Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 3/23/13

When the Memphis Grizzlies dealt away their leading scorer, they were criticized for “giving up” on a season where they had a real chance. They responded by going 17-6 without Rudy Gay, and they have become even more of a contender in the last few weeks. Their recent success gets overshadowed by the current win streaks going on in the NBA. The Miami Heat, and to a lesser extent, the Denver Nuggets, are getting recognition as the hottest teams in the league right now, but Memphis should not be ignored. They are coming off a big overtime win last night against Oklahoma City, and are really responding to anyone who said they lost their shot when they let Gay go. "Everyone said, 'They're done; they're going to fall to the sixth, seven, eight seed,' " said Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph. "It got our motor pumping, and we dropped a few games. But then we started playing and getting our identity back, and the guys we brought in started getting comfortable. We got back to who we are." Whatever motivation they have, it is working. Memphis is currently in a three-way tie for the third seed in the West. The Grizzlies do not exactly “fit in” with the rest of the Western Conference playoff teams. The seven others all average more than 100 points per game, Memphis is not even close at 93.4. While other teams in the West seem to gravitate toward a high-paced, run-and-gun type of game, Memphis is slow and methodical, big and gritty. "This is us. Scrappy, grit'n'grind, hustling. We ain't fancy. We ain't running up and down the court throwing lobs and doing windmills," Randolph said. “We in the mud." The Grizzlies also lead the league in fewest points allowed per game. The question will be whether or not the old saying is true that “defense wins championships.” It is tough to give them the edge against the big contenders like San Antonio and Oklahoma City, but they are coming on strong at the right time, ready to make some noise. [follow]

This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbaugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker