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Feb 24, 2010

Insufferable Excellence

  • Grizzlies lose to LAL - a tragic ending to a good effort.
  • phantom call on Marc Gasol screen which leads to a tech on Coach Hollins that gave Lakers another point to keep them in the game.
  • OJ Mayo misses both free throws, either of which would have sent game to overtime or resulted in a win.
  • Lakers kick ball out of bounds but refs claim they could not see it and so they did a jump ball at half court for the Lakers to get another 3 points.
  • The Grizzlies did not play exceptionally in the first half but were far significantly the better team in the second. They didn't capitalize on it as much because the Lakers are so good - even when they struggle they hung in the game long enough for the refs to give them the rest of the room to allow Kobe to be the assassin Black Mamba.
  • Hamed Haddadi looks great. Darrell Arthur needs more minutes because we need to save ZBO for next season. He is bound to hit the old man wall any day now. I run all the time and feel myself gaining weight easier than in the past. I'm about the same age as ZBO. It just happens some time around the late-20s. Not saying he should play with less passion and intensity - just limit the severe wear and tear on his body because you know it's happening as he plays like a mad man every night! He is MVP no doubt.
“We already know we are playing a lot better. We already know we can play the best teams in the NBA and do a great job. Nobody comes here thinking we are the team from last year. They come here knowing that we are a different team and more aggressive. We play hard and don’t give up.” —Marc Gasol


It's true that when the Lakers come against Grizz you should look on paper and say it is a blow-out. They do overachieve. But once you reach that level you never go back. I don't believe they can sit back and go through losses to the Wizards, Knicks and Bobcats the rest of this week. Then say "why you play so well against NJ and Lakers?" , "well... we uh, overachieved". You got to keep improving all the time.

On the team’s performance:
“During these big games we step up. We have to learn what we do during this kind of games and do it every night.” — Rudy Gay

I rather watch this,

Feb 19, 2010

Trade Ranks

Grading the NBA trade deadline moves:
  1. Neither has played much so this is a funny trade. Especially it is interesting since New York gave up Quentin Richardson for Darko. What about Darko could be intriguing to Minnesota?
  2. Can't help but laugh at this one. Dallas sends over crippled Josh Howard and free agency filler contract of Drew Gooden for 2 of the best 3 remaining Wizards players on the team post-Arenas. Howard has about a 2% chance of performing up to his old self and he has horrible character issues in his past that make him a horrible choice for a franchise that wants to "move forward" past things like gun violence, illegal drug use, and racism. ("America for white, Africa for black", etc.) Of course Gooden ended up being flipped for nothing just like BIGZ. UPDATE: I had no idea Al Thornton was somehow brought over to the Wizards in all that mess. They look pretty dang good actually. I love that they are coming together and playing better ball now. It's got me watching the Wizards again. I like Thornton a lot and always liked Josh Howard even though he is a crazy ass dude. WOOF
  3. Clippers decided to end their season early after Blake Griffin was declared lost for the season, the departure of their coach . Now they are begging for free agency next summer. Helps out Portland incredibly since they lost Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla. Andre Miller has taken over there so Blake was expendable. 
  4. Another one-sided trade that gives Chicago room for next year free-agency. Bobcats will gamble on Tyrus Thomas. He's always been overrated and does not play with passion. No wonder the Bobcats are still the worst NBA team after so long. They traded for Tyson Chandler after he was found to be lame and obviously was only a product of Chris Paul. He was not as good as Stromile Swift before that on Chicago. Now we'll see the chemistry wane as Capt Jackson and company's ship sinks.
  5. Essentially the Kings dumped Kevin Martin only for Carl Landry in return. Good move for them because Kevin Martin is not needed anymore after Tyreke. Martin has been overrated anyway. I predict the Rockets will finally come out of the top 8 and miss playoffs now.
  6. This is a joker trade if ever seen. TMac was voted as starter to the All-Star game but was not allowed to play since he has yet to play any games this season. He's just an expiring contract so that New York can get Lebrandon James and/or Chris Bosh this summer. Meanwhile Jared Jeffries contract crushes Houston's hopes of returning to glory as long as Yao Ming is on the books.
  7. Hakim Warrick has been pretty disappointing this year for the Bucks. He does ok as a bench guy, but is not a suitable replacement for Charlie Villanueva. In Memphis he started out shaky but had flashes of Strotential. Never got the complete package working though. In Chicago he should be coachable and a very nice backup support guy for Taj Gibson. Salmons is the Bucks' answer for a playoff push amidst their franchise killing loss of Michael Redd. Phoenix boy, Brandon Jennings, might have brought the Bucks into respectability already. Salmons was really brought to Chicago from Sacramento last season to push them further in the playoffs but Paul Pierce had none of that. This is a pretty minor trade in the big picture. obviously the Bucks aren't going to start beating the Cavaliers any time soon.
  8. Celtics are not happy it sounded like from interviews of Doc Rivers and company. Fans should not be either. Nate Robinson is a jack ass. Eddie House will probably love New York but what could be worse than going from the best franchise in the business to currently one of the worst? Ouch!
  9. I'm not sure what other sport allows deals like this to go through. Zman will be back with the Cavs after Wizards buy out his contract. Why does Washington just give away their top player for cash? UPDATE: Somehow thru this trade and Sebastion Telfaire going to Cleveland, Al Thornton ended up in WashingtonDC. So it's not that completely one-sided anymore. Especially if Jamison keeps going around with that baby sling on his shoulder and BigZ has to have his leg amputated because it has too many rebuilt surgeries already.

