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Nov 28, 2008

11/28/08 Spurs loss post-mortem

This was a fantastic loss by the Grizzlies. Finally they survived the third quarter, and the GRIZZ threatened to contend the Spurs until about midway of the fourth. It was an eight point game until the last minute in fact.

OJ MAYO was a STUD tonight! We looked great. I thought this was how the season would be ideally this season. I do not cry over this kind of loss. The Spurs will most certainly be in the second round and probably in the Western Conference Finals this year - if not further.

Refer back to my last post-mortem on the Monday night loss to the Spurs in Memphis: The Spurs have so much more weaponry it's ridiculous. I am proud of our competition in this match tonight!

Roger Mason, Jr. was electrifying from the court tonight. Additionally, the old men played short, yet extremely effective minutes. Finley, Thomas, Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker all contributed efficient production whenever they were on the floor. Other douche bag role players like Tolliver, Hill, and Bonner were good.

It's not good to lose so many games in a row, but I would expect Memphis to BLOW AWAY the Oklahoma Thunder tomorrow night after this one.

Unfortunately I will be in Boston watching the Georgia / Georgia Tech football game "Clean Old Fashioned Hate" so I won't have a pregame or a post-mortem for that one.

keys to the toilet bowl
  • Spurs: 59 to Grizz: 4 bench points!!!!!
  • Tony Parker statement game—getting his angles and driving the hoop, doing his damn thing
  • Grizz lack depth experience and talent at key roles, which puts them at a disadvantage that is nearly impossible to overcome
  • Grizz are learning on the job and it shows but we don't think they're going to be flushed down the toilet. They're just learning to swim in it!

Grizzlies at Spurs 11/28/08 pregame notes

Darko plans to enter the overloaded 2010 free agent pool

But this time he won't be picked #2 ahead of Chris Bosh. 35% into his contract with Memphis, Darko is already looking forward to a 2010 Euro homecoming? Something is rotten in GrizzMarc. We know Gasol has a good future. But I was hoping for better breaking news than this. If Darko wants to dominate in Europe I sure hope he still has the drive to improve himself and the team while he is here. Otherwise it doesn't reflect well on the franchise that is struggling since it tried to retool itself midway through its march to contention with the Eddie Jones trade and then later with the Shane Battier trade.

Now it's my task to weave this storyline into the mismatch that is tonight's contest at the damned Alamo Dome. The Spurs have moved up in the power rankings significantly over the last 10 days and the presence of Manu Ginobli spells disaster for most opponents.

I read a short list of the 6 NBA teams that allegedly have any chance to win the title and the Spurs were the last ones on there, and a short while ago they would have been left out. The Spurs still play superior defense. They still play solid team offense with scoring threats from all angles. Even Bruce Bowen is a league leader in three point percentage.

Memphis does have something to work from. Everyone would write this game off as another blowout after the Spurs have annihilated Memphis, Utah, and Chicago in their last few games. But Memphis took the cue from Denver in their victor November 19th as Nene established himself in the paint on both sides of the court. Then Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony were free to shoot, if not score, or distribute the assist (Martin dominated, while Melo struggled but still had a lot of points on free throws and one shy as many assists as the best effort from any Grizzlies player this season ). That's 7 assists from Melo against San Antonio.

Memphis kept themselves in the first match in Memphis with Darko and Gasol playing together against San Antonio. Darko was a beast and hopefully a similar performance is seen tonight along with a breakout performance from one of our future phenoms. It's going to take a breakout to match the decades of experience and talent that San Antonio has accumulated in the Popovich era.

Or you could call it the TD era.

keys to the super bowl
  • Sustainable, intense, high-level play for the second half
  • Darko, or the equivalent, down low controlling the easy drives to basket and offensive put-backs/boards, etc.
  • Shots needs to fall
  • Get tough when Manu is on the court or he's going to bury you alive
  • Play Crittenton and Jaric
  • Arthur, Mayo, and Conley all need another statement game. Tonight would be a good night
  • Remember the Alamo!

keys to the toilet bowl
  • Everything that goes wrong happened Wednesday night in Utah:
  • Punished inside
  • Breakdowns on defense when the general appears (Although Tony Parker is not here tonight they obviously can get Mason and Hill to contribute)
  • Bench needs a much, much, much better integration with the starters following the first quarter. When all five starters are out we have no chance in hell to beat anyone good. Oh by the way, the Spurs are quite good
  • Play their game. Don't do it. I think the Grizzlies early success was in fact they were playing their system and others didn't know how to respond to their confused pace and unorthodox skillsets being showcased in the new comers: Mayo, Marc Gasol, and Darrell Arthur. Gasol especially comes with a huge repertoire of uncanny big man moves. We play the SPURS game and run THEIR RACE, we are going to lose by HUGE MARGINS again

Nov 26, 2008

Clean Old Fashioned HATE

Ah, the biggest football game of the year... (at least for the state of Georgia).

