Thursday, April 25, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
We sports fans have no trouble in transitioning from one sport to another or one level to another. After a very pleasing collegiate season where we saw the making of some history, we move on, effortlessly.
Now we have stepped up, so to speak, to the big boys’ arena. Fans have been trying to get all their ducks (meaning Lakers, Heat, Bulls, etc.) in a row for the grabbing of the biggest prize in pro basketball.
For the last two weeks I have been asked the same two questions. How far will the Grizzlies go? Are you a Grizzlies fan? To the first question, the jury is definitely still out, given the Griz’s playoff history. And they do have some history, this season more than ever. This is the third attempt of the playoffs for Memphis and it happens to be a consecutive one. Memphis had recorded their best season in franchise history with 56-26, 24-17 on the road, also a best and 52 wins at home.
As for the second question, it begs a little explaining. I was warming up to the next door franchise with very high expectations when the Griz hierarchy started slinging trades left and right. The first for me was the shipping out of Shane Battier. Next was the trading of Rudy Gay. The former might not have been the franchise player which the latter was, but he was a big part of the cohesion.
I am not second guessing new owner Robert Pera’s decision-making prerogatives and the end might bring him out all right. But the Grizzlies are facing their same foe from last season and the Clippers have a player which the Griz traded away. Their first game was a 112-91 drubbing after a lead held by Memphis in the fourth quarter. Does that dredge up memories of last season when Memphis led by 24 in the fourth? Does this sound like a team which is rated number one on defense in the NBA?
We have to give coach Lionel Hollins his due. He has more wins than any other Griz mentor and the only one to ever win a playoff game and is in the running for Coach of the Year. Personally, I would like nothing better than to see the Griz run deep into the playoffs. But I can’t get excited until this happens.
If you haven’t filled out your bracket, this might help. In the East it is (1) Heat vs. (8) Bucks, (2) Knicks vs. (7) Celtics, (3) Pacers vs. (6) Hawks and (4) Nets vs. (5) Bulls. In the West it is (1) Thunder vs. (8) Rockets, (2) Spurs vs. (7) Lakers, (3) Nuggets vs. (6) Warriors and (4) Clippers vs. (5) Grizzlies.
Where is your team in this “Sweet 16?”
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