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May 16, 2011

Remember the Roar


I see 7 playoff wins and the All-Time Grizzlies playoff record goes from 0-12 to 7-18. That's like a 40% improvement with this squad. Very good things can be expected from this team down the road. I'm ready to cogitate on this for the summer. No summer league, no Olympics, no FIBA, no draft (Grizzlies have just 1 second round pick this year, unless they do a trade). Time to just relax and dream about the excitement we just witnessed over the last 7 months.

 


Thanks for 2010-2011!

May 14, 2011

Game 6: Post-Mortem (cont.)

Zach Randolph

I can't tell anything you don't already know about this dude. He is a Grizzly Bear. Just look at him in the paint. My favorite quote is by Kevin Garnett this year when the Grizzlies beat them in Boston again. He said, "I felt like I was wrestling with a grizzly bear the whole game."


Tony Allen
ALL HEART, GRIT GRIND! The Tony Allen's of the world make it a joy to be alive. Do you know someone like him? He's the guy that is always up. Even when he's down you know a joke or something and he's back to his old self. On the other hand, there is a dark side to the guy. He's a competitor. He wants to win. And he's going to hurt you if you come between him and that goal. Tony hit an awesome 3 last night and redeems himself with some good finishes at the rim. Tony Allen #9 had full size cutouts all over the Memphis Airport when I visited last week. The town has embraced his tenacity and emotional display. We know he has an NBA Championship ring so that stuff isn't just him being cute. He's serious about winning. He's a Memphis Grizzly!

O.J. Mayo
JUICE. This guy has come up huge. He's been through it all this year, but finally has put it together. He's in there at the end of all the games. He hits unconscious shots in pressure situations when a normal person would freeze like a deer in headlights. The thing that separates him from other scorers this post-season however, is the terrific defense he's played against the Thunder. He's forced strategic adjustments on either side. OJ is going to be sought after when his contract comes up. Everyone has seen the potential for him to be a leader, and now he's been through the bumps of life and had success at the highest level.

Sam Young

Obviously coaches like what Sam brings to the starting lineups. He's had some brilliant dunks in the playoffs. He plays good defense. He gets it. Sam Young plays at full speed and will be a great player returning next year for his third year.

Shane Battier
I freaked out big time when Shane hit the buzzer beater 3pt at the end of the first half in last night's game. It cut the lead down to 10 points (54-44). Shane represents a lot for this franchise and for this team. Redemption. Grit. Hustle.
Shane is glue between this city and the original triumph of the Grizzlies. And he's back. Can you believe it? Gasol 2.0 and now Shane 2.0.

Mike Conley
Mike Conley is the fearless floor general. Problem this series is his shots are not falling. Besides the miracle shot at the end of regulation in Game 4 - he's been a horrible shot. But the guy has done well against Westbrook and company. And he's instrumental in running the offense. Conley at this point is underrated and I really expect him to establish himself as a top 10 point guard in the next season or two. The quintessential point guard is becoming a rare thing in the NBA anyway.

Marc Gasol

To set up Conley's game-tying 3 at the end of Game 4 - Marc Gasol had to block Westbrook coming down the lane. He's the anchor and what I like to call URSA MAJOR next to ZBO (Ursa Minor). The dive to the floor last night was incredible. The big man hitting the deck and making a play you only see in the Olympics, seldom seen from spoiled NBA stars. The little brother just ended up in Memphis by a stroke of cosmic irony. Sometimes you have to wonder though if things are just meant to be!!! Memphis has really been bless with the Gasols.

Darrell "King" Arthur - a force to reckon with. Sweet shot that goes in from 18 feet.

Hamed Haddadi - clearly has the talent but working to put it all together and when he does he will be a starter in the NBA somewhere.

Greivis Vasquez - reminds me of Steve Nash with the shot. but he can hit it! He did it in Overtime! You can't teach champion instinct. You can't teach exuberance. He's a great piece of this playoff team!