Feb 18, 2010

02/17/2010 Toronto Raptors OT post-mortem

Keys to Super Bowl
  • Big Win in Toronto, on Iranian night no less.
  • King Arthur improved in less than 24 hours. This is good.
  • Marcus Williams TCB (takin care of bidness). I have to give it up.
  • Grizz got OUT ON TOP, with 10 - 0 run to start the game. The Toronto coach was still screaming for them to get nasty and match grizzlies intensity during timeouts in the second half. They had the rust!
  • Rudy Gay playing high level. Big, big game for he.
  • Defense, Intensity, Grit. GRIZBALL, D.I.G.?
  • ZBO says it right, "that's some bullshit right there," as refs give Toronto a timeout after they had thrown the ball away, down 3 points with 1:20 to go in OT. oh well. time to take yer beating Raps. OT was a knockout punch.
  • The "Huskies" suck. They need to throw those jerseys in the trash. Really!
  • Grizzlies got it done inside and when the Raptors collapsed late in the game the boys hit their shots from outside. There were a number of 3 second violations in this one. The paint was a battle the Grizz won - despite Chris Bosh's best efforts.
  • Bargnani looks capable of averaging 35 points a night. He's virtually unstoppable on the offense, ala Pau Gasol. But his defense is weak! Like most of Toronto D. Jack was brought in to correct that but Hedo and Andres just don't match up against guys like Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph. With a 100% Reggie Evans they will be a better team.
  • As good as DeRozen might be, it just shows how bad Antoine Wright fits a starter role. He's just not talented enough.

Feb 17, 2010

02/16/2010 Phoenix Suns Post-Mortem

Keys to the toilet bowl

  • Grizzlies recap lose 109 - 95 at home after 5 full days "vacation" as they put it.
  • Rust?!
  • Darrell Arthur, Agent 00, formerly King Arthur, looks like a zero. He might not be ready for prime time until our playoff chances are too late. Kaput.
  • Mike Conley disappoints. When the Grizz were winning he was completely behind the scenes. Can't really attribute the wins to him but I would attribute the losses. Marcus Williams was the worst guy on the team since day one and hasn't improved much either. If Grizz continue to lose then it's time to start Jamaal Tinsley. Then it's really back to our losing ways, eg. Chucky Atkins days. Conley would be terrible off the bench again. He is one of those guys with the promise of utter brilliance but does not consistently deliver enough for a league that plays 82 games plus playoffs. To say he's our best shooter is not so much a compliment to him, but a sad reality of how the team lacks any pure three point threat. This year it doesn't seem to matter and Grizz capitalize on that by beating many opponents in the paint. If they want to make the next step though they have to rely on more than just Mike Conley to sink threes for them. Run the offense better. Eh, he's so young, maybe next year…
  • Next year. Most improved?
  • DEFENSE. It's the only way to win.
  • However, you won't win more than 1 out of 100 games shooting .356 FG%, 32 out of 90 buckets. If they had scored just 8 of those and brought the percentage up to .440%, they likely would have won. Is there a lack of focus or a lack of effort? It's not fatigue at this point. Maybe they need extra motivation? Like … HELLO, the bottom level, role-player salaries are going to be cut in half in the next 5 years so you better look good if you want to keep your nice house that you probably can't afford right now anyway. Like they say, "life isn't about basketball, it's more important than that".

Feb 15, 2010

TBJ Allstar Valentine's

TBJ Does Dallas: All-Star Valentine's Day from The Basketball Jones on Vimeo.

This never gets old:

Congrats to ZBO – Now I just have to find a way to watch the game online this week somehow…

Feb 3, 2010


I'm already done talking about the All-Star game. ZBO came; he saw; he conquered. How the hell are we going to sit here, he's supposed to be franchise player, and we're talking about PLAYOFFS? Pardon my ramblings.

Early in the blowout Tuesday night in Cleveland, one of the Cavalier announcers said something like, "if the Grizzlies do make playoffs they are going to have to perform in these situations after a big game. After a win against the Lakers then they will come right back the next night and might face them again. To be successful this young team will have to find a way to get up and play these kind of games."

Anytime we beat the Lakers is good.

They can have the Cleveland game off. Playoffs is a long time away. It's different playing against a whole different club in a back-to-back I would think. You're going up against different guys. The Cleveland team had no game on Monday.

A couple times recently I have said to myself, "this is the best Grizzlies team ever". Another variation is, "this is the most enjoyable Grizzlies basketball I've ever watched." They are fun and they get after teams and the pain of the last 3 seasons seems to be a thing of the past. They are causing blood pressure alarms as they play games down to the buzzer and let teams slip back in the 4th a couple times recently. But it's a lot better than the icy depression of being down double digits "night-in and night-out" in the 3rd quarters of games. I hated seeing that.

Memphis is kicking arse. It might not be every night against everybody. But give a little time and one of them will find a way to bring the hurt.