No, really, they had seven players. And by game’s end, they were down to five. That proved to be enough for Memphis to finally wrap this one up, and earn that elusive sixth consecutive win. It wasn’t a great win, it might have actually been the least impressive win they’ve had all year. But still, it was a win.
The big men were the stars of the night for the Grizzlies, as Marc Gasol had 19 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists, while Zach Randolph was right with him, putting in 16 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists. After shooting a dreadful 4-17 against the Raptors on Wednesday, Z-Bo looked more like his old self, shooting 6-13 from the field.
In the aftermath of the Gay trade, things will likely to continue to run through the Gasol-Randolph frontcourt, just as they did during the 2011 playoffs. It’s a setup that suits this team well, and it won’t be easy to take down in the playoffs.
Ed Davis lead the Grizzlies bench in scoring, chipping in 10 points in four minutes. That’s right, four minutes. No matter what Davis does, he has still has to beg for whatever scraps Hollins wants to give him. It’s beginning to get disconcerting. How do you not play someone who is clearly a great talent? The inevitable defense of this would be that the Grizzlies are winning, but really, their last two were extremely close wins where the offense looked limp at time. Davis deserves to be getting 20-25 minutes a game.
The Grizzlies run of easy opponents finally comes to an end this Sunday, when they’ll take on the Brooklyn Nets, who lost 106-96 to the Houston Rockets tonight. In the meantime, the Grizzlies can relax tonight, knowing that they even they were far from the best tonight, they still managed to pull out another win, and are 7-2 since trading Rudy Gay. Despite the rough moments tonight, this team looks like it will be alright going forward.