A classic joke:

Four college alumni were climbing a mountain: one from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida and Notre Dame. Each proclaimed to be the most loyal of all fans. As they climbed higher, they argued as to which one of them was the most loyal. When they reached the top, the Notre Dame grad hurled himself off the mountain, shouting "This is for the Fighting Irish!" as he fell to his doom. Not wanting to be outdone, the Florida grad threw himself off the mountain proclaiming, "This is for the Gators!" Seeing this, the Georgia Tech grad walked over and shouted "This is for the Yellow Jackets!" and pushed the Bulldogs fan off the mountain.,_Old-Fashioned_Hate
AJC jokes

Grizzlies at Jazz 11/26/08 pregame notes

The last meeting with this team was perhaps one of the most disappointing home performances of the season including a game that allowed New York a franchise record offensive barrage from downtown. And worse, that was just four nights ago. The Jazz have one of the best historic home records in recent seasons.

To make things even worse, the severely depleted Jazz team that faced us last in Memphis now has its main Olympic gold medalist back into the starting lineup! The phrase, "a snowball's chance in hell," would be apt here. But I will update this blog post on the development of Deron Williams return because the report I read yesterday is that he's ready but it's not set in stone whether he'll come. You might ask whether he's needed against Memphis and if it's smarter to sit him one more night!

A silver lining is that Boozer, Korver, Brevin Knight, Collins, and Matt Harping are all banged up. Iavaroni appears to like going small. Perhaps we'll have plenty of chances assuming "MemO" doesn't torch us. I look for Darko to start again and paired with Gasol they keep him under control. Okur totally killed us last time too. Beware also, I thought we'd see a lot of Kofus. That is a weakling we must punish and dominate if he gets the call. Marc "Dos Punto Cero" Gasol brings it tonight and we can sneak a chance maybe.

keys to the super bowl
  • Winning the paint against Spurs early kept us above water and losing it cost us the game against Jazz early
  • Assert ourselves down low, namely against Kofus, Millsap and Okur
  • Payback time
  • Total mental sharpness needed to hang with Jazz at home. Chicago played their brains out and still came down to a last second play with a buzzer beater for the victory. First Jazz home loss in the year of 2008!
  • guard play shall be interesting - no advantage unless we take it from them. Again I repeated this note from last match up on Saturday. These backups and D-Leaguers on Jazz are the real deal. Otherwise Jazz would not be bringing proven world class superstars like Andrei Kirilenko off the bench!

keys to the toilet bowl
  • This is TOO easy: 3rd Quarter fade to black
  • Perimeter defense
  • transition defense
  • not hungry enough
  • O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay cold and not working together. It's like a double barrel shotgun cut in half. You don't get two single barrels. You get two pieces of shit that can't fire and should be redeemed for scrap metal.

Nov 24, 2008

11/24/08 Spurs loss post-mortem

Darko Milicic shows he is made of NBA stuff for at least one night of the season. He played as good as anyone against Tim Duncan tonight.

Then somewhere around 30 minutes into the contest, the game went to hell, quickly and with permanence.
:00.0  End of 3rd Quarter
:01.0 MEM - K. Lowry misses a 27-foot three-pointer from the right wing
:05.1 SA - G. Hill makes a 28-foot three-pointer from the right wing
:08.2 MEM - K. Lowry hits the second free throw
:08.2 MEM - K. Lowry hits the first free throw
:08.2 SA - Shooting foul on F. Oberto
:28.0 SA - R. Mason makes a 27-foot three-pointer from the top of the arc
:36.9 SA - F. Oberto defensive rebound
:37.8 MEM - G. Buckner misses a 13-foot jumper along the right baseline


Something stinks. George Hill and Roger Mason start blasting treys and blowing the lead out of proportion and you know the game is lost for good. I have no idea what happened there. I thought we were down 4 points and then they cut to the "209 boys" in the television broadcast. These guys are loud and bring great energy to the home games that have previously been total duds. But then the camera cuts back and suddenly San Antonio's gone on a 14 point run!?

What the hell? Rally in the fourth I don't care about. It's like a tree falling in the woods on another planet with nothing but banana tree slugs to hear it. It doesn't matter one bit - it's like a preseason victory but even less because it's still a loss.

