Posts Tagged ‘Grizzlies’

Justin Timberlake Set To Become Grizzlies’ Jay-Z

by Micah Hart

ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that superstar musician/decent actor Justin Timberlake is being recruited by prospective Grizzlies’ owner Robert Pera to take on a minority ownership stake in the Memphis franchise:

Sources told ESPN.com that Timberlake and Pera have quickly struck up a friendship, with one source adding that the singer/actor is making “a meaningful investment into the team” and “plans to be active” with the Grizzlies. The league office, sources said, has been made aware of Timberlake’s proposed involvement and is already well acquainted with him after inviting the self-proclaimed basketball junkie to participate in various celebrity games at All-Star Weekend.

Given all the success the Nets have had with their association with Jay-Z, it makes a ton of sense for Pera to reach out to Timberlake, who is a Memphis native and would immediately improve the franchise’s Q-rating. It also might help ease Grizzlies fans’ worries about Pera, who has no real Memphis ties, and the potential that he might one day move the team (though he’s repeatedly said he has no intention of doing so).

As for Timberlake’s “active” role with the team, the man has conquered pretty much every industry he’s dipped his toe in so far (jury’s still out on his acquisition of MySpace). Could there be a general manager position in his future?*

*Nah.

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Blake’s Got A New Face

by Micah Hart

Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the NBA. I don’t know if his son will follow in his basketball footsteps though — he might be better suited for Saturday Night Live, because he does killer impressions, like this one of Blake Griffin during the postgame news conference after the Clippers’ thrilling win over the Grizzlies:


You’re in LA now, CP3, get that kid in a Groundlings class!

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Three For All Round Up: Grizzlies, Wizards, Celtics, Cavaliers, 76ers, Spurs

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart.

I was on vacation during a bad stretch of three for alls, so I thought we’d do another round up post getting up to date on what we missed while I was out.

Memphis Grizzlies (April 2-4): Memphis started out strong, getting a road win in Oklahoma City. Maybe not quite vengeance for last year’s playoffs, but a nice victory nonetheless. They followed it up with a win at home over Golden State, and just when you thought they might get a sweep they fell to the Mavericks in Dallas. 5 points (2+3-0) for their three for all, and their story has a happy ending of sorts — they beat Dallas at home three days later.

Washington Wizards (April 4-6): Let’s not waste too many words here. Three games, three L’s for the Wiz. -3 points (-2-1-0)

Boston Celtics (April 13-15): Raise your hand if you can tell me what the Celtics are going to do in the postseason. They could get swept in the first round on cut down the nets, and neither outcome would truly surprise me at this point. As if to prove my point, they started their three play by losing to the counting-down-the-minutes-till-the-season-ends-and-playing-as-many-DLeaguers-as-they-can-get-in-uniform Raptors before rallying (if you want to call beating the Nets and Bobcats rallying) to pick up double-digit road wins to finish it off. If they’d handled their business in Toronto, they might have tied the Heat for the best mark on the season. Instead, 10 points (-2+5+7).

Cleveland Cavaliers (April 13-15): The Cavs are a bad team to begin with, so facing three games in three nights without Kyrie Irving (out with a shoulder injury) makes for a pretty daunting task. Or at least it does when the opponents are anyone besides the Wizards. Ring Cleveland up for a loss at Indiana, a win at Washington, and a home loss to Orlando for a total of 2 points (-2+4-0).

Philadelphia 76ers (April 16-18): What happened to this team? At one point this season they seemed primed to challenge the Heat and Bulls for Eastern Conference supremacy, now they are hanging on for dear life to the 8th spot. Their first two games were against playoff-bound opponents, netting them losses in Orlando and at home against Indiana. Lucky for them they finished Wednesday with the Cavs, who they beat by 16 a night after Cleveland lost by 39. To Detroit. Don’t expect Philly to last long in the playoffs, I guess is what I’m saying. 4 points (-2-1+7) for the City of Brotherly Love.

San Antonio Spurs (April 16-18): Saving the best for last. They (I) said the Heat’s 15-point performance in their three-fer could never be matched, but they didn’t count on the boys from San Antone. Not content to rest on the laurels of their previous 12-point undefeated three for all, the Spurs did indeed match Miami, knocking off Golden State (120-99), the Lakers (112-91), and Sacramento (127-102) to tie for the perfect score with 15 points (3+5+7). Which team had a better run, Miami or San Antonio? We’ll devote a separate post to that in the coming days.

Up next: Detroit takes its second crack at three in three April 17-19.

