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Dec 30, 2008

12/29/08 Twolves post-mortem

Loved watching a Minnesota broadcast. I think my league pass had been blocked for them too because it was the first game of the season I'd seen of them. I recommend anyone having trouble with league pass broadband to complain daily to and make service tickets and give them your IP address. They have unlocked pretty much every game for me now except Boston Celtics which is great!

The music they play in Minnesota was actually worse than San Antonio! The announcers were hysterical though. They were saving all their favorite OJ Mayoisms until the fourth quarter: "Hold the Mayo!", "Don't Squeeze the Juice!", etc. They even played the Malcolm in the Middle theme song during a critical timeout break in the second half. What?!?

The Wolves are much worse than I expected. They make Kevin Ollie look like a truly gifted top level player. Telfair has regressed considerably since he was in Boston. He has no confidence and looks completely unpolished and inept out there. Craig Smith is a joke. Ryan Gomes is a stud but on this team he looks lost and out of position all the time. He is a Shane Battier type player but with much more talent and scoring ability. I can't wait til he gets on a good team someday. Randy Foye has always been miserably overrated and still is. He should be in the DLeague! The only keepers are Love and Jefferson – who are both capable of Allstar level performance now. I think Jefferson deserves to be starting Center this year if Wolves had a better record.

UPDATE: Man I have to eat these words now! Do I really know what I'm talking about? Eh – probably not. Since this game timberwolves have gone like 8-1, only losing to Mavericks in a game where they fell apart after securing a 29 point lead. Needless to say 1) Timberwolves are for real on a current five game win streak 2) You have to respect the enemy even if Kevin Ollie is their leader.

This obviously was a special game - even with Carney, Miller and Cardinal watching on the sidelines. Mayo and Kevin Love both were out to make a statement game. Love probably had his best game of the season although for me I wouldn't know if he averages 30 and 20 and 6 blocks. He looked very good out there and was certainly a key to the toilet bowl…

keys to the toilet bowl
  • Love for the game

  • BIG AL and you can't stop him with Gasol and Darko out

  • Rudy? I hope he isn't wearing himself out again making youtube video contests for the dunk contest. Rudy has more than just transition game and has shown 100 times he can shoulder the team. That should be even easier with Mayo drawing double teams.
  • Another OT tragedy. We have lost every overtime game this year correct? YOUNG and Hungry is all that means.
  • Wolves are terrible but it seems any team is dangerous when 2 or more great players go at the top of their game for 48 or 53 minutes (Love and Jefferson). I really think we could be a .500 team if we had that from Rudy and OJ every night.

Dec 29, 2008

Grizzlies Christmas Week Redux

Monday December 22 - Lakers 105 Grizzlies 96

Game was tied by a miracle clutch three at 96 by OJ Mayo. Then Kobe got a second chance counter attack three to put them up by three again. The next 2 possessions Rudy Gay tried to do it alone, bricking a long three and forcing an ugly turnover drive to the paint. Perhaps the worst part was seeing Pau Gasol totally dominate in the final minutes. But overall this was a thrilling game in which we led for a large portion.

Tuesday December 23 - Dallas 100 Grizzlies 82

Pathetic and it was blocked from cable at our house.

Friday December 26 - Pacers 105 Grizzlies 108

Game started out as ugly as ever with the old team showing up full of Christmas turkey just like after Thanksgiving. We found ourselves down 38 to 15 of maybe worse in the first quarter. By some miracle the Pacers just went completely flat in the final five minutes of the half and we cut the lead to 68-59.

Our free throws were still at 17%, which is worse than a well-trained sea lion in an Iowa zoo. But we kept attacking. And by the fourth quarter Hakim Warrick had broken a monster dunk again on Danny Granger's face and sent him back to the "cornrows". Mike Conley also played a perfect game off the bench. Buckner was solid as well. I liked seeing Darko help lead the fight back to get us in the game and we kept the momentum even with his injury.

