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]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Robert Griffin III on QB battle: Only one of us runs 4.3

Gordon defends friendship with 'good friend' Manziel

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Report: Chargers rookie Joey Bosa to hold out of camp

Doc Rivers blames ‘bloggers’ for Blake Griffin trade rumors

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

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

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

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