Three for all Top Ten:
San Antonio Spurs II (15 points)
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Boston Celtics (10 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Utah Jazz

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Utah Jazz, who played three straight from Feb. 12-14.

Given the Heat’s performance over the same period of time, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the Jazz completed their three-play, also all on the road. Unfortunately, they didn’t fare quite as well.

Game 1: Jazz 98, Grizzlies 88 - Pretty nice way to start things off — a win over the Grizzlies on the road, with Al Jefferson leading the way with 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Gordon Hayward had 23 points and one rebound, and I can’t decide if I think the coaches congratulated him for that effort or made him stay after practice. 3 points (1 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 2: Hornets 86, Jazz 80 - They should get extra negative points for this loss, as the Hornets had only four wins on the season coming in and were losers of eight straight beforehand. Chris Kaman boosted his potential trade value for New Orleans, dropping 27 and 13 on the Jazz. -1 point

Game 3: Thunder 111, Jazz 85 - Third games in three nights will produce results like this from time to time, as the Jazz got behind early and often, shot 35 percent from the field, and got blasted on the Western Conference-leading Thunder’s home court.  0 points

If you told me before the start of their trip the Jazz would lose two of three, I’d have probably agreed. I wouldn’t have presumed that one of those losses would have come at New Orleans though, that’s for sure. 2 total points for Utah.

Up next: The Phoenix Suns play three straight Feb. 13-15.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Happy Valentine’s Day From the Memphis Grizzlies

by Micah Hart

Looking for the right way to tell your loved one how much he/she means to you this Valentine’s Day? I’m pretty sure a card from one of the Memphis Grizzlies is exactly what you are looking for:

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Nicely done Memphis. I choo-choo-choose to watch you play basketball tonight against the Rockets at 8 ET.

H/T Chris Vernon

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Three For All: Portland Trail Blazers

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Portland Trail Blazers, who played three straight from Jan. 23-25.

Every time I see a fan base start to complain about bad luck, or how nothing ever works out for them, I think of Portland. That is not to say that I think Blazers fans whine all the time; on the contrary, I think of the incredible adversity and horrible luck with injuries that franchise has faced in the past few years and how despite that, they’ve still managed to make the playoffs and contend where I believe others would have folded up the tent and gone home.

When this season started with the announcement of another Greg Oden injury setback and then the retirement of Brandon Roy, I assumed Portland was done for. And though it hasn’t been easy, here they are again, keeping their heads above water and competing for the playoffs. If they have the fortitude for that, I’m sure the three-play will be a piece of cake. Let’s go to the scoreboard and find out:

Game 1: Blazers 101, Kings 89 - When you have three games in three nights, it’s great to have a guy like Jamal Crawford available, who on the right night can get hot and carry the team by himself. This was one of those nights, as Crawford sprung for a game-high 26 off the bench to lead the Blazers to an easy win. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Blazers 97, Grizzlies 84 - So far so good, as Portland picks up another seemingly easy win, this time against the Grizzlies. Marcus Camby did his best Ben Wallace impression in this one, pulling down 22 caroms while scoring only three points. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 3: Warriors 101, Blazers 93 - Finally away from the friendly confines of the Rose Garden, the Blazers fell short to the Warriors in the final game to fall short of becoming the third team to sweep their three for all. Normally you’d like your chances against the Warriors when Monta Ellis scores only four points, but on this night he dished out 12 assists and Steph Curry picked up the slack with 32 to deny Portland perfection. 0 points

The Blazers finish with 6 total points, which in some ways doesn’t do them justice for their performance (with two +10 wins), but that’s why the third game is so important — it’s the hardest to win, home or away.

Up next: The Detroit Pistons play three straight Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 as they take on the three-play challenge entirely on the road: at Milwaukee, at New York, and at New Jersey.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
New Jersey Nets (2 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
Toronto Raptors (1 point)

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Three for all: Sacramento Kings

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Sacramento Kings, who played three straight from Jan 3-5.

Well, I daresay we won’t see a more tumultuous three-game set for any team this season, as the Kings saw a blow-up between talented but, shall we say, enigmatic forward DeMarcus Cousins and coach Paul Westphal end up with Cousins allegedly demanding a trade (since disputed/rescinded) and Westphal getting the axe after a 2-5 start. It just goes to show you a lot can happen in three games.

