Wednesday, February 21, 2007

'Rookie' Mistakes Doom Grizzlies

Living in the Bay Area, I don't get to see many Grizzlies games live. So far this season, the only Grizzlies game I've attended was Fratello's last, a disappointing loss to the Bucks during the holidays.

This game was also disappointing, but in a different way. Whereas during the Bucks game, the Grizzlies looked like they didn't give a rat's ass about winning basketball games, during this overtime loss, with the exception of Mike Miller, they looked like they were too inexperienced to pull out a victory. (Okay, Swift still looked like he didn't care.)

Rudy Gay had six turnovers and missed a fast break three pointer that he should have taken to the basket. However, I liked his aggressive play, and I don't fault him for missing the 3. At this point in the season, it's better for Rudy learn on the floor than disappear from games as he was apt to do earlier in the season.

Kinsey looked like a 12th man and Junior Harrington looked like somebody brought up from the D-League on a 10 game contract. I have no idea why Chucky Atkins and Dantay Jones didn't play instead of these two inexperienced guards. They could have contributed solid minutes, and the Commercial Appeal and CNNSI don't offer an explanation of their absence.

Atkins could have spelled Stoudemire as well. Damon looked terrible. He only turned the ball over 3 times according to the box score, but it seemed like more than that, probably because of his 5-13 shooting.

Finally, Pau Gasol was the biggest disappointment. He had 6 turnovers, as many as the rookie Gay. Most turnovers occurred when Gasol pulled the ball across the lane where three Warriors were swiping at it. After five years, you'd think Gasol would've learned to take care of the ball in the post. Even worse, Gasol missed two free throws that would've tied the game (after Warrick made two in virtually the same situation).

If Gasol was auditioning for another team before, he certainly isn't now. Isn't he the franchise player who demanded to be traded because the Grizzlies haven't put him in a situation to win games? He couldn't have asked for a better position: down by two with the opportunity to tie the game. Instead, he provided evidence that he's not the clutch, franchise player that deserves a maximum contract.

On a brighter note, (and there were other bright notes: Rudy Gay's aggressiveness and Hakim Warrick's consistency) Mike Miller was unconscious. The Warriors fans around me were disgusted whenever he was left open, and he made them pay. He has been a consistent and effective offensive weapon the entire season, and he would be extremely valuable on a winning team. The last of the Grizzlies' 'rookie' mistakes was not finding him in the last possessions of the game. You could see recognition of that mistake all over Miller's face.

The highlight of the game for me was the Warriors fan who found my friend, Evan and I in the upper bowl. He had to leave to catch a flight so he gave us his tickets on the 14th row at halftime. Thanks to that guy, and thanks to him for not noticing my Gasol jersey.

15 comments:

Molly said...

I think the Warriors are just a better team!

John said...

Have you read the article on Heisley at SI.com? I think he makes some interesting points regarding competing for a championship vs. running a profitable organization. He also hints at a desire for the NBA to adopt an NFL approach to finances for small and large market teams i.e. revenue sharing across the board not just nation tv revenue and giving the worst team the top pick in the draft the following year. All in all he seemed to put a fairly straight forward yet positive spin on what otherwise has become a dismal time for the grizzlies. Also the warriors suck molly, just so you know.

John said...

Although this has nothing to do with the Grizzlies I know of no other place to declare my new least favorite player in the NBA. A distinction once held by Reggie Miller, Tyronne Lue, and Manu Ginobli. My new least favortie player is none other than Tracy "T-Mac" McGrady. This mostly has to do with the fact that he feels the city I live in is somehow to dangerous for him to visit for All-Star Weekend. I had no idea the All-Star weekend had turned into a lawless murderous orgy and that the NOPD would be unable to control unruly crowds. I had alawys thought that Mardi Gras was a shade more out of control than All-Star weekend, but then again I have never been to an All-Star game and had no idea it involved hundreds of thousands of visitors drinking themselves into oblivion for five straight days and trashing an entire city. So as far as i am concerned I tears his ACL, fractures his femur, and has surgery to move his eyes closer to a normal distance apart.

David Jones said...

John, you have to sensitiive. What most would consider to be a minor cut or a sore back can send McGrady out for weeks.

If you want first-hand info about the All Star Game, ask Blair. He went to the last one in San Antonio.

John said...

Was that the year Ed threw $81,000 in the air in the middle of a strip club while Blair opened fire on three people?

David Jones said...

No, but he did get some nice photos of Anfernee Hardaway at the free throw line.

Unfortunately, he can't add to this conversation because Blogger is banned in Pakistan.

Jouissance said...

Is Blair Osama?

Jouissance said...

Just trying to get you some extra traffic...

John said...

so now its been over a week since a new topic has been posted. I was hoping the devastating ot loss to the sixers would inspire a new topic, but apparently not. this blog is quickly becoming as poor as the grizzlies themselves. But who ar eyou taking number 1 oden or durant?

David Jones said...

There's not much to say about the recent losses that hasn't been said about previous losses.

I did get to see the last 5 minutes of the Detroit game. Prince's three was ridiculous. We had chances to win, but as usual, we should've taken care of business so that we weren't in that situation to begin with.

I don't know much about either Durant or Oden, but I'd say Oden's size makes him more favorable.

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