Congratulations O.J. Mayo on a Great Rookie Season.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Hollins Era Began with a loss

To be honest, the result of last night's game wasn't a surprise to many. Just because we changed coaches, doesn't mean the losing is going to stop. It will take time for Lionel Hollins to get the team on the track that he is guiding them. I did notice that in the 1'st Quarter, the Grizzlies came out with a different philosophy than they have been playing with. On the very 1'st possession, O.J. Mayo brought the ball down court. Then we were playing full court defense and creating turnovers. At the end of the 1'st quarter, we had a lead. I believe this will help them realize, that his system can work.

In the 2'nd quarter, the game started to slip away from us. We lost the quarter by 10. The officiating last night was horrible. I am NOT saying this cost us the win, but it made the game so miserable to watch. There was no flow for the players to get into. O.J. Mayo came into the game and it took him 2 seconds to get a foul called on him so he had to go sit down again. All the foul calls also made the game go very late. The game didn't end until 9:41. That was with it being a 15 point loss so there wasn't all the timeouts and fouls at the end of the game. Normally that game should have ended around 9:20. 61 personal fouls and 2 technical fouls. The refs needed to let them play ball.

The Grizzlies kept fighting and made it close in the 4'th quarter. We got down by only 4 but couldn't finish the comeback. Hollins in his post game press conference said that the players aren't in shape. I believe this is a big cause of the 4'th quarter collapses that keep occurring. Hopefully he can correct this soon and in the 2'nd half of the season we can see some improvement.

Darius Miles provided some great bench points last night. I hope that the Grizzlies will sign him to a contract for the remainder of the season. I believe he has proven worthy of it. We need some scoring off the bench more than just Hak and Lowry.

Hopefully, Hollins can get his first win tonight. Read more!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lionel Hollins - Really????

Grizzlies fans were excited to hear that Coach Ivaroni was fired. People were throwing names around that we were hoping to be the new head coach of the Grizzlies. Avery Johnson, Flip Saunders, Maurice Cheeks, Jeff Van Gundy. I never heard anybody mention Lionel Hollins. I know Lionel Hollins is a nice guy and still has a home here in Memphis, but we need a veteran head coach that can develop the talent that we have. We need a coach that will be the right coach for the next 5 years. Counting the interim head coaches, this will be Rudy Gay's 5'th head coach in 2.5 seasons. That is instability.

For the sports radio listeners outside of the local area, I don't know if this is even being mentioned on your stations, but here in Memphis, this is getting ripped to shreds. The talk shows are all in an uproar over this hire. Chris Vernon on FoxSports 730 said he could think of 30 other coaches he would have hired before this hire.

Espn story about the firing and mentions the hiring as well.

Grizzlies story on Iavaroni being relieved of his coaching duties.

ESPN is reporting that Avery Johnson was offered a 5 year contract to come coach the Grizzlies. I am glad to see that we made an offer for Avery because I think he might have been a good coach for this team. But when Avery turned down the offer, was Lionel Hollins really #2 on the coach wishlist?

Espn story about Avery Johnson turning down the Grizzlies coaching job.

I am still going to support the Grizzlies and I hope Hollins proves everybody wrong. Read more!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Iavaroni fired in Memphis

The Commercial Appeal is reporting that the Memphis Grizzlies have fired head coach Marc Iavaroni. This isn't much of a surprise to the fans of the team. Many have been wondering what was taking so long for this to happen. The regression this team has been showing over the last several weeks was justification for this firing.

Since the Grizzlies decent start of 9-15, they have now gone 2-15. This is totally unacceptable. There has been a disconnect between the coach and the players it seems. The Grizzlies games seem to have turned into something similar to the movie groundhog day. The games keep having the same results. The Grizzlies get off to a slow start, battle back to try to get into it then lose it down the last 4 minutes.

This isn't change for change's sake, this must be change for the sake of growth and progress.

As a season ticket holder, I implore the Grizzlies to make sure they hire the right coach that can help the younger players to grow and learn how to finish games out. We must have a coach that can get this team to play together. Read more!