This was the best Grizzlies game I've attended at Fedex Forum in fact. I've only been to about 12 to 15 since I am away 99% of the year, but it certainly was fun. Jarrett Jack is one of my favorites but only because he was a part of the greatest Georgia Tech basketball team probably ever. He really is not very good but his size is amazing and he doesn't make any big mistakes. I still think he is about as good as Jameer Nelson but not among the league's elite point guards. I went to get a beer and heard some folks discussing Travis Deneir with great anger in their comments, "WHY AM I NOT IN THE NBA if THAT GUY is? He is five foot ten and can't make a shot to save his life. Hell I should get paid to do a better job than that." I feel the same way brother!

And you have to question why Roy Hibbert never got his last foul. He went out with five and never came back. Until then I don't think we had an answer for him (Haddadi just isn't ready I guess?). Oh well! We caught some luck with that and Granger obviously. Marquis Daniels was just making us look stupid inside as well.

Mayo is money! Grizzlies for the win! HAK ATTACK!

Saturday December 27 - Spurs 106 Grizzlies 103

Another very impressive moral victory in the double OT loss to San Antonio. This was a game the refs just gave to the former Champions. We only caught the three quarters and the overtimes more or less, but it is very good to see us sticking to the game plans and having guys like King Arthur stepping it up in Texas. Grizzlies will go to Minnesota knowing they are the better team and we should see a big win tonight.

It's good to see us improve and challenge powerhouses in the west night after night. For this team to make close to thirty wins by the playoffs and their Alaskan fishing cruises, Rudy has to also take his game up a notch. Grizzlies can be tough to hang with assuming they develop.

Dec 22, 2008

Grizzlies and Lakers 12/22/08

Sorry I don't have notes or post-mortem for this one. I am traveling to Memphis in the morning finally! Because I am so damn important to my new job I could not get the extra day off to spend an extra 3 days with my family and friends who I see approximately 0.01% of the year and will be missing the Lakers game tonight (otherwise I would have come home on Saturday instead of Tuesday...).

But Grizz can catch a win because Los Angeles is far away and they have been shocked by the weather.

To give us hope let's watch Kobe jump over a car and young Pau dunk over Kevin Garnett:

They were only down 20 points

Do you trust your boy?

Not sure what the heck this is!

Dec 20, 2008

12/19/08 Bobcats post-mortem

keys to the toilet bowl
  • Coach Brown flushed it down! Safe to say he has all his pieces coming together in the Phoenix trade. Even Juwan Howard held his ground despite giving up a bucket or 2 to Gasol.
  • Rudy had absolutely no supporting cast, but that didn't matter, no one could have kept up with the 150 point pace the Bobcats were on in the first half.
  • Bobcats shot 16/21 in first quarter I think. 80%?
  • We had like 4 total rebounds in the first half.
  • Effort was dubious from some players but the Bobcats still finished. This game was one of the worst to watch because the Bobcats looked like they were sleepwalking through it.
  • Even shooters like Matt Carroll and DJ Augustine came up off the bench and just laid it in uncontested. If I was at the game in person I would have left before the 4th quarter and that is one of my pet peeves. It would have been painful - ok I probably would not have done that - but I definitely quit watching from home and went on to watching the thrilling double overtime Pacers - Clippers game.

Dec 19, 2008

Grizzlies and Bobcats 12/19/08 pregame notes

Grizzlies won five of last seven, with 2 losses to New Orleans. But don't look further back than that! December record is 5 of 8. A win tonight would be a strong statement to say this month is for real.

Bobcats are at the very bottom of the league. But they can thank the Thunder for taking the award for worst professional sports team logos, colors, and identity. Since joining the league from the ashes of the New Orleans Hornets, they have been a team that is synonymous with losing. They have never made a good draft pick in their entire history.