Well I just listened to Ivaroni's postgame notes. This goes back to my pregame notes that I will list in a second for the keys to the toilet bowl which has been flushed on us. He says "we're not a good shooting team" and that's the freaking truth. Offensive plays weren't needed. We just couldn't score on open shots all night. Our shooting percentages were down in the lower 30s all night which is not enough to hang in this league. You can't compete in the NBA shooting that bad. And it wasn't from spectacular defense on us. They had half a dozen players that we can get open shots over. But almost every time we failed to execute.

There were some positives to take away from this loss though. Our defense was spectacular. Darko Milicic was playing world class basketball for us. We had enough extra factors to keep us in the game through half time even with the failure to shoot from outside the paint. However, without our squad making any real threat to dominate the game, the Spurs were always going to inevitably crank it into gear, especially with Manu back and their solid bench depth. Then starting role players like Mason were shooting lights out. Roger Mason was solid! The NBA is full of superb talents and some great basketball minds on every team. It takes great determination from our players to go out there full force each night but also to learn all those little things that tip the scales so that you aren't always fighting from behind and trying to catch your percentages and turnover ratios from going into the TOILET BOWL.

keys to the toilet bowl
  • The lid was on our basket.
  • Mental weakness. We have to get better looks on last possessions of the quarter. That is just unintelligent behavior. I was furious at both Conley and Lowry tonight.
  • 209 boys too distracting. Ok just kidding; they're awesome
  • Myth busted: we are overloaded at the guards. ERROR! O.J. Mayo and Javaris Crittenton are the only talent we have there. Marko Jaric used to be very good but for some reason Memphis decided he's due for retirement. Lowry, Conley, Ross, Buckner should all be sent to D-League with Hamed Haddadi.
  • Coach needs to seek professional sports psychology help for motivating these cowards at half-time. If I see another 3rd quarter blowout I'm going to lose it. Last year this was a regular occurrence but was palatable once Gasol was traded and we realized we were tanking for the draft lottery (which Stern rigged against us as payment for such dishonor). But perhaps there is nothing you can say to make a third rate horse into a prize horse. We are giving them hell though.
  • Manu Volver! Ginobli came back and wasted no time in sinking a three and driving for a dunk right off the bench in the first quarter.
  • They are the Spurs. They are a powerhouse any day.

All-star or not?

Quiz of the day

Which players have played in the big boy NBA All-star game at least once in their careers?
Enter Your Answerdude

Mike Miller

Wally Szczerbiak

Tayshaun Prince

Latrell Sprewell

Gerald Wallace

Zach Randolph

Marcus Camby

Antoine Walker

Brad Miller

Eddie Jones

Predrag Stojakovic

Glenn Robinson

Pau Gasol

Ben Gordon

Lamar Odom

Tyson Chandler

Anthony Mason

Damon Stoudamire

Joe Johnson

Dikembe Mutombo

extra credit: Which ones have played in the rookie All-Star game?

Spurs and Grizzlies 11/24/08 pregame notes

Where big-time upsets happen!

Ignoring the fact that the Spurs completely emasculated the team that just spanked us in front of our home crowd, the Spurs have not been themselves this season. Everyone knows 2 of their world class superstars, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli, are injured. But it doesn't mean other role-players haven't come in and done exceptional jobs in their place.

  • George Hill has been pretty solid on the defense, though Popovich has openly criticized his offensive toolkit.
  • Michael Finley was looking like he was headed to retirement, but lately has been pouring in the buckets.
  • Roger Mason, Jr. has developed into a bona fide player in the absence of Manu especially. He had a lot of training in Washington Wizards camp with all the millions of dollars wasted on the roster spot for Gilbert Arenas.
  • Bruce Bowen, one of the most hated players to compete against, with eight consecutive All-NBA Defensive teams awards, will shut you down.

Don't count the Grizzlies out though. No one will forget this shot by Gay last year against the defending champs, when the early season still had a bit of hope:

Spurs have struggled and at one point were below Grizzlies in the division standings. They had close games against a number of wanna-be's like Sacramento, Los Angeles Clippers, and Minnesota Timberwolves. Our task is great, but not insurmountable.

