Streaking Grizzlies Continue To Roll

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Perpetual doubt has a way of inspiring people.

It’s like rocket fuel for that gigantic chip on a team’s shoulder, a team like the Memphis Grizzlies.

You remember the Hang Time Grizzlies, don’t you? We’ve been shouting about them for years.

They’re the team many assumed was done for when All-Star power forward Zach Randolph went down with torn ligaments in his knee on New Year’s Day in a loss to the Bulls, he could miss as many as eight weeks.

But I remember the reaction of Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, one of our all-time faves here at the hideout, and his matter-of-fact demeanor about what his team was facing.

“That’s life,” Hollins said then. “You have to go and play. He’s not going to be here. We can’t worry about what ifs and what we should do to get him back. This is where we are.”

Where they are roughly three and a half weeks later is on a roll. They’ve won seven straight, including last night’s stunning 91-90 win over the Golden State Warriors — they trailed by 20 and with just over seven minutes to play before finishing on a 30-12 tear to steal the game, the first of a four-game road trip. (Next up is tonight’s visit to Portland, 10 p.m. ET on NBA TV)

The Grizzlies’ 9-3 record since Randolph went down is a testament to the work of Hollins and a supporting cast headlined by a healthy Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol (the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week), Mike Conley, Tony Allen and Sixth Man of the Year candidate O.J. Mayo.

After the way they’ve performed since last season, you’d think the doubters would find someone else to pick on. These Grizzlies remain a team to be reckoned with … just ask the Spurs or the Thunder. Surely, they would be able to tell the story of just how difficult a team this is to deal with — with or without its biggest star.

They’ve been smoking teams during their current run. The win over the Warriors is much more in Memphis’ style (from last season) as a team that thrived on the grit and grind of a rather motley crew of players that have come together quite nicely under Hollins.

“We showed what we’re made of,” Gay told reporters after the win last night. “We showed our toughness. There was a lot of yapping in the huddles. We went through a lot to get it.”

Would they have it any other way?

There is a toughness, an intestinal fortitude if you will, that’s been instilled and cultivated in this team that other young squads around the league wish they had.

Still, it should be noted that Gay, Gasol, Conley and Mayo are just about all on pace for their best all-around seasons. So as devastating as losing a player of Randolph’s caliber has to be, the rest of the Grizzlies’ core is either coming into or already into the primes of their careers.

Even with the loss of Randolph and the chatter about trade possibilities involving Mayo persisting, the Grizzlies’ narrow focus remains on climbing up the standings.

Sooner or later the doubters will figure that out and start showing them the respect they’ve earned!


  1. chonun says:

    the griizlies is my team since 2003. through ups ad downs ive seen them. this might be their best season so far if they play the same way the past 7 games. win or lose grizz for life.

    • The Grizzlies lack shooting. Strong interior defenses like the Thunder’s will be too much for them because of this. Only one player in their starting lineup(Conley) is a consistent threat from behind the arc. Gay hasn’t been very effective from that range, probably due to not being 100% healthy IMO, and they just won’t be able to get it done without better long distance shooting. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge proponent of the idea that superstars are not necessary to build a contender, which is part of the reason why I think the Nuggets might be the best team in the West, but the Grizzlies don’t have enough diversity on offense. If OKC, Portland or Denver packs the paint against them, they won’t have an answer on offense. One consistent shooter in the starting lineup is not enough, and while having Mayo on the floor certainly solves that problem, doigt that requires sitting the player who might be the best perimeter defender in the league. Also, there’s a very realistic chance that Randolph, coming off a serious injury, won’t be as dominant as he was in last season’s playoffs.

      I mention those three teams because they are capable of slowing Memphis’ offense(by packing the paint) when Mayo isn’t playing and taking advantage of their weakened defense when he is(he’s not a hole on defense, but OKC and DEN, have some excellent perimeter offense). I admire the Grizz for their resilience and toughness, but I don’t think they can be real contenders this season.

      I agree with you on the media though. Most of them think superstars win championships, when every year it is proved that complete teams, with or without superstars, are the ones who do.