MLK day in Memphis

The Memphis Grizzlies have a nice tradition going in Memphis with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration game. The day is filled with many events. The Marines present the High School Classic that is played early in the day. Then there is a sports legacy symposium that is held and presented by the Hyde Family Foundation. Then prior to the game, the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Awards are presented. David Aldridge of TNT hosts the symposium and speaks when the awards are given out. This years recipients were Dave Bing and Dr. Julius Erving. Dr. J commented on receiving this award, that "This makes this Martin Luther King Jr. celebration day the top one since its inception for me." David Aldridge commented on hosting they symposium that "it was very moving and I was privileged to host that today."

The Grizzlies also had Brandy there to perform the national anthem and to perform at half time. Brandy's performance put I believe thousands of people in the seats. It was one of the biggest crowds I have seen this season. The crowd there was very different from what I had seen even in the Lakers or the Cavaliers game when Kobe or LeBron was in town. People weren't leaving at half time to go get food or drinks. I think there was more cheering in the upper deck during half time then the rest of the game.

The Grizzlies did put up a great effort before losing to the Pistons 87-79. The Grizzlies fought hard and even took a lead into the 4'th quarter. But in the 4'th, the Grizzlies could only muster 10 points. Nobody that day was hot. We had 5 players in double figure scoring, but you didn't know coming down the stretch who was going to score. The Pistons knew they were going to Iverson and he was going to carry them to the win. The Grizzlies need somebody to develop into that go to guy that when it comes down to the last 4 minutes of the game, will score and carry them to the win. Right now we keep turning the ball over to much in the last 4 minutes of the game. We didn't even score a point in the last 2:55 of the game. Read more!

Where to eat - Spaghetti Warehouse

My father and I ate at the Spaghetti Warehouse Monday for dinner. We were so surprised at the great special that they are currently offering. They are offering a warehouse trio's special starting at $8.99. Enjoy a 3 course meal at a great price. You choose your entree, it comes with a soup or salad. Then choose an appetizer and a dessert. These weren't small portions either. My father and I couldn't finish our meals. The food was very good. I ordered the lasagna with the soup and had the mozzarella cheese sticks and the brownie sundae. The service we received was excellent as well. I am looking forward to going back there very soon.

Read more!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

O.J. Mayo and Ashley Furniture

Tonight, O.J. Mayo was out signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans at Ashley Furniture in Cordova, TN. He was very friendly in his actions tonight. I arrived and 5:30 and was told that the line was closed because he was scheduled to be there from 4:00 until 6:00. At 5:30 the line was half-way through the store. I was told I could stand in line, but wasn't guaranteed and autograph. At 6:00 they made an announcement that O.J. said he would stay and sign autographs for everybody still in line. There was probably at least 50 to 75 people still in line and he stayed until everybody had received his autograph. O.J. is a class act and I want to thank him for his generosity with his time.

Read more!

Jazz find their notes in Memphis

The Utah Jazz found winning notes in Memphis last night. They broke their 5 game road losing streak with a 101-91 win. Deron Williams led the way with 27 points and 12 assists. The Jazz shot 52% from the field.

The Grizzlies had 5 players in double figures scoring led by O.J. Mayo with 23 points. He had a nice bounce back game after the 6 point outing against the Cavaliers. Rudy Gay was not one of the five players the Grizzlies had in double figures. He ended the night with 5 points and 2 rebounds. Hopefully come Monday against the Pistons, he will break out of his slump and have a big game for us.

A couple other bright spots was the double double by Marc Gasol with 12 points and 10 rebounds despite being in foul trouble. Also, Darius Miles nearly posted a double double in only 14 minutes. He ended with 10 points and 7 rebounds. In the last 2 games, he has proven he can play and contribute to a team in this league. I hope the Grizzlies sign him for the remainder of the season.

