Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Feed: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder [11/14/12]


The Memphis Grizzlies took out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 107 to 97 for their sixth consecutive win in the season. I hate to do this early in the season, but I am going tell you right now that the Memphis Grizzlies are a force to be reckoned with. The rest of the league can not let them fly under their radar, because this healthy Grizzlies team will make you work if you want to come out top.

OKC had Memphis on ropes in beginning, going off for 30 points in the first quarter, shooting 53 percent from the field. Fueled by the notoriously loud crowd in the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Thunder held the Grizzles to only 33 percent from the field in that quarter. However, everything changed in the second.

The Grizzlies retaliated in the second quarter, outscoring the Thunder 36 to 15. The Memphis bench sparked a 16-6 run, completely dominating their opponent's second unit on both ends on the floor (The Memphis bench finished with 31 points to OKC's 13). Oklahoma City did not do themselves any favors, coughing up 8 turnovers (15 total) to contribute to a lead that they would never return from.

They had no answers for Rudy Gay, who went for 28 points (12 of 21 shooting), 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Zach Randolph added 20 points and 8 rebounds. The Grizzlies got help from everyone on the team, they were certainly not short on fire power tonight.

Kevin Durant (34 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks) had to carry his team, with the exception of Serge Ibaka (17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks), nobody could find points in the second half. Russell Westbrook did not have a good night, 17 points on 6 of 19 shooting, and a surprising 13 assists. The Thunder made late runs down the stretch, but Memphis's ability to repeatedly disrupt any slight momentum shifts held off OKC charge.

Offensive End:

Rudy Gay killed Thabo Safolosha, the height difference alone, allowed Rudy to take any shot he wanted. The Memphis post up game could not be contained, combined with their unselfish ball movement, the Grizzlies got a lot of open shots.

Both teams were great in transition, neither were stoppable.

If Kevin Durant decides to score the basketball, no one can stop him. Besides the usual high pick and roll, dribble penetration, drawing attention with stars to kick out, the only thing that stood out in the Thunder's offense was Ibaka's 15 foot jumper, with Zach consistently helping in the interior, Serge had the free pass all game.

Defensive End:

Serge Ibaka's timing is impecacble, he can block anything. His help defense threw the Memphis bigs off in the beginning, they had to do a triple pump fake just to shake him off.

Memphis did the little things to force those 15 turnovers. Marc Gasol drew so many charges in this game, he fell down in just about every other play. The size of the Grizzlies bothered Russell Westbrook. He never managed to get past that wall, it tuned him out of his driving game.

  • Z-Bo and Kendrick Perkins got thrown out for what seemed to be some trash talking. Allegedly there were scuffle between them after the game that involved police investigation. It was confirmed later that there weren't actually any police involved. That is all according to twitter, so I don't really know what went down.

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