|2014/15 NBA Season
10-1 (4-1 road)
8-2 (6-1 home)
|November 19, 2014
|Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
|6:30 PM CDT|
|SPSO / 92.9 FM ESPN|
|Zach Randolph||PF||Amir Johnson|
|2014/15 Advanced Stats|
|91.2 (24th)||Pace||94.1 (9th)|
|107.9 (11th)||OEff||112.7 (3rd)|
|100.2 (4th)||DEff||102.5 (7th)|
The Big Story
The Grizzlies are coming off one of the most lopsided victories in franchise history against a surprisingly
flat - no wait, that's not the right word, let's say flaccid - flaccid Houston Rockets team in a match up featuring the NBA's top two teams in terms of record. Tonight, as the newly crowned best of the West, they match up with the top team in the East, and one might reasonably expect that they'll get more of a fight from the hungry Raptors. This is particularly true because three of their players were famously (or infamously) given their walking papers by your own Memphis Grizzlies, much to the continued consternation of many of the fans.
Kyle Lowry clearly still carries a chip on his shoulder for losing out to Mike Conley in a heated battle to gain the starting point guard job in Memphis. After Conley staked his claim to the position, management surprised everyone by trading the talented young point guard to Houston, where Lowry flourished and would take almost every opportunity against the Grizzlies to record a new personal best in some statistical category or another. His backup, Greivis Vasquez, of course, was also spurned by the Grizzlies inexplicably after his 2011 playoff heroics for earning the contempt of former Coach Lionel Hollins for reasons that are known only to Hollins and for which Hollins should probably seek psychiatric care.*
*I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that Hollins literally hated Vasquez - completely unfairly, I might add, unless there was a non-basketball reason for his animus. Go back and watch some videos of Hollins after Vasquez makes a typical rookie mistake: the histrionics and unhinged anger he would display make him look like Rasheed Wallace after he got called for a foul. It was over-the-top. His treatment of Vasquez was a big reason I supported the coaching change: he bullied that kid.
James Johnson became a bit of a folk hero during last year's run to the postseason, and he played well enough to price himself out of the Grizzlies free agency budget last summer. Johnson had flashes of brilliance, but his unsteady work on the defensive end clearly frustrated Joerger. Also frustrating Joerger was the group of idiots with season tickets near the team's bench that would badger him all game about Johnson. While we were winning every game! Johnson's an injury scratch tonight, so those guys thankfully will have nothing to tweet about tonight.
Seriously, THAT HOUSTON GAME THO
You can relive it all over GBB, and I suggest you do. My feelings about the players on that team are well-documented, so I will just say that it was extremely gratifying to beat those guys in such an utterly demoralizing fashion. The sight of the dejected, deflated, and defeated James Harden and Dwight Howard on the bench watching Jon Leuer posterize fools was one of the greatest things I've ever seen. If anybody can find a picture of that for me, I'll make an extra when I inevitably turn it into a Fathead. I'm considering tamping down the Dwight hate for a while, though, it's starting to become a little plaaaaaaaaayed.
EXPECITATIONS EXPECTITATIONS EXPECICTATIONS . . .
(ed. note: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh)
I can't in good conscience take too much away from the Rockets game because, after re-watching it, you can just see that Harden concedes that game in the 2nd quarter. After about 15 minutes of Tony Allen, he just threw in the towel. Lowry and the Raptors won't let that happen, but there's just one thing they forgot...
We've got our own scorned ex-lover:
Prediction: Grizzlies 102 - Raptors 92, VC with 15+