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The Grizzlies beat the Hornets

Published: February 10, 2009

Tough game in Memphis tonight. In pretty much every way we had no business winning it — missing Paul, West and Chandler, on the road, segababa, getting out-rebounded by billions and missing more shots than we took — and yet it stings because we were right there and couldn’t come away with the win.

I won’t come away from this one mad though, since the Hornets gave themselves a chance to win despite all the odds being against them.


  • Our biggest problem tonight was rebounding. 64-38 was the advantage for Memphis on the boards. We might have shot just 29.5 percent from the field (a franchise low for a game, btw), but the Grizzlies weren’t much better at 36.4 percent. The difference was all those extra possessions we gave up. In 40 minutes of combined action, the trio of Bowen, Armstrong and Ely had just 4 boards between them. Meanwhile, Devin Brown led the team with 9 boards. That’s our third string point guard, folks.
  • Speaking of Devin, he, like everyone else, had a real rough night shooting the ball, knocking down just 2-of-13 from the field. But I can’t be mad at him because at least he was taking the ball to the rim. We shot 21-of-22 from the free throw line and several times we were able to creep back into the game from the stripe. Smart to try get back there as often as possible but credit Memphis with some good interior defense down the stretch.
  • Peja was asked to carry a monster load on offense but there was only so much he could do. 23 points on 7-of-22 shooting. I believe he missed his last 8 shots and didn’t have a field goal in the fourth quarter.

  • Rasual Butler was way off. 3-of-17 from the field for 8 points. That little step-back J he has off the dribble wasn’t working for him and he rarely got a clean look from three. Credit the Memphis D again.
  • Julian Wright was a bright spot. At last he had a game where he didn’t try to force anything. I can scarcely remember him even taking a dribble. The result was some nice off-the-ball movement, three jams and a few nice hustle plays.
  • Byron’s done a nice job lately despite having very little talent to work with. I just really wish he’d put Sean Marks in the game down the stretch. In the final minute we kept getting stops but Memphis kept getting rebounds, usually Marc Gasol just grabbing the ball above the outstretched arms of James Posey. The unit we had out there at crunch time was Posey, JuJu, Peja, Butler and Daniels. Not gonna grab many rebounds with those guys on the floor.
  • During a break in the game CST showed footage of Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler doing some running drills before the game. Both looked well on their way to recovery. CP was also shown knocking down some triples with his usual shooting form. I’m guessing both those guys could play on Wednesday, but it’s a nasty game for a comeback and it might be wise to hold them out until after the All-Star break.
  • We probably would have won that game if David West had been playing. I hope he realizes that.
  • Numbers: Grizzlies 42-28 advantage in points in the paint, 20-7 advantage in fastbreak points. They had 17 turnovers to our 7, which is real good for us without CP.
  • Glass half full: We’re still fifth in the Western Conference standings (just a half game behind the Blazers) despite having lost five of our past seven games. Glass half empty: Ninth-place Utah are just 2.5 games behind us.

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