Game 1: Grizzlies 113, Kings 96 - Cousins was benched for the previous game against New Orleans, but made the trip with the team to Memphis, though he was held out of the starting lineup. Not sure it mattered, the Kings got waxed. -2 points

Game 2: Nuggets 110, Kings 83- Case in point – Cousins started against the Nuggets, and the Kings lost by 27. Westphal got got after this one. -1 point

Game 3: Kings 103, Bucks 100 - Just when it looked like we’d see our first oh-fer, the Kings under interim coach Keith Smart stage a huge second-half rally and tip the Bucks at the very end. Cousins had 19 and 15, for what it’s worth. 5 points

Given how things started on this trip, plus playing the Nuggets at altitude, I’m impressed the Kings dug deep and pulled the last game out. Maybe there’s fight in them left? They conclude the three-play with 2 total points.

Up next: The Atlanta Hawks are on the clock, with three games in a row Jan. 5-7: home against the Heat (which they lost in 3OT, at Charlotte, and home to the Bulls. Good luck.

Previous three for alls:
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)

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Three for all: Houston Rockets

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Houston Rockets, who played three straight from Dec. 29-31.

Game 1: Rockets 105, Spurs 85 – Houston got off to a good start, beating the Spurs so badly that Gregg Popovich pretty much threw in the towel at halftime. 2 points

Game 2: Grizzlies 113, Rockets 93 – A road loss in Memphis is no surprise, and while Houston kept it reasonably close in the first half, the Grizzlies blew it open by outscoring them 31-16 in the third quarter. -1 point

Game 3: Rockets 95, Hawks 84 – The Rockets finish strong and then some, beating the Hawks at home and doing it fairly easily at that. Kyle Lowry had an NBA season-high 18 assists in the win, though none of them were as impressive as his one block. 6 points

All in all an impressive performance from Houston. Two double-digit wins, and the Rockets take an early clubhouse lead with 7 total points.

Up next: The Nuggets take on one of the stranger threesomes, playing the Lakers twice in a row and then the Bucks Dec. 31 – Jan. 2.

Previous three for alls:
–  L.A. Lakers

Some entertainment suggestions for teams without 1st-round picks

by Micah Hart

Quick story — when I worked for the Hawks, draft night was always a huge production. It was probably my busiest night of the year, between liveblogging, interviewing front-office types, owners, new draft picks, etc. All except for 2008, when the team, thanks to previous trades for Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby, had no draft picks at all. My God was that a boring night. Draft night is no fun when you are watching the entire thing from the sidelines.

Fortunately there are no teams that are completely sans draft choices this year, but there are seven squads without first-round selections at this point, which means the top half of the evening will be fairly uneventful for their fan bases.

With that in mind, here are some entertainment suggestions to help them bridge the gap between the start of the evening’s festivities and your team’s respective draft slot.

L.A. Clippers
No picks until: 37th pick – also have 47th
Entertainment suggestion: If I’m a Clips fan, all I am doing tonight and any other night is watching reruns of Blake Griffin highlights and thanking whichever gods I pray to that he’s on my team.

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Conventional wisdom: May 14th

by Micah Hart

Each day until the end of the NBA Finals, we’ll be taking a look at the conventional wisdom of the moment — which team is currently the favorite to win it all, and which team should be ashamed to still be putting on their jerseys.

Here’s how it looks for the weekend of May 14-15.

Start planning the parade:

Dallas Mavericks

You might think a long layoff between games might make the Mavericks rusty, but seeing as the core of their team is almost exclusively on the wrong side of 30, I’d say it plays right into their hands.

Whichever team wins Sunday’s Game 7 between Memphis and Oklahoma City is going to be drained come the start of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday, all the more so if it’s the Grizzlies, who will presumably stay on the road and head straight for Dallas.

Meanwhile Dallas gets to rest up, particularly helpful for a guy like Peja Stojakovic, who has been huge off the bench this postseason for the Mavs but generally speaking is as brittle as uncooked pasta.

Give it up already:

Oklahoma City Thunder

A friend of mine sent me an amazing statistic yesterday. The combined average age of OKC’s top four players in terms of minutes played is 21.5 years old. The combined age of the University of Pittsburgh’s top four this season was 21.75 years.

This is a young, young Thunder squad, and under the harsh lights and scrutiny of a Game 7 situation, that inexperience will lead to the team’s unraveling. That, and their continuing inability to hold double-digit leads.

The Grizzlies have shown themselves to be fighters in this postseason, and though Oklahoma City slowed Zach Randolph in several games in this series, he was back in full beast mode in Game 6 (30 points, 13 rebounds) and will keep it going on Sunday.

There is a bright future on the horizon for the Thunder, but it’s at least another year away.

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