The last dozen games or so have been very tough to watch. The crowd last night was very sparse. I would estimate about 4,000 or so fans actually in the stands. The Grizzlies are finding out who the TRUE fans are right now. After the last 2 seasons and the way this season is going, we are not bandwagon jumpers, we are Grizzlies loyalist. Read more!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jazz playing in the city of the Blues

Friday night will find Jazz playing off of Beale Street in Memphis. Hopefully the Jazz will be sour and leave town feeling the blues. The Jazz are currently struggling on the road having now lost 5 straight after losing to the Thunder in Oklahoma City Wednesday night. This does give hope to Grizzlies fans that if the Thunder could beat the Jazz, then maybe we can too. Their road record for the season stands at 7-12. Their last road win was December 19 @ Detroit in double overtime.

The Jazz are suffering from injuries this season. They have missed over 100 games due to injury. As a Grizzlies fan, I am not crying over the fact that Carlos Boozer is out and that Paul Milsap is listed as day to day and didn't play Wednesday night. We need wins and I don't care who we are playing, I just want a win. At the end of the season when we discuss their record, we don't discuss who played and who didn't play for the teams we beat.

The 3 keys to the game are as follows:

1. Until the Grizzlies break this trend, this will always be the first key. They must score 20 points in the 1'st quarter, We are winless when we score less than 20 in the first quarter. I don't understand why so many games we come out flat in the first quarter. It seems that there may be a lack of proper preperation so we fall behind and then have to play from behind. If Arthur doesn't start due to injury, I hope that Warrick starts. This might help with this key if we put our 4 top scorers on the court to start the game.

2. Kyle Lowry must play tight defense on Deron Williams. We must contain Deron. He is averaging 15.4 ppg and 9.8 apg. Against the Thunder he scored 25 points. Against the Pacers on the 12'th he scored 23 points with 11 assists. We must contain him and keep him from getting his teammates involved. We need to keep him under 20 points and around 6 assists.

3. Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo must recover from the horrible game against the Cavs. These 2 must score their season averages and get at least 40 points combined. Getting 16 points combined will not win us any games. They also need to hit more 3 point shots. Extend the defense out and open it up for Warrick and Gasol down low. Read more!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The LeBron Show in Memphis

The LeBron show made its annual trip to Memphis tonight. If you were in attendance tonight to see LeBron play, you didn't leave disappointed. He put on a show tonight which included 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple double of the season. He had several highlight dunks and a circus shot that ended up being the #2 play of the day on ESPN. He also had a block shot on a Kyle Lowry layup attempt that was the #6 play also.

Let me review my 3 keys to the game:

1. Rudy & O.J. must score at least 50 points. These two must step up and play above their season averages. These two combined for 16 points on 8 of 27 shooting. One fan sitting next to me mentioned that it seemed as if they were intimidated by the presence of Lebron on the court.
2. LeBron James must be held to under 25 points and 5 assists per game. We must keep LeBron from taking over the game and getting his teammates involved. As previously stated, LeBron had a triple double tonight. Not only did he score, but he got his teammates involved so that they had a dominating performance tonight. The grizzlies were only able to lead the game for 1 minute at 13-12.
3. The Grizzlies must not turn the ball over more than 12 times. We must return to the ball control that we experienced during the 4 game winning streak. Marc Gasol had 4 and Rudy Gay had 3 turnovers. They struggled with the handle tonight. The team as a whole did well with only 12 turnovers. We succeeded with this goal.

Having completed only 1 of the 3 keys leads to another loss.

Some other notes from tonight's game:

Darius Miles showed that he is in physical condition to play in this league still. In 13:45 of playing time tonight, he score 13 points on 4 of 6 shooting and 5 of 7 from the line. He was playing in the 3'rd quarter when the Grizzlies were struggling to score. I am sure Portland now realizes that his salary will be back on the books after Friday night's game. I believe that not only will he play out this 10 day contract, but will also sign another contract either in Memphis or somewhere else this season.

