Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cutting Down the Nets

Yep. You read that right. The Grizzlies swept a season series against an NBA team. They couldn't do that against the Spanish league teams they played in the preseason. The couldn't do that against the Seattle Supersonics. They didn't do that against anyone last season but the Grizzlies completed their season series with the New Jersey Nets undefeated and the Nets are possibly a playoff team this season.

Okay the Nets are only a playoff contender because they play in the pathetic Eastern Conference making them more pretenders than contenders but the fact is they were in 8th place in the East heading into this game.

The Grizzlies ended their longest losing streak since the team began their 2nd season in Memphis 0-13. The Grizzlies won their 2nd game since the Gasol trade was announced making their record 2-11 since that fateful day. To put that in context the Grizzlies were 4-9 to start the season with Gasol and two of those victories were against Seattle. Not coincidently Mike Miller returned to the lineup tonight and looked extremely good. Mike only played 30 minutes as he eases himself back into game shape but he made the most of those minutes. Shooting 9-13 and scoring 22 pts with 6 rebounds, Mike looked in mid-season shape when he was on the court.

The other Mike had a difficult night, supporting the idea that he has indeed hit the rookie wall (or is just tired mentally and physically) but Kyle Lowry was on top of his game. In 35 minutes Kyle scored 15 points, dished out 7 assists and played solid the entire night wrecking havoc on many occassions with his quick hands.

The Grizzlies were led early by Darko Milicic who followed up his 21 pt, 7 rebound game in Chicago with a double double scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Rudy Gay was off offensively (probably thanks to the fine defense played by Richard Jefferson) but grabbed 10 boards and dished out 5 assists to go with his 13 points. Hakim Warrick was his usual offensive force who shook off a tough night against Chicago to score a team leading 25 points to go with 7 boards.

The big story tonight was the defense. The Grizzlies held New Jersey to a horrible shooting second half surrendering only 40 points. A switch to zone defense late forced New Jersey to settle for long range shots which are difficult to hit on the second game of a back to back series. Memphis also held Vince Carter to a quiet 12 points and he was actually heard to say "I'm ready to get out of here" midway through the 4th quarter. Shocking to think that VC would consider quitting on his team against a bad team while the Nets are fighting to reach the playoffs (that is satire by the way).

It felt great for the Grizzlies to get back into the win column. Sweeping the Nets was just icing on the cake.

Other Reviews:
Commercial Appeal
New York Post
Newark Star Ledger
Washington Post

BallHype: hype it up!


hbt said...

I'm interested in hearing about how Darko's play has been. His stats have been pretty strong, but what is he doing? No way he's doing this with the hook, right?

ChipC3 said...

Darko has been down right close to dominant against Josh Boone, Joakim Noah and Shaquille O'Neal and he is not doing it only with his hook. He has been dunking, hitting J's and basically playing like he wants to be on the court.

Was Wednesday a Serbian holiday? Kristic also had a very nice game and no one on either team could stop Nenad and Darko in the first half except the refs.

Darko is really playing well right now. A continuation on these performances may change a lot of people's attitude about the direction of this team.

hbt said...

thanks for responding. i like to hear it.

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