A strong win is what should be expected tonight, but a close one is not unthinkable. They got some ballers. Gerald Wallace comes from an excellent legacy of some of the nation's greatest athletes in the University of Alabama. Latrell Sprewell, Robert Horry, and D-League superstar Richard Hendrix all came through the same system. Emeka Okafur completely dominated the Big East at Rudy Gay's Alma mater. Raymond Felton, Sean May, and coach Larry Brown round out the list of North Carolina cronies.

But wait, there's more!

The bottom line is the Bobcats are still far away from being competitive. They're a season or two away. In the time it would take to redesign the roster and identity they will most likely make another tragic mistake like taking on a Jason Richardson or overpaying Raymond Felton who should be let go obviously. They're already hanging their hat on Okafur, who may just be another Drew Gooden or Chris Wilcox when it all comes down. That's worst case probably - but certainly possible.

Grizzlies have their work cut out for them, but the game should be a scoring frenzy for us and a devastation for them. As long as we stay physical and folks like Diaw and Howard don't get nasty and rough us up – Grizzlies can shave the Bobcats.

  • "That's why yall are having a field day!"

    keys to the super bowl
    • Buzzword of the year: UBUNTU
    • Serbian Translation: "I slam because we hard!"
    • Catalan Translation: "I beard because we star"
    • Charlotte Bobcats starting shooting guard Raja Bell was ejected from a game against Chicago on Tuesday night for remarks made to referee Eli Roe.
    • Juwan Howard making another appearance as a Bobcat.
    • Darko and Marc Tanqueta Gasol need another statement game!
    • Arthur ready to contribute and steal some minutes from Hak!

    keys to the toilet bowl
    • The Memphis Grizzlies waived former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker on Thursday. Will he play for Bobcats tonight? Not bloody likely!
    • Raja Bell and Boris Diaw finally get going. Nazr Mohammed drinks a case of Red Bull and tears up the Forum!
    • Easy rebounds and losing that battle is going to hurt us
    • DJ Augustine is a crafty weasel but hardly has the physique to back up his great stats recently. Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry can be shown up and that is a toilet bowl explosion.
    • Bobcats score greater than 30 points in any quarter and we're toast
    • Bobcats score greater than 40% from downtown on 10 shots and we're toast
  • Dec 17, 2008

    Firing Frenzy

    Quiz of the day

    Who has a pink slip for Christmas bonus this year?
    Enter Your Answerdude

    Reggie Theus

    Sam Mitchell

    Larry Bird

    PJ Carlesimo

    Josh Childress

    Marc Iavaroni

    Randy Wittman

    Maurice Cheeks

    Stephon Marbury

    Bonzi Wells

    Eddie Jordan

    Mike Woodson

    Darius Miles

    Lawrence Frank

    Hamed Haddadi

    Scott Skiles


    extra credit: Which ones actually work in the NBA?

    Dec 16, 2008

    Grizzlies and Hornets 12/16/08 pregame notes

    Another rematch! Another victory!

    This could be another win to a team that beat us in game 1 of the season series. The Thunder came at us just as well as the first match in which we lost to them, but we managed to strike back and win on the road. This time to our favor, we face the Hornets at home. The momentum will be on our side in the first half. An early rout can be made with the accretion of rabid Grizzlies on the ball court.

    keys to the super bowl
    • Deny Peja the ball
    • Stick a man on Posey, who has had excellent shooting in his last game
    • Mayo leads Grizzlies to 5th straight win
    • Scoring the big men in the paint. Chandler is out
    • Apply Bulls win to Hornets: Rose, Gordon, Wade – shut down! Add Chris Paul to list!
    • Keep attacking and playing our ball. High flying speed kills!
    • But any night they have multiple hot players. David West must be taken out PHYSICALLY. He plays the dirtiest game there is. You can try to start a fight with him and maybe Darko will get him ejected as well.

    keys to the toilet bowl
    • “We knew how Memphis is a talented team. They’ve been playing some games well, some not,” Stojakovic said. “They just couldn’t finish because of their age probably and inexperience."
    • Chris Paul single-handedly kills us – just like he did last Christmas in 2007. He can do that. Lowry and Conley cannot rest tonight

    Grizzlies power rankings


    Sports Illustrated - 23

    Memphis Grizzlies (9-15)
    Who woke up these sleeping bears? They conquered the Heat, Bulls, Thunder and Rockets last week for a four-game winning streak, their longest since the 2005-06 season. Meanwhile, Darius Miles has signed on as the former No. 3 overall pick continues his comeback effort.

