Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quick Road Recap: Grizzlies 112, Pistons 84

Posted By on Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Ed Davis is one of the Griz bench players who came up huge today in the Motor City.
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Ed Davis is one of the Griz bench players who came up huge today in the Motor City.

This will be brief because I'm working on a bigger piece for tomorrow morning breaking down the Grizzlies' last three road games, but I didn't want to let this afternoon pass without acknowledging the Grizzlies' dominating win over the Detroit Pistons this afternoon.

This afternoon's game—in addition to being a much-needed win in the Grizzlies' battle to stay afloat, putting the Grizzlies back up to only ("only") three games below .500 while waiting for Marc Gasol to return—was an important display of strength for the Grizzlies, whose starting lineup has been bad for several of the Grizzlies' recent games.

After starting fairly even (buoyed by Jon Leuer's 16 points in the first half), the Grizzlies trailed Detroit 56-51 at the half after closing out the second quarter allowing a large Detroit run through poor defensive execution—the same thing that torpedoed the Grizzlies Friday night in Denver.

I'm not sure what Dave Joerger and his staff told the team at halftime, but whatever it was, it worked, because the Grizzlies won the third quarter 28-11 and the fourth quarter 33-17, while Zach Randolph started going to town against Detroit's front line of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond (and Josh Smith, who played at the 4-spot for a while in the second half while Drummond sat for foul reasons), and pretty much everybody on the team started to get going.

The roll call of who did what:

Tayshaun Prince looked better than he's looked all year, and one has to hope (and reports seem to suggest) that it's not just because he was playing at the Palace of Auburn Hills again. If he's healthy and his play the last three games is an indicator of his true skill/ability level at this stage, that's a massive improvement for the Grizzlies over what he's been contributing.

Kosta Koufos had an excellent defensive game, causing problems for Monroe and Drummond on the blocks and fighting for rebounds on both ends of the court. He finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds, numbers which don't reflect his overall importance to the Grizzlies' effort.

Ed Davis was excellent, flying all over the place, finishing at the rim, with 17-11 in only 17 minutes. Jon Leuer had a great game, tying his career high of 23 points and grabbing 8 boards, playing a critical role in keeping the Griz afloat in the first half while Koufos sat with 4 fouls.

Internet punching bag Nick Calathes played prety solid basketball for 15 minutes, with 5 assists and 2 steals, only one turnover, and none of the wide-eyed Bambi-like panic he displayed when thrown to the wolves Friday late in the third quarter in Denver.

Overall, it was a good road win. I'll have more on the road trip tomorrow, and more on some of the trade rumors that are swirling around. For now, y'all stay warm during this cold snap.

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