Kyle Lowry had a career night tonight. He posted 25 points on 5 of 11 shooting. He got to the free throw line 16 times converting on 15 of them. He also had 7 assists as well. He has proven that putting him into the starting lineup we the right choice. On one shot attempt tonight, he should have dunked the ball instead of doing a finger roll layup. LeBron chased him down from behind and blocked his shot attempt. See tonight's SportsCenter top 10 play #6.

Hamed Haddadi played tonight for 5 minutes. He had 3 rebounds and 1 nice assist.

Hakim Warrick continued his double digit scoring streak to 11 games. With Darrell Arthur injuring his hamstring, maybe Warrick will get to start like he probably should be.
Here is something to ponder. In Darko's last 10 games prior to his injury, the grizzlies were 5-5. Since his injury, the grizzlies are 1-8. Hurry back Darko!!
Read more!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cavaliers @ Grizzlies Preview

Come Tuesday night, the FedEx Forum will be rocking. The bad thing is that in Memphis, there are still many fans here that aren't fans of the Grizzlies. There will be nearly as many Cavs fans as there will be Grizzlies fans. When the Lakers were here, at the end of the game the fans were chanting MVP MVP. That is the frustrating thing for a Grizzlies fan to be in your own house and here so many cheers for an opposing star.

Now I expect tomorrow night that the Grizzlies will be up for this game. They seem to be up for some of the better teams in the league. 4 of the wins we have this season are against Houston, Miami, Dallas, and Orlando. We sometimes beat some of the better teams in the league while we don't show up half the time against the lower level teams like the TWolves.

3 keys for the Grizzlies to win against the Cavaliers:

1. Rudy & O.J. must score at least 50 points. These two must step up and play above their season averages.
2. LeBron James must be held to under 25 points and 5 assists per game. We must keep LeBron from taking over the game and getting his teammates involved.
3. The Grizzlies must not turn the ball over more than 12 times. We must return to the ball control that we experienced during the 4 game winning streak. Read more!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Grizzlies signing Darius Miles

It is being reported in the Commercial Appeal that the Grizzlies are going to sign Darius Miles to a 10 day contract.

Here is a link to the story.

I think it is a good move. I hope he does play the 2 games so that the contract goes back on Portland's books. Chris Wallace is worried about our team and not what happens to Portland. This may assist us in signing a free agent, because it could eliminate Portland from possibly trying to sign the same free agent.

Go Grizzlies Read more!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I have delayed this post trying to let my frustration subside. The game against the Twolves was so frustrating as a fan. My dad and I was discussing during the game, that although we are only down 4 to 8 points, we never felt like we had a chance in the game. Then we do make a run and tie the game up at 87 with 90 seconds to go. Then the biggest frustration came in that to a team that is considered worse than us could finish the game in our house with a 7-0 run. Why they have learned how to close out a game on the road and we can't close it out in our own house is frustrating. It seemed that because the Twolves aren't one of the elite teams in the league, they weren't as up for the game. On Sunday against Dallas, they came out strong, but on Tuesday they came out flat.

It was nice to see Mike Miller again. He didn't get the start, but he did receive a warm welcome when he came in during the 1'st quarter. We saw him go down in the 2'nd quarter and I was hoping it wasn't serious. He did come back in the 3'rd quarter and finish the game. I am imagine that he is the only Memphis resident who went home happy with the result of the game.

I am sure that against Cleveland next week, they will come out with some fire since there will be a big crowd and they are playing a good team.

Read more!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mike Miller returns to Memphis tonight

Tonight will be the first time that Miller will play at FedEx Forum since being traded this past off-season for O.J. Mayo. Memphis received a good player in Mayo who has the potential to be a great All-Star in this league for years to come. But Memphis lost a good player and a great charitable person in Mike Miller. I would encourage all Memphis fans to show up for tonight's game and give Mike Miller a warm reception home. As the Grizzlies always say, "Tickets are still available for tonight's game."

Below is a link to a video where he answers the following question. Why are you giving $1 million to help the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD?

