Randolph had 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 29th double-double of the season earlier this week against the Phoenix Suns. In four games against Phoenix this season, Randolph averaged 24.5 points and 13.3 rebounds.
Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks, Randolph had 29 points and seven rebounds.
The problem is that the Grizzlies lost both games.
Ironically, the last time, the Grizzlies won, 85-76 against the Washington Wizards, Randolph had an off night with 3 of 10 shooting and seven points.
The way everything is going for the Grizzlies, Randolph needs his best night every night. Of course, that’s not going to happen. But based on the last two games, Randolph can’t afford to have too many off nights.
The Rudy Gay trade obviously means the team needs to regroup and refocus and go from there.
Randolph is contributing valuable minutes and his shooting percentage, 47.6 percent, is almost exactly at his career clip. He’s having a consistent season. But for the Grizzlies to be a factor in the Western conference during the playoffs, Randolph needs to be a leader, stay consistent, and play the best basketball of his life.
In the meantime the Grizzlies can’t afford to be losing games they should win. They’re probably not going to catch the San Antonio Spurs in the division. But they can still have a strong end to the season and a productive playoff swing. But they can’t rely on Zach Randolph alone.