  2. bowcheck says:

    The grizzlies are the most dangerous team in the west. Believe Memphis. We have Rudy Gay back along with Tony and Mike Conley to create oppurtunities, Mark Gasol filling his role amazingly unrecognized and you cannot cancel out his mid and long range shooting as he proved against the kings. He is not their best, one of their worst three point options but now teams will guard him to help space the floor. When Zach (I know him) Randolph gets back, we will space the floor even more because teams have to double team him when he gets going and he can find O.J. or conley or Rudy . Grizlies Going for the 1 or 2 spot in the west and they have a good chance. BELIEVE MEMPHIS. GO GRIZZ

  3. Ryan B says:

    The Grizzlies are a fantastic TEAM, perhaps the most complete team overall in all of basketball. They’ve got solid on defense, solid on offense, solid rebounding, and solid coaching. However, due to the fact that the majority of sports media wrongly worships superstars and not solid team play, and to the fact that the majority of people form their opinions and perceptions based almost solely on what the TV tells them to believe, the Grizzlies still only get marginally more respect than they did several seasons ago when they were losing and didn’t deserve much respect. Hopefully that will begin to change thanks to guys like Sekou. GO GRIZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. PC says:

    Last season, they were doubted DURING the season. Once the playoffs rolled around, my mind was blown and changed. This playoff run for Memphis Grizzles will be nice to watch. I’d very much like to see the Thunder-Grizzles playoff match up again. It was really intense and fun to see. Which team is better, I’d still say Thunder for now, but when Grizzles get Zach Randolph back, it’ll be a different story.

  5. Countess says:

    This is a great team! Enjoyed the game last night. Early on I was concerned because they looked sluggish, but I decided to keep watching because they have a history of overcoming hugh deficits. I’m glad I did. What a come back. “Grind Grizz” from beginning to end. I would like to see Sam Young on the floor more. Why isn’t he playing more? Come on now! What’s going on?
    Please work to keep Mayo. He is playing well, and working hard. We need his skills on the floor. I’m looking forward to great things from this team. Too bad about the intense schedule, but all teams are affected by this. The only criticism I have is that the team need to focus on blocking out the opponent first, and then rebounding the ball. Too many times, the opponent runs around a the player to get the rebound. This is too good of a defensive team to let this happen consistently. They have to work extra hard because of this. Practice this to make perfect! GO GRIZZ!

  6. Matthias says:

    Oooow i just found the NBA and therefor NBA.COM supports the pipa and sopa acts, get ready to go bankrupt Sekou this site won’t last that long anymore LOL dig your own graves idiots….. i now say goodbye to this gossip website

  7. uknoitsromaro says:

    The Grizzlies will be a recognized team, everybody worrying about the big market team and big name players but they are learning, GRIT AND GRIND is Memphis. I am confident we will make the playoffs, hopefully a run to the championship! GO GRIZZ!!!!

  8. Reginald says:

    Grizz are a LEGIT contender! Speights is filling in nicely for ZBo and when ZBo comes back, Speights will be GREAT off the bench for 20 minutes a night. Rudy looks like he has gotten his legs back and is in rhythm. Conley, Mayo, Gasol and Allen all know their roles and are playing with much confidence. As long as ZBo comes back healthy, the Grizz may be the most dangerous team in the West.

  9. ko0kiE says:

    I kinda like the grizzlies starting frontline… allen is a such a feisty defender and he was huge in absence of rudy gay during the playoffs.

  10. ZULU says:

    I still believe the NBA is more competitive overall. The quality of play across the board is better, the coaching across the leagues is better and it goes without saying the support mechanisms are of the highest order. Todays players deliver night in and night out. The Grizzlies will agin be in the hunt, Sekou, but ……

  11. prix says:

    The Grizzlies deserves the credit because of team plays and hardwork…but despite of everything at the end of the season they will finish most probably the last two spot of the conference and wont make the 2nd round if they got the upset on the 1st round which is quite a miracle to happen…they do have a great team but dont exactly have a consistent players…

  12. TiM says:

    The Grizzlies are a great young team with great future only thing I want from then is to not blow up this roster…I mean the rumours about dealing Mayo ’cause Mayo is the next Wade in a couple of years and I feel good for them now that Battier is gone…seriously last year they lose Game 7 ’cause Durant was getting past Battier with ease and 80% of his points came when Battier was guarding him and not Allen,Allen is the best defender on the perimeter…