The Memphis Grizzlies won their 53rd game of the season following a 94-75 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Mike Conley led all scorers with 20 points and dished out seven assists. Zach Randolph had 11 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes. Memphis shot 47.6% from the field held the Bobcats to 37.5% shooting and 14% from three. Memphis remains the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 19 points and Gerald Henderson had 13 points. It wasn’t the production we’ve been expecting out of the Bobcats backcourt. Walker and Henderson combined for just two free throw attempts in 75 total minutes. Henderson went 6-16 from the field while Walker was 9-17. A big part of this backcourt’s success recently has been their ability to penetrate and get to the line. Credit the Grizzlies for limiting that part of their game tonight.
Bismack Biyombo collected 12 rebounds to lead the frontcourt. Biyombo also went 1-7 from the field. Josh McRoberts had eight points and eight rebounds, while shooting 3-11. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has six points and six rebounds. In short, it was another lackluster night from Charlotte’s dreaded frontcourt.
In the meeting earlier in the season between the two teams, Memphis was able to put a clamp on the Bobcats struggling offense. As we saw this past Friday against Miami, the Bobcats have not been too encouraging offensively when put in front of a quality NBA defense. Memphis is peaking at the right time with just 12 days until the postseason, while the Bobcats are still figuring out the same questions they had two and three months ago.
One of the main things to take away from today’s game is identity. Memphis is all about smash-mouth, in-your-face defense. They play as a team, they communicate and they don’t stop coming at you. The Bobcats are a young team, still searching for an identity. Whether it’s a team that’s going to go at you with smallball guards to run up the scoreboard, or a team that’s going to grind you into a half-court setting, the Bobcats need to pinpoint an identity. Doing so goes a long way in to how you construct your team. Memphis has structured their team around their defense and their big men, which has really helped turn around the franchise.