Zach Randolph says opponents are happy he and Marc Gasol don’t play together as much anymore
The 6-foot-9 forward proved his case during Friday night’s come-from-behind win against the Golden State Warriors in overtime, where the Grizzlies faced a 24-point deficit and rallied behind the bulldozing bodies of Randolph and Gasol to outscore and outrebound the Warriors in the last 17 minutes of the game.
“I think teams are happy with the way we’re playing, taking pressure off of them honestly,” Randolph told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “Some guys told me on that other teams: ‘Shoot, we’re happy y’all guys aren’t playing together anymore. It gives us a break.’ … It’s already been proven. We’ve done proved enough and showed it. I think that’s not the question. It’s just coach wanting to play different and do a different style.”
Head coach David Fizdale asked Randolph to come off the bench prior to the start of the season, opting for a more agile lineup that would allow forwards to contest three-point shots more effectively. Randolph became the team’s sixth man while JaMychal Green got the nod to start in his place — so far, Randolph’s numbers dwarf those of Green’s, who had four points and two rebounds against the Warriors. Randolph on the other hand, had perhaps his best performance of the season, pouring in 27 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists in 35 minutes.
When asked, Fizdale was flexible with his mindset and issued a challenge to the former duo.
“I’ll make a deal with them,” Fizdale said. “I will say, ‘Hey, if you guys show me you can defend the three-point line when you are out there together, then I will play you together more.”