Since Marc Gasol returned to the Memphis Grizzlies on January 14, the Grizzlies are allowing only 84.5 PPG, an NBA best. In that span, the Grizzlies have wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets – not once, but twice in a home-and-home back-to-back – and the Portland Trail Blazers, all of which are playoff teams.
Just to put it into perspective, in that same time frame, the Chicago Bulls are the second-best team, holding their opponents to 92.7 PPG, which is 8.2 PPG higher than the Grizzlies.
On Wednesday night, the Grizzlies faced a familiar foe, the Sacramento Kings, having already played them twice and won both meetings. The Grizzlies were able to hand the Kings another home loss, defeating them 99-89. It was a sentimental win for Mike Conley, breaking Rudy Gay’s record for most games played as a Grizzlies player (480). Coincidentally, Gay was playing opposite the Grizzlies, scoring 23 points.
It seems as though the Grizzlies have found their confidence. They are back to playing what many Memphians would call Grit ‘n Grind basketball. Of course, the contribution of Gasol has helped tremendously. Not only are the Grizzlies the best in the league in points allowed, but also they are now 7-1 since Gasol’s return.
Not only have the Grizzlies worked their way back into the playoff picture, but they are only a couple games behind the sixth-place Golden State Warriors. With the second half of the season underway, the Grizzlies are in playoff form and hoping to create some havoc in the postseason.