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Nov 28, 2008

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:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2008112626
  • 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

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