    ESPN - 19

    Grizzlies 9-15 Let Coach Iavaroni enjoy this bump. He probably won't be treated to a better week all season when you add up the four straight victories and a public proclamation of support from owner Mike Heisley. - 21

    Off: 105.1 (21), Def: 110.3 (20)
    With a 4-0 week, including a win over the Rockets, the Grizzlies have clawed their way out of the bottom seven. They averaged just nine turnovers in the four games and have shown signs of playing defense. Look out Western Conference.

    UPDATE: I just noticed that in my Google Calendar both teams I follow (Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies) won all their games they played last week. I know this is fascinating for the whole world to know but it was strange for me to discover as I clicked on each past game someone who maintains those Google Calendars updates each game as they occur with the final score. Each won said "W" in the description. That's awesome! A great week!

    And almost same in NFL as my favorite teams went 2-1. Sorry Tennessee!

    Dec 14, 2008

    Grizzlies and Heat 12/14/08 pregame notes

    Miami rolls in for a lazy Sunday afternoon match. Bad news is the Heat have flown up the charts recently, even managing to beat Utah Jazz at home… The good news is that Miami played terribly on Friday night against Atlanta Hawks. They will want to bounce back of course, as Friday's loss was their first loss of December! But it will be hard to do against the RED HOT GRIZZLIES!!!

    Recently the Heat were playing at playoff level basketball and outperforming other early favorites like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Toronto. They do it behind their big three: Marion, Beasly, and Wade. Dwayne Wdae showed he was back in the talks of "best player on the planet" this summer in Beijing. He was a human highlight film even among the obvious best players of the NBA. He showed absolutely no effects from the paralyzing injuries he'd had the season before that led his team into the lottery and one of the greatest single-season declines any team has had in the history of the NBA.

    Beasly of course is losing a lot of the spotlight to the historic rookie seasons of Mayo and Rose - but it is agreed upon that he is meeting all expectations as the #2 pick of the draft this year. But he was out with the flu on Friday night. So he might not be 100% for this contest.

    keys to the super bowl
    • Hold Wade's points because that was the secret to Atlanta's win Friday.
    • Back up Wade's prediction about O.J. Mayo
    • Memphis has to get loud again!
    • Keep playing great with second unit and leading bench production
    • Friday night we could have won game by 20 points if we connect more on the easy layups - and continue to attack inside! Especially since Miami has no center just like Chicago

    keys to the toilet bowl
    • I am out of time this morning - but we lose if Wade single-handedly runs the score on us - period
    • Don't let jokers like Quinn beat us on the perimeter shots. Got to play the entire shot clock, which is equal parts physical and mental toughness

    Dec 13, 2008

    12/12/08 Grizzlies victory post-mortem

    After Sports Illustrated's Marty Burns put Grizzlies at the very bottom of his power rankings, we go for a three win joy ride. Guess we'll be moving up the charts now!

    The cocky, arrogant Chicago Bulls were turned away in front of a huge Memphis home crowd.

    Rudy Gay and Hak Warrick whooped a Llama's Ass on stage!

    Gasol and Darko were solid pillars in the front.

    These guys will be around a while

    keys to the super bowl
    • The backcourt stepped up huge
    • Gunning to the paint repeatedly. Attack, attack, attack!
    • Chicago lacks an NBA level Center. Their PF is very average in Drew Gooden. He is at peak of his career and he's never going to be a difference maker. But I do like him better than in Cleveland. If they make the playoffs they will be swept in four games this year.
    • Their concept of team defense is flawed and their announcers portray this lack of understanding in their criticism of our own players.
    • Scary when the big bear is hungry!!!

