Mayo, Grizzlies Get Back On Their Grind





HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – That’s more like it.

What we saw from the Memphis Grizzlies in their Game 2 win over the Los Angeles Clippers is the Grind House style their fans have become accustomed to and playoff fans everywhere demand from the grimiest team in the league.

They pushed the Clippers around again last night, but they didn’t let up this time (making sure they did not repeat their sins from Sunday night’s epic Game 1 failure) and evened their series at 1-1.

A little inspiration always helps. And Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins provided exactly that before the game. More from Ronald Tillery of the Comercial Appeal:

With their leader wearing the championship ring he won as a member of the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers, the Grizzlies delivered an inspired performance — this time, over four quarters — and left with a 105-98 Game 2 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night in FedExForum.

Hollins said he simply found the ring after misplacing it and wore the piece of jewelry with no intent to send a message. But players noticed.

“He did it (won a title) in his second year,” Griz guard O.J. Mayo said. “Why can’t we?”

Either way, Memphis evened its Western Conference first-round playoff matchup at 1-1. The best-of-seven series resumes Saturday for Game 3 in the Staples Center.

“We had great focus from start to finish,” Griz guard Tony Allen said. “They (the Clippers) came in here and took care of business. We just need to have that same mentality on the road.”

After blowing a 27-point lead in Game 1, the Griz knew they couldn’t afford to go down 0-2 with at least two road games in front of them. Instead of tightening up in the fourth quarter like they did Sunday, the Griz were the aggressors.

They dove on the court, increased defensive pressure on Clippers point man Chris Paul and made clutch baskets.

No one made more of those clutch baskets than Mayo, whose work off the bench last night showcased all of things Mayo is capable of as one of the true sixth-man game-changers in these playoffs (along with James Harden, Louis Williams and Jason Terry).

Mayo scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, took the challenge of trying to lock down Paul on the defensive end and played with the kind of energy and understanding of the moment that Hollins has demanded from him since taking over the team.

Mayo’s a triple threat offensively. He can not only shoot from distance, but has a polished mid-range game and is strong enough and athletic enough to finish at the rim in traffic against bigs. Sure, his shot selection is suspect at times, but what sixth man isn’t known for launching an ill-advised shot here and there?

Toss in the fact that Mayo is a good enough defender to guard point guards, shooting guards and plenty of the league’s starting small forwards, and you have a player capable of impacting games in ways that a select few reserves can. He was all over Paul defensively in the fourth quarter, challenging one of the league’s premier crunch time performers every step of the way.

Even more impressive from Mayo, who is averaging 18.5 points in the series, is that shouldered the blame for the Grizzlies surrendering that big Game 1 lead. He made sure it didn’t happen again and kept the Grizzlies from going to Los Angeles with a chance to steal home court advantage back.


32 Comments

  1. BLAKE WHO? says:

    CP3 AND Blake?!? Blake is basically a role player like the rest of the clippers with specialty on dunking nothing more,he cant even shoot open jumpers or post up.

  2. NBA Benj says:

    Griz fans wait til the series end before celebrating. Your so called super team is basically playing against 2 players(CP3 and Blake) and a bunch of role players and let that team stole one game from you. So much for that super team, I guess….

  3. Cardoso says:

    can the grizz fans at least wait to win one road game before saying things like “we will win the west and blah blah” gosh you blew a 27 point lead in a home game!!!! guess what teams that win the west doesn’t do that so chill out and at least beat the clippers before saying things like that

  4. deathdemented says:

    Nice win for the griz… hoping the lakers meet them in the conference finals at the most… not sure bout the match ups if that could happen though… :)

  5. Rob says:

    AAAAA

  6. god says:

    Zach Randolph is just starting to get going to. He just has to shake that rust off.

  7. Countess says:

    CP3 is a bad boy, but he can’t do it on his own. They were clearly overmatched; out rebounded because the Grizz have a bigger front line. Z-Bo is a master at getting the inside position, and Speights ain’t bad. I agree that this team could possible win the west depending on if they continue to play Grizzlies ball or not. Along with their playing style and Coach Hollins smarts for the game, they can go all the way. Remember what they did last year? We have a better team this year. There only true competition should be the Spurs this year, since they have added some peices that I think makes them better, plus a healthy Duncan and Ginobili. The Thunder will be a challenge, but I believe the Spurs will be a bigger challenge. People keep saying this is not a 3-point shooting team. Although 3-point shooting is not what the Grizz are build of, they can shoot the 3 ball. I have been impressed with how they have gotten in the gym and worked in this area. I can see the improvement. I saw the improvement around mid season. If it comes down to it and we have to open up the middle a bit, we got some gunners who can make it happen.

  8. NO CHANCE says:

    Clippers aint goin nowhere this year,without butler and billups they r just a team full of role and bench players led by chris paul.

  9. Snap says:

    well, with such a difference in fouls, no wonder they won… grizzlies sht from the foul line almost twice more… almost 20 shots only in 4th quater… and I woulnd’t say that clipps were commiting twice more fouls looking at the game… it just the calls went one way… grizzlies were in bonus 6 minutes into 4th quarter

    • Craig says:

      Thanx for your comment Snap…I’ have been a Clipper fan since 1999. I spoke to my brother after the game becuase I wanted an objective viewpoint form someone else other than me. Hopefully we were watching the same game. The refs put their whistles in their back pockets in that game. All the contact calls in that game. I know about home court advantage and physical play in the playoffs. They beat up the whole team last nite. I honestly think that if the game was called properly Gasol, Speights & Zbo would have fouled out. They were butchers the entire game. Mayo was even clubbing Paul out front. Reaching, over the back. They called nothing in the 4th qtr. Hust like snap said. I saw the free throw disparity and it was depressing. 17 to like 4 free throws. You kidding me !!!!!

      The refs gave the Grizzlies that game and it was evident both times I saw Conley blowing a sigh of relief in the last 4 minutes. They knnow that game was called lopsided in their favor. The league must really want a 7 game series. Not surprised !!! it’s the NBA it’s entertainment right Snap

    • kobe says:

      stop crying about the refs…clips lost cause they had 21 turnovers…which memphis turned into 25 points..maybe u havent watched alot of playoff bball but the team thats more aggressive gets the calls ..playoff bball the refs lets u bang…lucky clips won game 1 ….should be 2-0 grizzles

    • Jizzo says:

      When the clippers have to foul 10 times in the last two minutes to conserve time..things like that tend to happen

  10. B. Sack says:

    The Clippers are pretty good, but they blow

  11. Kh says:

    Clippers will win the series anyway

  12. forkbrace1 says:

    Coach Hollins a magician. He should have gotten NBA coach of the year. I honestly believe the Memphis Grizzlies can go all the way!

  13. god says:

    I love everything about this team.

  14. Roy says:

    The west better watch out. This could be the team representing the West in the NBA finals. They have an amazing post with Randolph and Gasol. Great defending guards in Mayo, Tony Allen, and Conley. Great team defense. And the scoring presence in Rudy, Randolph and Mayo. And a solid bench. This team is far more dangerous than people think, they could beat the Spurs, Lakers, and Thunder in a 7 game series.

  15. slider821 says:

    That kid’s face in the screenshot of the video at the top of the page is great!

  16. LetitGrind says:

    No matter what the outcome is for the grizzlies these playoffs, they need to re-sign Mayo to a long term contract. He is a starter on any team and can easily put up 20+ each game. He is only getting better

  17. Meshal Al-Harbi says:

    Meow.