If you missed Jason Thompson's postgame interview with Grant and Jerry, you missed a treat. Grant asked a standard "You're shorthanded, lots of uncertainty this week, how'd you feel as a team coming into this game?" question.
We wanted to come in here and shock the world by beating Memphis.
That is either immensely hilarious, or the most depressing state of affairs possible. Let's go with the former.
Tremendous, tremendous effort by our protagonists. Of course, you'll all understand if I'm biased toward Donté Greene's work, which was stunning in its activity and execution. Eleven points on 9 FGAs (an improvement), four rebounds, two assists, a +11 in 18 minutes and ... four blocks, not a single one cheap. His spirit on the defensive end was maddening good; he never for a second gave up on a defensive play. That hasn't been the case all season.
Thompson hasn't given up a play in his life, and that showed too. A saucy 17/9/2 game for Shock. He was able to control the paint sufficiently during the long stretch of four-guard play in the fourth quarter; Memphis doesn't have the world's greatest frontline, but Darko Milicic and Marc Gasol are effective. Thompson prevented them from having serious impact in the endgame.
Spencer Hawes had a mixed game -- a little sloppy with the ball (four turnovers), but super effectively in scoring (10 points on six FGAs). Beno Udrih had a great second half. Francisco Garcia shot poorly, but drew fouls and passed beautifully.
And (ahem) Kevin Martin do what Kevin Martin do. The perimeter defense from Martin, Garcia, Udrih and Bobby Jackson was spectacular. Rudy Gay missed 17 shots. O.J. Mayo missed 10 and had five turnovers. Mike Conley missed 10 shots. The Kings guards and wings forced these cats into bad situations all night, refusing to allow open threes to Mayo, keeping Conley from getting to the rim, and making Gay work hard for every look. There's a little bit of luck in defense, too. But effort and intelligence -- coupled with the physical attributes we know our team to have -- help immensely.
Martin's 33 points on 18 FGAs ... that doesn't hurt either.
Two wins in February! Huzzah!