    MC Pee Pants' Solid Gold Review
    Only in Memphis young blood!

    Dec 12, 2008

    Grizzlies and Bulls 12/12/08 pregame notes

    Memphis finally has a two game win streak in December. This has not been done since 2005!

    Solid gold!

    Congrats to the young grizz and a lot of help from Mr. Buckner and Mr. Ross. Ivy has stuck by them again in Oklahoma City, and went as far as benching O.J. Mayo in the fourth to eek out the win by going with the better defensive matchups (one can only speculate).

    The bottom line for Grizzlies and their fans is that they seem to have a formula that is starting to catch fire and work for them. Maybe, dare we say, chemistry is aligning? You see Marc Gasol on the bench to start a game or Mike Conley, Jr. and they do no look dejected. Even Rudy Gay missed a start in the victory on Monday but rebounded (no pun) with a game high offensive output as a result.

    This is reminiscent of old Grizzlies ball where the first, second, and third guys off the bench were just as important as the starters. That's the way the game should be played. That's how the best teams operate. I watched Philadelphia play some games recently and they look like the worst example in the opposite direction. But what about tonight's opponent, the Chicago Bulls?

    Certainly they know about team schema, as Ben Gordon has been a recidivist for the 6th man award. The Bulls are also on a 2 game win streak, which includes beating a very angry New York Knicks team. But really for the Grizzlies to compete we must revisit both our loss to them early in the season and their recent games against Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Philadelphia played a rare double header in which they faced Bulls twice in a row on separate days. The games were split. In both games the key was containing Derrick Rose. He had monster games, and it took overtime for Philly to come out on top in game 2.

    You might not hear much booing in the Memphis crowd tonight if Rose has a breakout performance!

    The same danger faces us on this match again though in the shooting abilities of Larry Hughes and Ben Gordon. They shot over 50% from behind the arc against Philly in the win, and 17% in the loss to the Sixers!

    So, the Bulls are dangerous at the 1 and 2 obviously and they can shoot the ball. Larry Hughes and Andres Nocioni both love to jack it up. Surprisingly, Nocioni has always come with his "A game" in Memphis it seems to me. He is a game changer with his reckless abandon, physical game that is characteristic of a lot of guys who come out of América del Sur.

    Then another beast we might remember is Drew Gooden. He had MVP performances in his last game over New York, and a respectable double-double in the win against Washington.

    What is this?
    Well, nevermind!

    I think our big guys are playing at a high level and can match up to Gooden tonight. But another important match up is going to be Luol Deng. Deng can hurt you all over the court. Rudy Gay and company will have to play top defense again to keep this a contest.

    keys to the super bowl
    • Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley will have to sacrifice their bodies and go full tilt on Rose tonight
    • Gasol, Arthur, and Darko have to do a better job than their last game with Chicago on controlling the offensive boards
    • Memphis has to get loud. They need a sell out. This game should be on ESPN. Hornets are not what they were a year ago and everyone is tired of seeing the Celtics I am sure. The league blew it big time for not televising this showcase match up between the league's two newest bright stars.
    • Mayo has to get crazy because likely he will not face any particularly good defense tonight and he can just let it fly

    keys to the toilet bowl
    • I already noted how successful the Bulls can be from downtown
    • Derrick Rose – they don't call him the human highlight film but they should
    • Drew Good, Aaron Grey, and Tyrus Thomas will try to get our goats but Darko is very protective of his goats!!! Don't try it!
    • Tempo. Bulls will run us off the court if they dictate the temp. I would not be too surprised to see a score of 116 to 108 tonight or something similar (in their favor). We have to run our race

    Dec 10, 2008

    Grizzlies at Thunderboomers 12/10/08 pregame notes

    You gotta love this one. You gotta love Clay Bennet's blog!

