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Grizzlies avenge triple-overtime loss from Friday, defeat Suns 109-99
Posted By Jacob Wells On Nov 9 2010 @ 1:53 pm In Memphis Grizzlies | No Comments
Days after suffering a heartbreaking triple-overtime loss in Phoenix the Memphis Grizzlies needed only regulation to defeat the Suns.
The Griz were lead by forward Zach Randolph  who posted 23 points and 20 rebounds. Memphis is now 4-4 overall with a 2-1 record at The FedEx Forum.
Rudy Gay  added 22 points and eight rebounds in the win. Phoenix falls to 3-4 on the young NBA season.
Randolph’s double-double was the fifth 20-20 type of his career.
Rebounding and defense were the keys to victory for Memphis who stole the ball 12 times from visiting Phoenix and forced 23 turnovers. The Grizzlies are the best in the NBA in theft, averaging 12.6 steals per game .
The Grizzlies also overcame Friday night’s poor free-throw shooting to shoot 85.7% as a team, going 24-28 from the foul line.
Rookie Xavier Henry  finally found his touch, scoring 14 points off the bench for Memphis. O.J. Mayo  and Mike Conley  both added 16 points while Marc Gasol  finished with 10 points and eight boards.
So now that we have looked at the box score  let’s evaluate the team so far in the season. In just four games the Grizzlies have gone from what looked like a certain lottery pick-bound season to possible playoff contenders. It is still early, but this team has the talent, at least in the starting five, to make some noise.
The biggest concern for Memphis right now, same as last season, is the bench production. Last season the starters logged almost all the minutes and that trend seems to be continuing this season.
That is never good news considering how long the NBA season is and how physical the game itself is. Consider Gasol’s shoulder injury last season. It came at a bad time (when the Griz were trying to make a playoff push) and he rushed back too early. I like the competitive fire, but let’s think long-term here guys.
It helps that Darrell Arthur  is playing much better this season after sitting out 56 games last season due to injury. He is rebounding well and making shots. He only had two points and two rebounds last night, but he was able to play 20 minutes. That allowed Gasol to only play 28 minutes. Little things like that add up throughout the year.
While that is a positive, there is a much larger negative. Only four Grizzlies came off the bench last night. Four. That means they played a nine-man rotation. This was not due to injury, all coach’s decisions.
Not to mention Randolph needed 41 minutes to post his huge numbers.
Sam Young  only played 9 minutes off the bench. He was the best player from that position last year and he had a great summer league. One can only wonder what has landed him in coach Lionel Hollins ‘ doghouse.
Somehow Acie Law  made the roster this season and played only 12 minutes against the Suns while Henry played 25.
It is always nice to get wins, but the bench situation must improve for this team to have any hope of a playoff birth this season.
The Grizzlies will next play host to the 4-2 Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
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URL to article: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2010/11/09/grizzlies-avenge-triple-overtime-loss-from-friday-defeat-suns-109-99/
URLs in this post:
 Zach Randolph: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=zach+randolph
 Rudy Gay: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=Rudy+Gay
 Grant Hill: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=grant+hill
 Steve Nash: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=steve+nash
 averaging 12.6 steals per game: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=301108029
 Xavier Henry: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=xavier+henry
 O.J. Mayo: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=O.J.+Mayo
 Mike Conley: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=mike+conley
 Marc Gasol: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=marc+gasol
 box score: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=301108029
 Darrell Arthur: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=darrell+arthur
 Sam Young: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=sam+young
 Lionel Hollins: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=lionel+hollins
 Acie Law: http://www.nba.com/search/?text=acie+law
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