Did you know? Spurs' French giant bench warmer, Ian Mahinmi, pronounces his first name like "YAHN" instead of "EE-AN". That's bizarre!

keys to the super bowl

  • Work the offensive play. Spurs aren't going to give you anything one-on-one
  • Punish them inside. Nene did this in Denver and they won the match. Duncan was a non-factor.
  • Don't let the Spurs seniors bail out their juniors. We then face an equal opponent by making their inexperience compete with ours. It's then a dice game.
  • Win the dice game: hopefully the lid is off the basket tonight.
  • We need more bench minutes in the first half. Something has to change so that second half isn't a total joke again. I say play more Darko, Buckner, Crittenton, Jaric, etc. Earlier. But mix them with the big guns.
  • Punish Popovich with Marc Gasol. Eat your words Pop.

keys to the toilet bowl
  • 2nd half energy drain is key all season long. Are you ready?
  • Let Popovich talk smack and run us out of the godforsaken Alamo Dome.
  • Darrell Arthur gets confused, thinks he's playing against Memphis again and starts scoring for San Antonio because he thinks OJ Mayo is Derrick Rose.
  • Take the first shot available and settle for 30% FG% and losing the battle to rebound. Duncan would love it if you shoot first.

Nov 23, 2008

11/22/08 Jazz loss post-mortem

Grizz kicked in the nuts again...

Well, I really can't say much about this one since I only watched the fourth quarter! I came in right during the 22 point lead and Ivaroni's technical foul. Obviously the wheels were falling off.

Problem is most teams are starting to kick it in while we're settling into full-effect rookie ops. At least it looks that way when you get so few assists and so many turnovers (over the course of the season so far). It is going to be a struggle. I was hoping to stay in these kinds of games. I overreacted in the win against Orlando, thinking the bad times of being blown out after 30 minutes of game clock could be a thing of the past (or a rarity rather than standard operating procedure).

Things just might get worse:

Jazz Team Report Nov 23, 2008

There's light at the end of the tunnel for the Jazz, who will play only one more game before Deron Williams is expected to return Wednesday against Memphis.

Sweet! Maybe with Deron Williams we have a better chance. Hahahah!

keys to the toilet bowl
  • 15 steals after already being schooled by the old Mavericks the night before
  • imbalance on the offense - major
  • Other teams are not having trouble running up the score though. and we'll be in serious deep stuff when facing these teams with their stars aligned. The 22 point lead would have just escalated I'm afraid! got to be focused 48 minutes dudes
  • I didn't watch much of the game so I don't have any more keys!

Nov 22, 2008

Jazz and Grizzlies 11/22/08 pregame notes

This is going to be a thin post, because of the back-to-back and I just wasted half my Saturday morning typing last night's post-mortem! Hopefully I'll make up for the skimping of this game in my post-mortem of the win tonight (hope hope hope).

The main story line tonight is the injuries to Utah's squad and their miserable performance last night in San Antonio. We could use this as a warm up, because we face that same Spurs team twice in the next week! Then again, it's not often a good team (The Jazz) lose twice in a row. After the 25 point blow out last night, they'll be looking to bully us around tonight. All I can say is, "NOT IN OUR HOUSE!"

You people are freaks out there!

Jazz Injuries

C. Boozer FC Nov 21, 2008 Strained left quadriceps
K. Korver SF Nov 21, 2008 Bad poker face
J. Collins C Nov 19, 2008 Sore right elbow
D. Williams PG Nov 14, 2008 Left ankle inversion sprain

keys to the super bowl
  • Punish Brevin Knight even though probably no one in the Grizzlies organization was here when he last played for us
  • Assert ourselves down low, namely against Kofus, Millsap and Okur
  • beat the Jesus out of them - I know it's not funny
  • shooting... I think San Antonio did that well last night - 60% from three compared to Jazz shooting 15%!
  • guard play shall be interesting - no advantage unless we take it from them

keys to the toilet bowl
  • 2nd half energy drain is key all season long. Are you conditioned Grizz?
  • offensive balance - huh?
  • long range defense and transition defense - got to pick up your man and keep at his ass!

More to come!

11/21/08 Mavs loss post-mortem

keys to the toilet bowl
  • wily old men made us look foolish time and again, getting all the hustle plays for turnovers (Jason Kidd) and
  • all-important, easy transition baskets
  • "no answer for Nowitzki" says coach himself
  • miserable failure to capitalize on the presence of Dallas bench on the court, who are total rejects. Devean George I think scored on us. no excuse! But at least we frustrated folks like Gerald Green and James Singleton (who the hell is that?).
  • third quarter drain - it's a killer! the final score was 24-15 but that was some lucky points at the end. I think they were up 19-5 at one point in the 3rd quarter. It was like 63-46 total. It's not rocket science; they just punked us out after a terrible 1st half. You knew they weren't going to come out with their heads down being up 3 points, right?
  • Hey it was a tough loss - not a fun game to watch after 24 minutes - but that's to be expected when your starting squad has only 3 years total experience going up against 42 years of total NBA experience!!! Not to mention, their salaries are probably $40M even with Green and Singleton starting (I think they get hourly wages or are paid by the game $1,000 a night or something). Our starters don't get paid more than $10M total. You're David facing Goliath every night essentially.

