Sunday, March 16, 2008

Postgame Thoughts: Memphis at Golden State 3.15.08

Well, the Grizzlies finally showed up for a full game, which was a nice change. Even though they got down by as much as 17 points, they were still within striking distance going into the last minute of the game. After a string of blowout losses, this was a very entertaining game for fans of both teams, although I'm sure Warriors' fans wanted an easier night after coming off a tough loss to Phoenix.

Let's take a quick look at how the Grizzlies did last night.

Mike Miller - I don't know what exactly it is, but Miller absolutely thrives when playing in Oracle Arena. He posted 19 pts, 13 reb and 6 ast in 38 minutes last night. His perimeter shot wasn't falling like it normally does (1/5), but he still managed to shoot over 50% from the field. He was also one of three Grizzlies to post a positive +/- rating on the night.

Kyle Lowry - I'll admit that I was absolutely dumbfounded when Kyle came out in the starting lineup alongside Mike Conley. But Kyle was a whirlwind of energy all night and kept Memphis in the game with his intensity and toughness. He had 5 assists and 5 steals with only 3 turnovers to go with his 12 points scored and was a big reason that the Grizzlies didn't just give up in the second half.

Hakim Warrick - Hak held his own against a bigger, stronger opponent while matched up with Andris Biedrins as he got the start at C with the foot injury that sidelined Darko Milicic. He led all scorers with 23 points and chipped in 7 boards, 1 assist and 3 steals as well.

Juan Carlos Navarro - JCN is a scorer. Last night he scored very efficiently, tallying 20 points on only 11 FG attempts. That's something everyone would love to see more of from the Spaniard.

Passing lane defense - The Grizzlies finished the game with 15 steals as the 6 players receiving the most playing time all recorded at least one. That's how you stay with a team that plays at a frenetic pace like the Warriors.

Rudy Gay - Even though he had a great night statistically (20 pts, 11 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk), you could tell that his hamstring injury was still bothering him as he didn't have his usual level of explosiveness. Hopefully, he won't push too hard and aggravate the injury.

Mike Conley - He looked like a rookie PG.....which is what he is. He struggled to cover the bigger Warriors he was matched up against on defense, but given what Baron and Monta have been doing to all opponents this year, I don't think that he played poorly at all.

Brian Cardinal - 8 points and 8 rebounds in under 18 minutes of PT?!?! Really? Maybe BC just wanted to remind Golden State fans what they were missing out on now that he is in Beale Street Blue. Yeah....I'm sure that's what it was.

3-point shooting - They shot 40% from beyond the arc (6/15), which ain't too shabby.

Assists - For the first time in a long time, half of their FG makes were assisted, as they recorded 20 assists on 40 made FG's.

They also kept the rebounding margin closer than expected (-3), won the turnover battle (+6) and even took (and hit!) more FT's than their opponent (21/29 to 18/26). In short, they did everything right except come away with the win. That should be a big positive for this young team and will hopefully lead to better play for the rest of the regular season.

BallHype: hype it up!

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