On Wednesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies ousted 99-93 the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 earning a better spot in the West semifinals and leading the series 4-1.
The Grizzlies are currently uber happy for having a little time off before this Sunday’s encounter with the Golden State Warriors. Gasol announced that he would do some things around the house and spend some quality time with his little baby girl.
On Sunday, the team is expected to face the Warriors in Game 1 for the third time in five years. Vince Carter, 38, said that veterans like himself would use the pause to recharge batteries before the next series, which is expected to be a tough one.
The Warriors also have a 7-day layoff after they have defeated the New Orleans Pelicans and marked a record of 67 games. Their best assets are Stephen Curry, an MVP hopeful, and the NBA’s best defense. This season Golden State led Memphis 2-1.
Memphis managed to overcome Portland even though Mike Conley could not play as he was recovering from a serious face injury. He had skipped another game as he needed to undergo a surgery to repair some of the broken bones close to his left eye.
He watched closely his team’s performance on Wednesday night and was seen near the bench when the game was over. On April 13, he missed a game against Golden State due to a sprained ankle.
However, Memphis tried to replace his defensive skills and scoring ability by taking Udrich off the bench and having high hopes for Nick Calathes. But the new formation were severely challenged by Portland’s 3-point shooters or Damian Lillard’s aggressive play.
Grizzlies’ coach acknowledged that the team had to stage “on-the-fly adjustments.”
Other teammates tried really hard to make up for Conley’s absence. Courtney Lee finished the game with 20 points and Zach Randolph had 16. Green helped also with his 10 points.
Yet, Portland players weren’t slackers either – CJ McCollum scored 33 points, which is the best on his record, Lillard hit 22, while Aldridge pulled out 14 before a late foul. Nevertheless, Portland lost the first round despite its players’ best efforts. It is the seventh time this happens since they entered Western Conference semifinals last year.
Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts stated that some things didn’t go according to the squad’s plans although the season looked very promising at a first glance.
Memphis had a very full last minute since it went to the free-throw line ten times out of a total 14. Their coach said that they were “running on fumes.”
Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge was disappointed that his team failed to act according to its full potential. Aldridge said that the Trail Blazers failed to enter the rhythm, although they were one of the best rated teams in the league.
Aldrdige was upset that his team didn’t play “their best basketball”. He was also upset over his poor performance and for failing to properly confront his rivals’ defense.
“Every time I wanted to get going they had a guy right there next to me,”
he added although he gave his opponents full credit for the win.
Image Source: KPUG