Grizz Win in Hollywood and Move on to the Mile High
The Grizzlies grind-ed out a win in Hollywood by hanging on to beat the Lakers 109-106. Grizzlies hold a 3-0 lead in the season series against the Lakers so far and have earned a 5th straight victory over them. Grizzlies have won 3 in a row after losing 4 straight and improve their record to 24-8.
Grizzlies shot poorly in the first half. At one point the Lakers were up by 12, their largest lead in the contest. The Grizzlies found a way to hang around. At the half the Grizzlies were remarkably only down by 5 (52-47) while just shooting an abysmal 39.1%. This sequence right here just sumps up how bad the shooting was in the first half for the Grizzlies. This was not a pretty thing to witness at all.
In the 2nd half, the tide turned for the Grizzlies; their shooting improved and finished the half shooting over 60%. Their total shooting percentage at the game’s conclusion improved to an overall 48%. They shot 43% from the 3 point line by converting on 6 of 14 shots.
Grizzlies ended up with 5 players in double figures. Mike Conley lead the team with 19 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. Marc Gasol recorded his 10th double double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. Courtney Lee chipped in 14 points and was 2/2 from the three point line.
The Lakers bench out-scored the Grizzlies bench 57-47 which was lead by Jeremy Lin who had 20 points. Carlos Boozer and Nick Young had 14 a piece off of the Lakers bench. The Grizzlies bench may have been out-scored; however, they played hard and had several players to lead the charge. Tayshaun Prince is a man of many talents. He has been used to guard several positions on the floor since Zach Randolph has been sidelined due to a knee injury. Tayshaun ended up with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal. Beno Udrih had 16 points and 3 assists with 10 of those points coming late in the 3rd quarter. Kosta Koufos was shy of a double double with 9 points and 8 rebounds. Quincy Pondexter ended up with 8 points and 3 rebounds. Surprisingly, he played better defense on Kobe Bryant than Tony Allen.
1) Former Grizzlies Ed Davis was ready to play against his former team. He ended up with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
2) Kobe Bryant was mainly a facilitator in this game and only attempted 14 shots. He was really close to recording a triple double with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists.
3) Lakers out-scored the Grizzlies in the paint 56-48.
Grizzlies at Nuggets
After a hard fought victory against the Lakers, the Grizzlies (24-8) travel to the Mile High and will take on the Denver Nuggets (13-20). Tip off is at the Pespi Center beginning at 8pm. This is the first meeting of the season for these two teams. Grizzlies have won 6 out of the last 10 games against the Nuggets. The Nuggets have lost 3 straight with a 9-8 record at home; however the Grizzlies are 11-4 on the road and enter the game on a three game winning streak. The Grizzlies are 16-4 against Western Conference teams this season while the Nuggets are 7-11 against the West teams.
Zach Randolph is expected to miss his 7th consecutive game due to a sore knee. Denver will be without JaVale McGee, Randy Foye and Danilo Gallinari. Former Grizzlies Darrell Arthur is also questionable for the game.
Things that need to happen
1) Grizzlies need to win the rebounding battle.
2) Kenneth Faried will have a field day with Jon Leuer, so Kosta Koufos or Jarnell Stokes need to be on Faried most of the game. Or even put Marc Gasol on him. Marc and Kosta should have plenty of time playing together tonight even though sometimes, I don’t like them on the floor together.
3) Grizzlies need to protect the 3 point line and not gamble on defense. Players need to play man to man and not leave shooters open for wide open threes. No help defense that causes shooters to be left open.
4) Marc Gasol should put up 30 points this game and take it to center, Timofey Mozgov. Marc needs to be aggressive and school Mozgov like he did against the Celtics, Kelly Olynyk back in November.
5) Mike Conley and Courtney Lee both need to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. It will be a long night for Grizzlies if Ty Lawson and Aaron Afflalo are allowed to score at will. Tony Allen, Nick Calathes and Tayshaun Prince (the man of many talents) may take turns guarding Lawson and Afflalo if need be. Even Jordan Adams may get playing time.
6) Bench production may be the difference between a win and a loss. The bench scored 47 points last night against the Lakers and may need to score even more points to secure the victory against the Nuggets.
7) Grizzlies need to protect the paint on the defensive in. Marc Gasol and Kosta Koufos both need to do a good job at protecting the rim. And the Grizzlies need to score more in the painted area on the offensive end. The team shouldn’t just settle for outside shots.
8) Beno needs to go BENO like he did against the Lakers. Grizzlies will need his offensive output yet again.
9) DO NOT LET NATE ROBINSON GET HOT AT ANY POINT!!
10) Watch out for Wilson Chandler, he’s capable of scoring at a high level.
This game will not be easy. But as of late, not many games have been easy for this team. It has been very hard to win in Denver, period. Even though the Nuggets are 13-20, the Grizzlies shouldn’t take this team lightly. This game may not be pretty, but it will definitely be gritty. Which Grizzlies team will show up tonight: a tired team who will use the back to back game as an excuse or a team who will play at a high level despite being tired? I know some say this is a scheduled loss but I don’t buy into scheduled losses. No one thought we would be 2-1 against the Spurs this season either!! Grind on Grizzlies!!