Altitude sickness and the effects it could have on the Memphis Grizzlies

USA TODAY Sports

It was less than a week ago when the Nuggets walked into a buzz saw in Memphis, TN as the Grizzlies scored 120 points and had (7) players in double digits stats. It's the same team, but it's definitely not the same air.

Denver, CO is nicknamed the Mile High City because it's official elevation is listed at 5,280 feet (that's a mile) above sea level. This puts Denver in the rare category of a city with high elevation and a population large enough to sustain a professional sports franchise. Why is this relevant?

Altitude sickness.

When you reach high altitudes, the air gets thinner from less atmospheric pressure and therefore holds a lower percentage of oxygen in the air you're breathing. This is why airplanes are pressurized (although I wouldn't mind passing out during most flights), and it's why if you've ever been to Colorado your first few days might have been a bit alarming.

It affects everyone differently, and some people have no problems making the climb (not literal) up to as much as 8,000 ft, the most common threshold for people to start experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness. But it's possible for it to affect some people at as low of an altitude as 4,900 ft. And it's not fun stuff - those symptoms range from the feeling of a mild hangover all the way to a full blown case of the flu. It can make you tired, nauseous, lightheaded and can most definitely affect your breathing (which is pretty key for a pro athlete).

With that knowledge in tow, is it much of a wonder that the Denver Nuggets have 50%+ home winning percentage against every NBA team in history besides the LA Lakers? That includes an 88.2% winning percentage over the Memphis Grizzlies, which is Denver's highest home winning % over any team they've ever played.

Makes sense when you consider that Memphis is only 371 ft above sea level (well... I guess all those horrible seasons didn't help either). Elevation is something to which humans can acclimate, but it generally takes longer than the 12-16 hours the Grizzlies have spent in Denver today. And when you consider the drastic change from their normal-living elevation, it's easy to see why Memphis-based Grizzlies' teams have only won in Denver twice in thirteen (13) years.

The good news? One of those wins came a couple of years ago with a lot of the guys that'll be on the floor tonight. Okay, not a lot, but 3 or 4.

And hopefully Kosta has some tips for his teammates from his experience in playing in Denver.

The Grindmaster from last edition (at Suns) was Zach Randolph.

  1. Game Score and Winner (correct predictions receive 3 points, if no correct predictions, 1 point awarded to member(s) with closest differential)
  2. The Grindmaster (3 points awarded to correct predictions; if Grindmaster title is split between 2 or more players, 2 points go to each member who predicted one of those players)
  3. Total # of personal fouls committed by the Grizzlies (3 points awarded to correct predictions; 1 point awarded to the member(s) closest without going over)
  4. True or False: Ed Davis finishes the game with 50% FG shooting or better (3 points awarded to correct predictions; 0 points awarded to incorrect answers)

Grind Prophecies 2013-14 January Rules

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