Grizz Insider: Gay ready to pay it forward
With his team mired in a three-game losing streak, Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay knew fingers were pointing at him.
Never mind he's trying to come back from shoulder surgery that sidelined him the rest of last season after All-Star game break. Or that he couldn't rehab and work with the team trainers this season, because of the lockout. Or there were just two exhibition games to work out the rust.
Because of Gay's hefty contract of $84 million over five years, much is expected, especially with Zach Randolph out the next seven weeks with an ankle sprain.
"With Zach out, somebody has to step up and I'd like it to me," said Gay, who scored a season-high 26 points in the Grizzlies' 94-83 victory over the Knicks on Thursday in FedEx Forum. Physically, I don't think I'm ready yet, mentally you think you can do things but you can't do them like you want to. It's a tough season to come back from an injury, when you don't have many practices."
Gay had himself a game on Thursday. He dunked off a lob and off a fast break. He consistently hit pull-up jumpers off the dribble. He nailed a three-pointer.
"It's repetition," Gay said, "I've been doing this since I was eight years old and I know what to work on. It feels good to be back out there, but everybody has to have goals. I'm healthy, (focused on) trying to reach those goals. We want to go back to the playoffs, go farther than we did before."
During the player lockout, Gay went back to his college roots, working out at the University of Connecticut.
"It was cool to go back and see people, but I felt old with all those 90's babies," Gay said. "It's cool go back and see people, not when everybody is new."
The Grizzlies (4-6 with the Hornets up next on Saturday in Memphis) had their best three-point shooting game of the season, hitting 6-of-12 threes. Guard O.J. Mayo led the way with 4-of-7 treys.
Memphis was credited with just nine steals against the Knicks, but it seemed like the Grizzlies had their hands on many more balls.
Grizzlies rookie G Josh Selby has played well lately, despite facing a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge after police found probable cause Oct. 5 at the University of Maryland. Selby, 20, has been summoned to appear in a Maryland district court Jan. 25.
"I have no comment about it," Selby said. "It is what it is."
Possessing or using marijuana in Maryland is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
G O.J. Mayo scored a season-high 18 points off the bench, nailing 7-of-12 shots, including four threes.
"I had a good rhythm against Oklahoma City (on Tuesday, when Mayo just took four shots) and I was mad at myself for not being aggressive," Mayo said. "I made sure (against the Knicks) that I came out and was super aggressive."
G Tony Allen celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday, and it carried over to Thursday against the Knicks. Allen had one of his classic disruptive performances, raking loose five steals to go with 12 points and five rebounds.
When Allen went to the free-throw line in the second quarter, several fans at courtside began singing "Happy Birthday" to Allen.
F Zach Randolph (partially torn medial collateral right knee ligament) is out for another eight weeks.
F Darrell Arthur (torn Achilles' tendon) out for the season.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It all starts with our point guard. When Mike Conley is aggressive, we're all aggressive." -- Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo.