Well, tonight was my first in-person experience with the Grizzlies so far this season.
Parking garage, enter the game, see the same ticket check attendant (a super nice and very cool lady, by the way) from last season at the entrance to my section.
The Grizz started with Darko/Marc G./RU-DEE/OJ/Conley. Pretty good lineup to start. Shot 67% for about the first seven or so minutes....the Grizz ended Q1 shooting around 38%. Thanks, bench. I'm going to preemptively apologize to Dr. Zack...but Lowry just stunk up the joint running the offense for several stretches tonight. It wasn't just what he did or didn't do, it was that no one seemed to anticipate teammates' positions or be able to get HQ shots while Kyle was running the offense. He was much better in the second half (when, by the way, he played with many of the same guys with whom he played in the first half), but Conley does seem to have a better cohesive effect on the offense. When Lowry came in, IIRC, it was 18-10 Grizz; at the end of Q1, it was 23-21 Pacers. On the plus side, all five Grizz starters scored in the first five minutes, with Rudy actually being the last of them to score. Three turns in the first 2.5 minutes, but only six the rest of the first half, and only four in the second half.
Now, on to the important part. This Mayo character. Saw him put his arm on Kyle's shoulder when Ivy said something Kyle didn't like (which seems to happen quite a bit.......), saw him do the same to Marc G. when he fumbled one. He's very, very unafraid to lead, and as much as Rudy and Conley are expected to lead the team...Mayo is going to move into that role as much as a rookie can.
AND SOMEONE NEEDED TO POUR SOME WATER ON OJ! HE WAS ON FIRE!!!!!!!
Nothing we won't see again, but goodness gracious, he was sure of himself. He had the green light and knew it, and it was awesome to watch. 10-17, 6-8 for three. Couple dumb mistakes with the ball, but overall his assets tonight FAR outweighed any liabilities.
Darko seemed to have his head in the game mostly, which was nice to see, but he and Gasol still made some concrete-handed messes on the inside tonight.
THE UNSTOPPABLE RASHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One should NEVER use that phrase, but it was that way tonight. He abused Marc Gasol in the first half, and had ten of the Pacers' first twelve points. That does NOT bode well for when the Grizzlies play against quick athletic centers (and oh, yes, there are a few of those, now aren't there).
And TJ Ford had his way with the Grizzlies' PG's in the first half as well, to the tune of 14 points in the half. Sure, he's quick, but not on an elite level. Again, that tells me that Tony Parker and the like can go ahead and pencil in about 30 against the Grizz.
I was surprised by how bad Hibbert wasn't-he has fair hands and is quick for a guy who is just huge.
Ok, enough about the enemy. Back to the Grizz. Hak had his first off game, but he had a HUGE three with the shot clock WAY down when the Pacers had begun to make inroads into the Grizzlies' lead. Quentin "I went 0-3 on a 3pt attempt freethrow trip" Ross made two really big buckets in Q4 also...nice that he made a couple when they really counted.
Rudy made several really nice shots, but I, like some others (right X??), am somewhat concerned that he seems to be able to "turn it on and off" at will. A player with his ability and talent should be unconsciously "on" ALL THE TIME. He had the highlight of the night on a one-armed drawback THROWDOWN on a putback. Amazing stuff.
One thought for the coaching staff:
DO NOT PLAY BUCKNER AND ROSS AT THE SAME TIME. PLEASE. It's as ugly as ugly can be on offense, and the Grizz can be ugly enough even with our offensive principals on the floor.
Oh, by the way, the Pacers didn't play Granger, Murphy, Daniels, or Dunleavy. Nice of them to give us this one.
Still a nice win, and a crowd that seemed much more into it than I thought they'd be. A nice surprise.
The above is the most sense I could make out of my completely scrambled chickenscratch of notes I took during the game..thanks Grizzlies for giving us a W tonight, preseason or not.
For the other side of things, check out the postgame comments from Indy Cornrows.