Shout out to Leon Powe, Ish, Demarre Carroll, Thabeet, JWill, Xavier Henry, and especially Rudy Gay ...


I love the super slowed down videos.
Watch this video or skip to the 3minutes mark. Just great stuff. You can see the power and ferocity of the game only at this level.

Game 6: Post-Mortem

The team that never quit, from the city that still believes, the Grizzlies are headed back to Oklahoma City to face the final game of series to decide who will advance.

This has been one heck of a ride for the Grizzlies faithful. I don't think I'll have a hard time remembering this year of my life either. Not only did I get to travel home to Memphis and be with my grandmothers and mom on Mother's Day, but I got to be there for 4 Overtime periods through Games 3 and 4 at the FedEx Forum!

It all started on May Day, which happened to also be my 30th birthday. Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals between the Grizzlies and Thunder, and I got to spend it celebrating with ice cream cake and my homemade dandelion wine (which I had bottled the year before). The Grizzlies are the lowest seed of the playoffs, even though they were in a three-way tie just a week before the season ended. They jockeyed for position but ended up in a favorable match against the elderly Spurs team. So, because of that seeding they had to play game 1 on the road in Oklahoma City, and they close the critical elimination Game 7 there as well.

If you're reading this you already know how my birthday went. The series opened with an unlikely win. Can the Grizzlies steal another road win to finish off the Thunder?

I said it many times after Game 3, a game that the Thunder wanted to win in order to take back home court advantage due to the loss in Game 1, the monumental come from behind victory was just short of a miracle. I felt like I had seen a miracle. The emotions from expecting the superior team to take care of business, to seeing the underdog come clawing back, are what make following this team so special.

Yes, the Thunder were supposed to win Game 6 last night. Yes, of course they will be heavy favorites again for Game 7. But they were supposed to win Game 1 too and look what happened. Despite the 3OT loss and then the beatdown in Oklahoma City, the Grizz came back on a Friday night and Took Care of Business! The Grizzlies nation has one thing in common: HOPE. Talent and hope is what you need to reach your goals. We know we got talented players. I think the most disappointing and regrettable aspect of the previous seasons was not the lack of talent but the lack of hope, grit, and grind.

Now let me try to briefly discuss some of the other surrounding context on this May Grizzlies Playoff extravaganza. We already have Memphis on the front of the Wall Street Journal and 24x7 on the CNN News as I flew home Tuesday May 10th. This is due to the worst flooding of the Mississippi since 1937. What people have already forgotten is that on April 27th the Midsouth experienced deadly tornadoes that already wrought devastation and death throughout the area. The venue for the International Memphis in May BBQ Fest is currently under water. President Barrack Obama is/was in Memphis to honor the Booker T Washington High School for their "Race to the Top" selection.

I know he's a basketball fan; I wonder if he was there?


I don't want to use the flooding and the storms as a excuse for why Memphis is getting a break. That's ridiculous. We certainly wouldn't have lost Game 4 after three overtimes if somehow the Thunder or the referees were conspiring to allow the Grizzlies to keep playing because we deserve it somehow. We deserved this long before any of this happened. Memphis has been hated by the media and laughed at so many times. The organization was crucified for trading away Pau Gasol to the Lakers. Looking back, that deal wasn't bad at all, and has been imitated at least 3 times since then! (Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, and Gilbert Arenas were all traded for "nothing")

Memphis has been a laughing stock. And let's face it - we were short changed by Calipari and the University of Memphis Tigers. We got our money's worth from the amazing C-USA runs and the incredible NCAA Final Four of 2008, but there weren't the miracles we've been seeing from the Grizzlies this year. When you have the future youngest MVP in the league ever on your team (Derrick Rose) you would expect to do some serious damage, especially being surrounded by 2 current NBA players and 2 other guys that almost made it.


