Stormin' to the party like my name was El Nino....
First...some shout outs....
S/O to Joe Mullinax's article on loving Tony Allen, which got some major love this week already. It is the best explanation about how fans can love a guy who constantly blows open shots, throws towels on the court, and kicks people in the face. If you haven't read it...do so now!!!!
S/O to Andrew Ford and his work on Marc Gasol's three point potential. There is a part of Gasol's game that reminds me of Arvydas Sabonis, and a three point shot might just solidify that comparison.
S/O to the Boss Chris Faulkner and his compiling of the best "indie" Grizzlies gear. I have my Christmas list filled out now.
and Finally...S/O to some jerk who had the gall to compare the Grizzlies/Thunder game on Friday to "The Wire." He would like to say if he had it to do over...he would make the following changes:
Marc= Jimmy McNulty
Mike Conely= Carver
Vince Carter= Freemon
Kosta Koufus- any of the Eastern European guys from season 2
Anthony Morrow- Poot (mostly because I like typing "Poot").
The Memphis Grizzlies
This week, the Grizzlies were 4-0 with wins against the New Orleans Hornets Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Milwaukee Bucks (Get Buck!) for 47:59...
Then they lost....
...wrapping up the week at 3-1 (6-1 overall).
The Second and Fourth Quarter Dip- This will become my weekly place to whine about how bad the bench has played until they start to play better.
The bench has played badly over the first seven games. The Grizz have not had a double digit scorer off the bench yet. Vince Carter has been quite the chucker so far. Jon Leuer is a mess. Kosta is providing some defense and rebounding. Quincy Pondexter...WHAT DO YOU DO???
HCDJ's rotations have been interesting so far this season. Unless there is foul trouble, usually the first subs come in around 5 minutes left in the first quarter. Usually by the second quarter, the lineup is made up of reserves plus maybe one or two starters. The complete starting unit usually does not enter the game until five minutes left in the second quarter. The third quarter is usually all starters for the entire quarter, followed up by reserves starting the fourth until midway through the period, or if there is a major run by the opponent (think OKC).
The ineffectiveness of the bench is palpable through the first seven games. Here is the point differential by quarter:
Now, I feel like the minus three for the fourth quarter is a combination of the Grizzlies being ahead and playing a bit of prevent defense in their offensive sets. But the quarters where the starters play a majority of the minutes are up, and are down when they are not.
This should not be a surprise. Your bench guys are your bench guys for a reason. The defensive scheme and effort has been wonderful across the board so far. But your bench can help support the second unit a little better by..I don't know...SCORING A LITTLE MORE!!!!!
It is early...and I feel like this solution will work itself out. A returning Nick Calathes, a healthy Vince Carter, QPon with glasses maybe...but there is no reason to panic just yet.
The keyword being...yet.
What Might Have Been- I was watching the Bucks broadcast of the game Saturday night (don't ask) when two things came to my attention.
One...Pete and Brevin are the best.
Two, one of the announcers for Milwaukee mentioned that Zach Randolph was nearly traded to the Bucks back in 2008???
Turns out this is true. Check out this story from January of 2008. The Bucks offered the Knicks, who Z Bo was playing for at the time, Bobby Simmons, Dan Gadzuric, and Charlie Bell for Z Bo and some guy named Fred Jones. who as it turns out is a Create-a-Player from NBA Live 2008*.
We all know how this turns out. The Knicks finally find a taker for Z Bo in the Clippers, trading him for Cuttino Mobly and Tim Thomas (barf), the Clippers get the top overall draft pick, draft Blake Griffin, and no longer need Z Bo. On July 17th, 2009, Zach Randolph is traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Quinton Richardson...and nothing else. Zach Randolph turns his career around, makes two All Star Games, leads the Grizzlies to their first playoff win, series win, and Western Conference appearance.
But what if Bucks owner Herb Kohl makes the trade for Z Bo back in 2008??? Here is their possible starting lineup:
PG: Mo Williams (has he played for every team in the league except Memphis???)
SG: Michael Redd (right before he turned to stone)
SF: Fred Jones (HA)
PF: Z Bo (Fear the Deer indeed)
C: Andrew Bogut (wow...a decent player)
With a mean bench of Charlie Villanueva, Ramon Sessions (maybe the Mike Conley deal goes through), Charlie Bell, and Chairman Yi. Boom!
What if Milwaukee really becomes, as the Alquonquins say, "the good land". What if Z Bo/Bogut becomes the GaZBo of the future (Z-BoGut?)? What if Milwaukee rules the Eastern Conference (Note: they wouldn't). What if Z Bo says to ESPN, "I'm just a blue collar player from a sausage town?"
Guess we will never quite know.....