News Flash:
This brings me to my next point. New York Knicks can go to hell. They are doing exactly what we've done in the last year but without even pretending to get back talent. They even have the audacity to make this hysterical move with their famous new coach being off to a positive start. Suddenly they decide to just throw it away and dump their 2 best players after three weeks of the season are up? Now if everyone out there doesn't want to be a hypocrite, you better be lambasting them for this just as you did to Memphis for dumping Pau Gasol, and for saying Timberwolves got the better deal in Kevin Love and Mike Miller for O.J. Mayo. Where are those people now?

I'll tell you - they're trying to figure out how they can get in on this. But listen up - Memphis was here first! That's right LeBron, Chris Bosh, DWade, Boozer, etc. And we did not just dump everything for crap either. (ok we got some crap ).

But to all those elite free agents: Come to Memphis because we actually have a plan and are building it up with the youth. We got a superbly talented young platform to build upon, and all they got is an empty room now with a high profile coach. Respect!

Nov 21, 2008

Mavs and Grizzlies 11/21/08 pregame notes

So long, Jerry Stackhouse!

Didn't know Elton Brand stole your old number in Philly. # Elton Brand #42 Forward-Center Ouch! Did anyone remember that? Probably not. It's too bad Avery Johnson was chased out of town because I know he was one of your biggest fans.

I'm sure you can get a job with Vince Carter and the Nets. Or maybe both of you will go to Bobcats? TarHeels unite! Gerald Wallce / Vince Carter trade could be very good. Hmmm...

Well, back to the Mavericks. They're hot. Their last loss was a week ago in Dallas to the Orlando Magic. Back then they were an abysmal 2-7. Hey it was Orlando's first win in Dallas in 10 years! Memphis has to conjure up the same bad jojo to win tonight.

Dallas loves to punish the Grizzlies and Dirk has sunk our battleship on many occasions. The good news is that Josh Howard is likely to be out of the game, and certainly will be limited if he does show up. The bad news is the Mavericks are off of a three win road trip and looking to bring it home to their fans for their first home win of the year. It could be quite a task to hold them at this point, but we're certainly capable of doing it.

Mayo gives him the stare down

The Mavs are OLD. We are YOUNG. Jason Kidd and Jason Terry should be contained, or else we're done for. But hey - against our young promising back court that's no problem, eh? Gerald Green should be an easy assignment for Mayo. He has 4.75x the Basketball IQ as his opponent. Gasol will probably knock Dampier out of the game early. That should be a domination. The only unanswerable matchup is Dirk Nowitzki. As always rebounding is key for us and the Mavericks are #3 in the league so far at that. They got some talent on the bench in that department, so keep at it Grizzlies! Remember the shootout against New York? Well Dallas had the same game with them at Madison Square Garden. But the difference was the Mavericks came out on top. We've got to learn from that Knicks game and apply it to Dallas. Once they find our ball hawking and our big boy inside, Marc Dos Punto Cero Gasol, won't give up any penetration, they're going to start hurling it up. Then it's on our long boys like QRoss and Rudy to put hands in the face and push them outside the line.

Jet and the Mavs have knocked out several top teams on the road this week…

I have said 2 years ago the Mavericks made fatal mistakes in their franchise development and offseason moves. I stick by that. It was a miracle they kept the boat afloat the last 2 years. The Jason Kidd trade was another desperate move in that same unguided direction. They are going to dwindle back into their past legacy of the mid and early 90s and before as a pseudo-NBA team without any superstars. But first things first, tonight we need a win against a still formidable opponent. One has a very bright future (Grizzlies) and the other is already shopping for their undertakers.

keys to the super bowl
  • Win the rebound game
  • Play Dallas like they want it and put up the points
  • QRoss, Greg Buckner, and Antoine Walker: welcome back home, payback's a bitch!
  • Darko gets his time
  • Rookie support. Youth wins

keys to the toilet bowl
  • Layup sessions and easy transition baskets. Howard, Green, Jet can all get at ya.
  • Easy outside looks from the German
  • Holding Rudy Gay back
  • Force mistakes from the young ball handlers. Jet and Kidd matchup is important
  • Veteran standoff. Experience wins