    Thunder are the worst team in the NBA and they lost their coach and are going even further into the spiral. They benched their serviceable vets to develop only their youngsters (Earl Watson and Joe Smith need a new home ASAP). And Robert Swift is just crazy isn't he? But they beat us! At home! On a statement game on the weekend with a packed house! We were on our way out as a major league team at that point. Let's hope we reverse the madness tonight! Time to regain our legitimacy.


    keys to the super bowl
    • Physical prowess. I don't think Grizzlies have ever had this as an advantage since I've known them. Darko might actually be embracing his new role as we gain steam! Keep the momentum!

    keys to the toilet bowl
    • Durant had 41 points the other night right? Too much.
      Kevin Durant scored a season-high 41 and almost brought the Thunder all the way back from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit, but Oklahoma City ended up losing its fourth straight and dropping to 2-20.
      –Thunder Team Notes
    • Mental and physical presence in the final minutes. Have to keep at them because they can come back on us obviously. They almost did it again at Golden State Monday night.
    • Not worth playing an individual game. Sometimes there is a lid on the basket, especially on the road. When we don't get to the free throw line we end up totally on the losing end. The great thing Monday at the Rockets was that we either connected the open shot or went to the line on almost every possession later in the game.
    • Iavaroni likes to be on the hotseat again. Don't think so!
    • Memphis don't want to be on that SHORTLIST of teams that OKC beat when they set the all-time low team record of 8-74 in April. We already are! But to be on there twice!?!?

    Dec 8, 2008

    12/08/08 Rockets post-mortem

    Where to begin? Grizz don't start Gay for violating team policy. Then they go off to a 10-0 start? Huge lead in first quarter was cut into severely in the 2nd then slowly faded in the 3rd. But did you see Hakim Warrick's monster rejection? HAK ATTACK!

    You could see Grizzlies lead and composure coming somewhat unglued as DARKO MILICIC went Ape-shit and ripped his jersey to shreds down the middle of his chest.

    Will post the youtube link as it becomes available.

    For now - here is an awesome video clip but with completely puerile commentary on the intro and outro done by some Internet imbecile.

    Very physical game in which Rockets are just racking up the fouls. How else do you explain the fake artist Yao Ming has no stats? Lots of attacking from our seven footers. We won the battles for rebounds and turnover/assist ratios. We give them some shots but certainly not a significant amount to even the score.

    Fourth quarter comes by and Grizz are hanging tough. Would be totally dismantling themselves except for a brilliant swish from Battier in the corner. Just like old times boy! Buckner has just scored 4 points in a row. He has 100% shooting! Season high of 6 points total tonight! WOO!

    The Grizzlies then never looked back! They kept knocking down shots or getting to the line. Houston was in panic mode and never brought it back to single digits for the night.

    Rudy Gay got his points, and Everyone's happy in Grizzlam!

    Houston's coach on the Grizz:
    This team has been struggling and they have had some tough losses. They just need to put it together and they did it tonight.
    —Rick Adelman.

    keys to the super bowl
    • The backcourt stepped up huge
    • The big fronters down low totally emasculated Yao
    • Rudy was always a threat and he made Von Wafer look like a choir boy out there.
    • O.J. Mayo sank his buckets and he does his thing every night. Solid gold out there.
    • Everything just clicked tonight. Scary when the big bear is hungry!!!

    MC Pee Pants' Solid Gold Review
    TMac and Ron Paul Artest weren't even on the game. Rafer, Luis, and Shane were up all night at Whataburger covering for the big cheese Sunday night. Look what my man here says:

    Shane Battier – On the loss
    We knew coming in this was a danger game.

    They was partying all weekend and cheering the Texans over Green Bay dawg! Practice? Are we talking about practice? FOOTBALL! These games don't matter - Grizzlies can win in December sure, sure, boy hot dog. Wake me up again in April!!!!