*Not true...As it turns out, Fred Jones was a 6'4" shooting guard from the University of Oregon, who spent seven years in the NBA averaging 7.2 points and 2.3 assists per game
The Hate List
*This portion of the O/U will track the despicable, terrible, and not nice teams on the Grizzlies hate list. This list includes the San Antonio Spurs, the OKC Thunder, the LA Clippers, and apparently this week...LARRY SANDERS IN REC SPECS!!!!!!
The Hate List Record: 7-10
If you can't say anything nice...don't say anything at all-Being a Grizzlies blogger means watching the games, making comment about the style of play, reading about statistical analysis, and re-watching video of key sequences to get a better understanding of play.
It also means spending a Saturday night watching the home team play in Milwaukee or Charlotte when no one else in the world is watching. SO what I would like to start here is...every now and again...compiling a list of compliments for opponents...because if you can't say anything nice...this column would be really short.
So let's spread a little magic...shall we???
-This team has a lot of guys that can do things on the court. I don't know if they can win together...but they should be a pretty tough out.
-Guy I wish was a Grizzly: Gorgi Deng
-Too bad about Paul George
-It must suck to have your Eastern Conference runner up be replaced by the D-League All Star team
-Guy I wish was a Grizzly: Ummm....next section
-Those Hornet unis are grrrrrreat. Reminds me so much of NBA Jam. Feels like Zo and Grandmama should be running out on the court anytime now.
-This team feels a bit frisky if they can manage who they are. They have two young, young talents (Kemba and MKG), a stud in the middle (Al Jefferson), and just enough crazy to make it work (Born Ready).
-Times MJ has thought he could play 10-12 a night with team: 856 times
-Guy I wish was a Grizzly:
New Orleans Pelicans
-I like their uniforms. If they were a weird color they would look like an ABA team. Maybe a a lighter blue.
-Guy I wish was a Grizzly: Ryan Anderson
-Can I be serious for a minute? Can we please wax Anthony Davis' eyebrows now??? The future face of the league needs to be less Cro-magnon.
-This team is definitely frisky. If there is an injury to someone in the Western Conference or if Dallas can't get their act together...I think they make the playoffs.
Guy(s) I wish were Grizzlies: The good Morris twin and Eric Bledsoe.
Oklahoma City Thunder
-Since they are on the hate list...no comment.
Good to see old Grizzlies again in Jerryd Bayless and OJ Mayo. Good to see OJ has lost a little weight too.
Just kidding...I couldn't resist.
-Guy I wish was a Grizzly- Giannis Antekeuoaopvmguymkpolpwqzxeds. I would so buy a Grizzlies alphabet jersey.
Life, The Universe, and Everything Else
#FreeBillSimmonsagain?- Earlier this week, NBA Countdown Co-host, Grantland founder, and Internet writing maven Bill Simmons got into a dust up on Twitter, but this time his ire was directed towards Mike Golic. Simmons went on Collin Cowherd's show this week, and made a comment that Lebron James' performance reminded him of Albert Pujols going from the Cardinals to the Angels. The next day, Golic took the air and decided that it was entirely too early to make that assessment.
It is a little early to make any over-reaching statement on anyone from the league this early (I mean...besides that the Lakers suck, the Clippers are bad, and the Grizzlies going 82-0). It's ok to disagree...just don't go all H.A.M. and call a guy a glory-boy, whether he is or not (he is).
Never one to shrink from a controversy...Bill took to Twitter
What Mike and Mike did today was absolute garbage. I would say I lost respect for that show, but I never had it. http://t.co/LRd8YzFfO8— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 6, 2014
Look...Bill is right...nobody likes Mike and Mike...it's like local news, NPR, or the music they play at the grocery store...it's just on.
For an ESPN Radio show to pull an interview out of context from another ESPN Radio show, then play the moral authority card, is disgusting.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 6, 2014
Why has Twitter become the place for every "hold me back" fight?
Have the balls to call me to discuss it on the show. Don't pull it out of context just because you need fodder for a segment. Pathetic.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 6, 2014
But hey - I'm just a guy who can't evolve, right? http://t.co/XJ0GWbc5gJ— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 6, 2014
This is the one that might get him suspended. Nothing like taking a swipe at the guy who watches your bosses do their jobs.
This is also the first time I have ever read the Ombudsman article and I gotta tell you...that was the more interesting and....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
Huh??? Where was I??? Oh yeah...
I see @billsimmons has been running the jewels.— SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) November 6, 2014
Yes indeed #omarvoice
And in my favorite response...here is what should have happened...
My wife would drive home from grad school to throw my phone in the toilet if my takes got that hot.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) November 6, 2014
Later in the day...Golic took to Twitter to say they had kissed and made up...so much of this was for naught.
See you next week...and as always....