Found January 26, 2012 on Race Review Online:


altThe Memphis Grizzlies completed a stretch of four games in five nights with a loss to the Portland Trailblazers, which ended their seven game winning streak.    

Before the Blazers game the Grizz played a thriller in Golden State.  They came back from an 18 point fourth quarter deficit to win in the last minute 91-90.  It wasn't looking too good for the Grizz, that game was the start of a four game road trip, and it would not have been a good way to start the West Coast swing by losing to the Warriors.   The Warriors came out hot, hitting 18 of 27 first half shots, four of seven from three, but the fourth quarter was when they finally started to miss and Memphis turned up the defense, and took advantage.  The Grizz forced eight turnovers, got 15 fastbreak points, and scored 39 points in that miraculous fourth quarter comeback. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, they couldn't duplicate that performance from the previous nights game, and lost to the Blazers.   Before the loss at Portland, Memphis had been the hottest team in the league, but they fell victim to what we I call a "lockout loss."  A "lockout loss" can be explained as a team playing poorly, or out of character due to the craziness of the condensed schedule.  And that is what happened to the Grizz on Tuesday night.  They came out flat on the offensive end shooting way too many jumpers, most of which fell short, and they only went to the free throw line twice in the first half.  The starters combined to shoot 15-51 and were outplayed by the Blazers starters.  Memphis's bench was the only bright spot, everyone who played off of the bench had a positive or even plus/minus for the game.  Basically the starters were running on fumes, and you can't blame them when they have to deal with such a wicked schedule. This season has been shortened by about six weeks, which is 72% of the season, but the teams are playing 66 of the 82 games, which is 80% of the regular schedule.  So there a lot of teams that will lose due to the strains of the schedule.  The bad news for the Grizzlies is that they have had to deal with the loss of Zach Randolph, make due without Mike Conley for three games due to injury, and had to wait out Hamed Haddadi's visa issue, as well as work carefully around the condensed schedule. If you don't include the 28 seconds of game time that Conley played before getting hurt versus Oklahoma City, then him, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol are all in the top 22 in the league in minutes played.  Only the Bulls, Lakers, Heat, Rockets, and Warriors have even two players in the top 25, and no one has three in the top 25 except for the Grizzlies.  I think it's safe to say they need some rest. The Grizzlies are not the first team, and they will not be the last team, to lose a game due to tired legs this season, but it does help that their first "lockout loss" came against a good opponent.  You don't want to have to sacrifice losses to lesser teams due to dead legs.   It should not come as a surprise to anyone that the Owner/Genius Mark Cuban has found a way to minimize possible "lockout losses".  Dallas is sitting Dirk Nowitzki for four games because of "conditioning" issues, in the four games that Dirk will be sidelined the Mavs play at New Orleans, then home for Phoenix, Minnesota, and Utah.  That's not exactly a "Murder's Row" of teams.  And don't be surprised to see Dallas do this again later in the season when they play at Phoenix, at Sacramento,  at Golden State, home for Washington and Charlotte, that's five games in eight nights versus lesser teams.  The question is, when will we see other teams employ this "conditioning" method? Coming into this season you expected to see some of the older teams (Lakers, Spurs, Boston, etc.) rest key players for a few games here and there to save their energy, but now that the season has started no one, besides Dallas, has actually rested players.  Even though this season is tough, it is still shortened so there is less room for error, and you don't have as much time to make up losses. The Thunder, Heat, and Bulls were most experts choice to win the championship mainly because they are all young, talented and have depth.  Teams like these weren't expected to be bothered by the wacky season.  The perception was you needed depth and young talent to make it through the rigors of a tough schedule, but the Heat have lost Wade because of injury, the Bulls have lost Rose because of injury, and the Thunder lost Eric Maynor for the season due to an ACL tear.  So if the young teams can't stay healthy, and the old teams are, well, old, who really has the best chance of making it through to the end?   We all knew this NBA season was going to be crazy, and it doesn't appear as if the championship will be won on talent alone.  This seasons eventual champ will be the team that manages the schedule the best, has the least amount of injuries come playoffs,  and has the best strategy for avoiding the "lockout loss".  Please follow me on Twitter @rmarbury

The Starting Lineup: Rudy Gay Has Been Dunking A Lot Lately

I think Rudy Gay must have had his arm replaced with a bionic one when they did that surgery.  Gay had two more dunks in a loss to the Blazers last night, putting him at 35 on the season, which is good enough for fourth in the league (#1 by a long shot if big men aren’t included).  Through the 54 games he played last season Rudy racked up 62 dunks.  That’s almost double this...

L.A. Stars Defeat Memphis Tams...Err Clips Over Griz 98-91. Where Was The Red, White & Blue Basketball?

The Los Angeles Stars and the Memphis Tams (aka L.A. Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies) mixed it up at the Staples Center in an ABA battle (The league died in 1976). The Stars won it 98-91.Those of us at the OSG HQ wonder where was the red, white and blue basketball?Here are the highlights and the ABA fashion show too. (Thanks in our research we could not find any footage...

Video: Rudy Gay with two dunks in 12 seconds or less

In our game recaps you could see the video of Rudy Gay‘s windmill dunk during the Grizzlies loss to Portland Tuesday night. But really, you need to see the play before the play to appreciate it. So enjoy Gay getting some dunking practice. Via The Basketball Jones.

Grizzlies to celebrate Hardwood Classics Month

MEMPHIS, January 26, 2012 — The Grizzlies, along with the NBA and adidas, will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the American Basketball Association’s (ABA) founding with a series of games during NBA Hardwood Classics Month. They will wear uniforms to commemorate the Mid-South’s tenure in the ABA when they were known as the Memphis Tams (acronym standing for Tennessee...

Rudy Gay Gives us Two Nasty Dunks in 10 Seconds

Rudy Gay looks healthy. He throws down over Raymond Felton on a fast break, then gets it back and windmills on the next play. Click here to view the embedded video. Article found on: Cosby Sweaters

Portland Trailblazers 97, Memphis Grizzlies 84

The Grizzlies only shot 37.8% from the floor last night and they were outrebounded 50-39 by the Blazers and those are the big reasons for the loss.  O.J. Mayo led the way for the Grizzlies in this game with 20 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in 28 minutes on the floor.  Rudy Gay (11 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot), Tony Allen (8 points, 4 rebounds...

Memphis Grizzlies 128, Sacramento Kings 95

The Grizzlies shot 54.3% from the floor and they outrebounded the Kings 51-38 in last Saturday Night’s blowout win.  Rudy Gay (23 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 1 blocked shot), Mike Conley (22 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals), O.J. Mayo (22 points, 3 assists and 1 steal) and Marc Gasol (20 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 6 blocked shots) led...

Grizzlies exercise contract option for Pondexter

The Memphis Grizzlies exercised the third-year contract option on swingman Quincy Pondexter Tuesday, keeping him on the team through the 2012-13 season.

Tired Grizzlies see 7-game win streak come to end at Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Grizzlies awoke Tuesday morning as the hottest team in the NBA because they hadn't...

Grizzlies pick up option on Pondexter (AP)

The Memphis Grizzlies have picked up the third-year option on Quincy Pondexter's contract, guaranteeing his deal through the 2012-13 season. The Grizzlies announced the move Tuesday. The guard-forward has averaged 4.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 14.9 minutes since Memphis acquired the 6-foot-6 Pondexter from New Orleans on Dec.
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