Not much has gone right for the Grizzlies this season, but it was a memorable week for rookie guard Juan Carlos Navarro.
First, Navarro helped the Grizzlies end an 18-game road losing streak with a victory at New York last Friday. Then, a night later in Memphis, he scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Grizzlies beat Sacramento for their first back-to-back victories since November. During Memphis' 3-1 week, Navarro averaged 17.7 points while going 14-for-32 from three-point land.
The win in New York was especially sweet for Navarro, who scored 17 points in front of a large cheering section from his native Spain. Navarro was serenaded with songs and loud ovations throughout the game.
"I know that in New York there's a lot of Spanish people," Navarro told reporters after the game. "It was like my first time in the Garden. I'm really, really excited. It gave me energy. I'm really happy to bring these people this game."
Teammate Mike Miller, who held Navarro's hand in the air triumphantly as the rookie exited the game in the final minutes, said it couldn't have come at a better time for the Spaniard.
"I was happy to see that for Juan because he came a long ways over here and then Pau [Gasol] left and he's all by himself,'' Miller said. "[He] came from Spain to help us win games, and to see his fans come out here like this when we came to New York, I'm just happy to see him get a win and happy to see him play well."
(Send comments, complaints or hype for your favorite rookie to Drew Packham at firstname.lastname@example.org.)