Without Rudy Gay, the Memphis Grizzlies were supposed to be the contender that couldn't score, the barking dog without a bite. This team won games, but it won games with defense, defense and more defense. How could a team compete in the playoffs without a legitimate scorer on the wings?, analysts wondered.
Yes, sans Gay, the Grizzlies aren't a good offensive team. They have one real point guard, mediocre three-point shooting and few guys who can create their own offense off the dribble. But they do have Gasol and Randolph, two big men with size, skill and grit.
Sometimes, that can be enough.
While many teams embrace the small ball philosophy, the Clippers don't exactly lack size. Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Ronny Turiaf, Lamar Odom ... Los Angeles isn't exactly rolling out four guards to run in circles around a pivot man in the middle.
Still, Gasol and Randolph have been able to push these guys around, showing an extra degree of physicality that's simply been unmatched by their opponents.
In Game 4, the two players combined for 48 points, 22 rebounds, six assists and four blocks as Memphis rolled, 104-83. They were incredibly efficient from the field, hitting 20 of 31 (65 percent) shot attempts between the two. All of this after the combination put up 43 points and 19 rebounds in a 94-82 Game 3 win.
For the Grizzlies to keep this run going, they're going to need Randolph and Gasol to keep playing at an extremely high level. If the first few games of the postseason are any indication, the chances of that happening are pretty good.