Here is a list of some of the beneficiaries of the Mike Miller Foundation

M33M BALLERS (Memphis AAU Basketball)
SOUTH DAKOTA SCHOOLERS (South Dakota AAU Basketball)
St. Jude Childrens Hospital

This past summer, he donated $200,000 to the St. Jude Childrens Hospital. It is the largest single donation by a Grizzlies player. Here is a link to a video of the donation.

We just want to thank Mike Miller for his contributions to children and wish him well. Read more!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Grizzlies Win

Unfortunately I missed today's game due to being in church. I listened to part of the 1'st half on the radio, but was skeptical that they would be able to close out the Mavs in the 2'nd half. Wow, was I shocked when church was over to learn that we put a beat down on the Mavs. Maybe they have learned something from the tough losses over the last week. Now we must win on Tuesday night against the lowly Timberwolves or else this game will look like a fluke win. We must be able to win the games against the lower competition and then try to steal some wins against the upper teams in the league. Great win today.

I noticed that Miles saw his first action today. 1 game played and 9 to go to put the money back on Portland's books.

Go Grizzlies Read more!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Grizzlies New Year Resolutions

Here are a few resolutions that the Grizzlies need to have this year.

1. Develop a PG. This is like the team who alternates 2 QB. It doesn't work. I have heard people say just look at their combined numbers. They would be 15.5 ppg, 7.5 apg, 5.4 rbg, and 1.66 spg with 2.66 turnovers. Not bad numbers but let us do a comparison on this. If you look at Steve Nash this year, he is averaging 14.3 ppg, 7.9 apg, 2.9 rbg and .8 spg with 2.69 turnovers. Yes those numbers are about even. The problem with this argument for our system is that Nash gets these numbers playing 33.5 minutes per game while our 2 players are playing all 48 minutes. The suns have somebody else playing 14.5 minutes. Also Nash will turn 35 in a month and our 2 PG are early 20's. Combined they should be able to outperform a 35 year old guy who doesn't play as many minutes. If you go back just 2 or 3 seasons ago, Nash was averaging around 18 ppg with 11 apg while only playing 35 minutes per game. Our 2 PG system doesn't work. Please develop a legitimate starter and play the other one accordingly.

2. Use Warrick properly. I don't understand why our 3'rd leading scorer plays less than half the game. He is currently averaging 23.9 minutes per game. Hak shares playing time with Darrell Arthur and while Hak plays 4.5 minutes per game more, He scores more than twice what DA does. I think Hak should play at least 30 minutes if not close to 35. The grizzlies need to put their best 5 out on the court and leave them there for the majority of the game. Right now we only have 2 players that play more than 30 minutes per game. If you look at the Celtics right now, who are one of the better teams in the League, their 5 starters average 29.0 to 36.6 minutes per game. Our starters average 19.4 to 38 minutes per game. Put Warrick on the court since he is one of the best 5 players on this team and play the best 5 players the vast majority of the game.

3. Finish games. It is very frustrating sitting in the stands with a 8 point lead going into the 4'th quarter and people around you keep saying that we will lose because an 8 point lead isn't big enough. Seeing a good tight game go down to the wire and then we fold every time is getting old. I keep hearing people say that this team has to learn how to finish games out. I know that is true, but it seems that they keep repeating this lesson over and over and I don't see them changing what we are doing. You know when it comes down to the end, we are going to have 3 or 4 turnovers in a row and miss 75% of the shots. Please learn from the past and finish the games positively more often that we have been.

4. Develop Gasol & O.J. Mayo. We have 2 rookies that can be a great foundation along with Gay to a bright future. This threesome needs to be developed and learn how to play with and off of each other to maximum potential. I truly believe that these 3 players should average close to 65 ppg and 20 rbg. If they can do that, that is a great core to add to so that we can have a winning team again. Develop the stars.

I see hope for the future, but we must make sure we do the right things to maximize the potential we have. Go Grizzlies in 2009! Read more!

NBA Grizzlies Team Card