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Grizzlies’ Healthy Eating Helps Clinch Playoff Matchup with Spurs

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The Memphis Grizzlies put on a great 4th quarter show at home, to edge the New York Knicks, 101-88. Star point guard, Mike Conley, came back from an eye injury to lead Memphis with 31 points. He shot 12-17 from the field including 7-11 from behind the three-point arc.  In a post-game conversation with Conley, he talked about what foods he likes to consume to best ensure he performs at an optimum level.

 

Apr 7, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) dribbles the ball during the first half against the New York Knicks at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Photograph by: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

 

“Every game, [pre-game] I always have pasta, even the night before; something to give me energy that’ll stick with me,” Conley disclosed. “I try to stay hydrated in order for my body to perform at the level I need it to,” he continued.  A self-professed “sugar guy,” he admitted that cutting back has been the hardest thing for him to do. However, at this point in the season, he understands that sacrifices must be made.  Even the chocolate flavored ones! “I stay away from any sugar, I’m drinking nothing but water… nuts and cashews, and all that stuff as snacks, in between, really allow for a good healthy day and a good healthy lifestyle for me.” Obviously, the way you’re eating is working just fine, Mike, and I’m sure the people of Memphis are grateful to you for choosing peanuts over Reese’s!

 

I also spoke with high flying power forward, Brandan Wright, who has also recently returned from injury this past February. He had similar things to say about what he fuels his body with, in order to catch and finish all of those alley-oops.  “I keep it simple. Chicken, shrimp… whether it’s game day or not, pasta. You know, veggies, salad, whatever!” Wright stated, “I mean it’s pretty much the same all the time. A lot of water, obviously. Protein shakes, recovery shakes, just stuff that makes my body feel good. It’s a long season!”

 

From what I’ve gathered from NBA athletes, the common denominator stays the same: Water, water, and more water! Peanuts, cashews, and almonds are also something that Wright shared with Conley. So maybe a bag of trail mix will lead us down that healthier lifestyle, rather than that bag of chips.

 

Oct 16, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandan Wright (34) dunks the ball in the first quarter against the Oklahoma Thunder at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Photograph by Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

 

The 43-38 Memphis team has recently clinched a spot in this year’s NBA Playoffs. As the seventh seed, they will face the second seeded San Antonio Spurs (61-19) in the first round, with the first game scheduled for April 15th. The two veteran teams have established something of a rivalry in the last several seasons. The Grizzlies have met the Spurs three times in the playoffs in the last six years, being swept in their last meeting, just this past year. This year, in the regular season, they have met 4 times and are tied 2-2. So it is safe to assume that this playoff matchup will be an interesting one.

 

 

Grizzlies’ veterans Mike Conley, and Zach Randolph, or “Z-Bo” as he is affectionately known around the league, talked about how the team is feeling about the series. Each described it as a tough, yet exciting matchup they look forward to. Center, Marc Gasol, also chimed in to speak on what he felt the team needed to accomplish before they take on the high-powered Spurs. “Obviously, we just played the Spurs three times in the last month, so we understand a little bit how they’re going to come out in game one.”, Gasol said. “Everyone has to get back on their books, study the game, understanding their role… getting guys a lot of confidence, because they’re [Spurs] going to take some things away, and guys got to be ready.” Gasol has been a part of the Grizzlies’ last six playoff runs, and hasn’t been able to take his team any further than the conference finals. However, with first year Head Coach, David Fizdale at the helm, Gasol and company are very enthusiastic about this years’ chances.

 

Coach Fizdale served as an Assistant Coach with the Miami Heat in their years with the LeBron James led “Big 3”. From 2011 to 2014, he would go on to experience the NBA Finals rarified atmosphere four times, earning a championship ring twice. When asked what he learned from that team’s success, and what he has been trying to implement with his current team, he couldn’t quite narrow it down. “I couldn’t tell you… Everything.” Fizdale thought about it. “More than anything, it really comes down to who is the most connected group. And that’s the biggest thing I learned is the team that is most connected will find a way to win.” In the four seasons that Fizdale saw the NBA Finals with James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, he would have to face Coach Popovich and the Spurs twice. In those two meetings, he only saw struggle, where they barely snuck a championship victory in a seven game series, then being thrashed in five games the following year. However, he is very optimistic when watching his Memphis group come together with each game they play. “I’ve really felt like we’ve worked hard at building great camaraderie and connection and we’re ready to go to battle. And that will be the difference in if we can get over the hump or not.”

 

Grizzlies Coach

 

The Grizzlies will play their last regular season game against the Dallas Mavericks on April 12th. Although it does not mean anything, at this point in the season, they still look to play hard and improve, to gain momentum going into the playoffs. Fresh Lifestylers, be ready for an exciting NBA Playoffs this year. We have a lot to look forward to, and this matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs is just one!

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