Grizzlies ready for a grind
On the night Steph Curry was handed the NBA MVP award, the Memphis Grizzlies found their own MVP, and his name is Mike Conley. After getting beat by 15 in Game 1 without Conley, the gutsy Grizzlies point guard returned from multiple face fractures suffered just ten days prior against Portland and led his team to a 97-90 game two victory in Oakland. Before Tuesday night, the Warriors had not lost at home since January 27th. They lost on that night to the Bulls by two in OT. The only other loss all season at home for Golden State was to San Antonio way back on November 11th.
Photo: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports
Mike Conley returned wearing his mask and cape to give the Grizzlies 27 big minutes. He shot 8-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-6 from downtown, and scored 22 points leading the Grizzlies to one of the biggest road wins in franchise history. So while the home crowd was celebrating their MVP before the game, once the game started it was Conley who played like the MVP and most important player on the court. It was not only Conley’s heroics coming back from multiple face fractures and leading the team in scoring, it was his gutsy defensive performance that made the biggest difference. He chased Steph Curry around all night and did his best to make sure a hand was in his face at all times. Steph did score 19 points but had a very off night by Steph Curry standards. He shot 7-of-19 from the field and 2-of-11 from beyond the arc.
Both teams were even in points-in-the-paint with 42, but where the Grizzlies won the game was holding the leagues best 3-point shooting team to 6-of-26 from downtown. They also forced Golden State into 20 turnovers. The Grizzlies did not have the best shooting night themselves going 37-of-83 but they won the game doing what the Grizzlies do, grit and grind and find a way. They had as many steals as they did turnovers and hit 18-of-20 free throws. One of the best efforts of the night went to Tony Allen for his defense on Klay Thompson. Outside of Mike Conley returning and playing like a superhero, it was Klay Thompson’s inability to leave his mark on the game that led to the Grizzlies seven point win. Thompson was 6-of-15 from the field and only 1-of-6 from beyond the arc.
So the series now shifts to the Grind House in Memphis where the Grizzlies have only lost five times since the All-Star break and the last time was back on April 4th. Memphis has had big home playoff games in recent memory…the series last year with Oklahoma City, the L.A. Clippers series that ended in a Game 7 on Mothers Day with the home crowd leaving in heartbreak, and of course, the San Antonio series from 2011 when the Grizzlies knocked off the #1 seed Spurs as the #8 seed in Game 6 for their first series win in franchise history. But the Grizzlies have an opportunity on Saturday to create what could be the most important home game in franchise history. No one expected this series to get to a sixth game but if Memphis can win on Saturday, the series is guaranteed to at least get to Game 6 in Memphis next Friday night. Unless of course the Grizzlies want to go ahead and close it out in five games. The last time the newly crowned NBA MVP was in the Grind House, he hit 8-of-12 three’s scoring 38 points and added ten assists. On that night, Golden State hit 16-of-31 three’s. The Warriors won that game on March 27th 107-84.
Do the Grizzlies have a chance to win this series over #1 seed Golden State? We want to hear from you. Leave your comments on this series below.
Brandon covers the NBA & Memphis Grizzlies for MyFantasySportsTalk.Com, you can follow him on Twitter @New_Breidhttps://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/grizzlies-ready-grind/AnalysisBasketballNBA#Grizzlies,#MVP,#Warriors,Golden State,Grind House,Klay Thompson,Memphis,Mike Conley,NBA,NBA Playoffs,Steph Curry,Tony AllenOn the night Steph Curry was handed the NBA MVP award, the Memphis Grizzlies found their own MVP, and his name is Mike Conley. After getting beat by 15 in Game 1 without Conley, the gutsy Grizzlies point guard returned from multiple face fractures suffered just ten days prior...Brandon ReidBrandon Reidbrandon.firstname.lastname@example.orgEditorBrandon Reid is a TV producer and broadcaster for a community channel based in Jonesboro Arkansas. He is from Memphis and graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. He loves the Memphis Tigers, Grizzlies, Titans and Arkansas State Red Wolves. “I promise to bring information, insight and strong opinion...let the debate begin.” You can follow Brandon on Twitter @New_BreidMyFantasySportsTalk