This is why I really love the Grizzlies players. Because they were on Memphis they were forgotten. Even though Mike Conley, OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay, and Shane Battier were top lottery picks, the nationwide audience largely had forgotten them. Battier not so much, he does command a lot of respect, but his style of game doesn't translate into flashy commercial endorsements in the way that a young Brandon Jennings does. I like the Grizzlies because they are humble and they do their job because they are professionals, not because it is fun or because a bunch of drug dealers in Miami are betting on their games, but because it's in their DNA. They put in the extra effort because it's their passion.


Next post, going in depth about the players...

May 12, 2011

Game 6: TCB



Detroit was down 3-0... Game 7 is tonight. Grizz need to force a game 7 with a win Friday night. TCB = Taking Care of Business. I heard someone say TCG when I was at game 3. Taking Care of Grizzlies?

Don't Stop Believin'!








NO SLEEP TIL BROOKLYN!!!


I CAN'T LET A DAY GO BY, WITHOUT BEIN' FLY!


May 11, 2011

The Best Men in the World



"Now, an Army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating."

"I don’t want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We’re not holding anything. Let the tHUNder do that. We are advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're going to kick him in the ass. We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we're gonna go through him like crap through a goose."

SIRIUS!




May 9, 2011

ALL DEFENSE

My son, my son, what have ye done?




  • Memphis Grizzles' Tony Allen - NBA 2010-2011 All NBA Defense Team 2
  • May 5, 2011

    Spotlight: Memphis



  • Can't Help Falling in Love – with the grizzzz



    Another fantastic video from Grizzlies.com:

  • Up with the White and Gold


    play dis:


  • Grizzlies set to whiteout the GrindHouse – white shirt and gold growl towels!

    All fans attending any Second Round Playoff games at FedExForum will also receive a Round Two Gold Grizzlies Growl Towel




  • bonus vid: GT cheerleaders doing the white & gold

    So then it's up with the White and Gold
    Down with the Blue and Orange
    Memphis is out for a victory
    We'll drop our battle axe on Westbrook's head, CHOP!
    When we meet her our team will surely beat her
    Down on old Bennett's farm there'll be no sound
    When our Growl Towels rip through the air
    When the battle is over Okie's team will be found
    With the Memphis Grizzlies stomping around.


  • May 3, 2011

    if you build it...




    Suddenly everyone ♥ the Grizzlies – they will come.



    I am more or less speechless about the Grizzlies playoff run. I went to 5 Grizzlies games on 3 different cross-country flights a couple seasons ago and they lost all of them, but I had a blast. Now I'm going to see them play in 2 home playoff games this weekend and Monday....!?!? And, depending how tonight goes, they might even be... the favorites!?





    How did we get here?



    1. Hollins -
      He's old school. He calls reporters "son". He checks ego at the door (Allen Iverson lasted days on the calendar). He doesn't coddle rookies. When he said some choice comments about the new officiating styles this year in preseason, the league fined him. He never commented on them again. "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."


    2. The Infamous Three Year Plan -
      The words were what every fan wanted to hear, but almost none could believe. In three years we would not just be out of the lottery, winning some home games, no longer a league embarrassment. No, the promise was in three years we'd be in the playoffs again and poised to compete for championship. It sounded delusional given the roster at the time and the recent draft history of guys yet to become complete players: Lowry, Warrick, Gay, and Conley.


    3. Pau Gasol -
      Another proclamation heard after our third playoff sweep was that the organization was going to quit trying to add more arms to the octopus. Instead of just going out and getting more talent they would rebuild around Pau in a systematic way with complementary players. With injuries to Gasol, false start with Coach Iavaroni, and inconsistent play by guys like Darko this plan tanked. A do-over was commissioned in the hands of Chris Wallace. The rest is history.


    4. Zach Randolph -
      Every great sports team must have a star. In a message board survey for nicknames of Marc Gasol and ZBo I came up with my favorite. Because they truly are extraordinary star players and they combine so many talents I name them for a constellation. One second they are hauling down rebounds and making putbacks, then they knock down 15 foot jumpshots.

      Ursa Major :: Ursa Minor