Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Grizzlies Are Rebounding

Thanks to a horrendous start to the season, the Grizzlies are still below 500 and 3 and a half games out of the playoffs. (It has to be asked: Where would the Grizzlies be if Heisley hadn't taken a dump on team chemistry by signing AI? Yes, I defended the move at the time.) However, despite their early troubles, there's something different about this team.

One noticeable change is that I don't get texts immediately after every Grizzlies victory from all my friends. (Okay, it's just my parents, and they don't know how to text, so they call me.) You know something's changed when victory is so common that it no longer needs to be celebrated via text message. This is especially important for west coast Grizzlies fans like me who watch most games on 2 hour DVR delay. As you may not be aware, games are not as fun when you read "win #5!!! :)" on your phone with 8 minutes left in the third quarter.

Another key change is that days and even weeks go by without open ridicule of the Grizzlies and their plight. In fact, even when the Grizzlies lose, post game comments have taken a different tone.

After a 5 point win over the Grizzlies on Dec 14, Boston forward Paul Pierce said, “That’s one tough team.They’re dangerous. I see them with four potential All-Stars.

Last season, when the Celtics beat the Grizzlies by 4, Pierce responded: "Everybody knew we're playing Detroit on Saturday night, but we had to take care of Memphis. We're preparing for something bigger than the regular season. It's got to be every night."

Added Celtics Coach Doc Rivers after last season's victory: "Probably our worst focus of the year. Could be because of tomorrow night. We might have been looking forward to it. I don't know."

You see the difference? Last year, the defending champions beat us despite playing the worst game of their season. This year, they squeaked by on a lucky last second bounce and three-pointer. And more importantly, they noticed a difference.

This picture hurts my head, but it shows Warrick at the Fleet Center. For all I know it was taken during last year's loss. That's a lie. I see this was taken in 2008.

Last week, when the Grizzlies played the Indiana Pacers, over a thousand residents of Poplar Bluff, MO, hometown to Indiana rookie Tyler Hansbrough, bought tickets to see their hero's Fedex Forum debut. For those of you keeping track, that's nearly 10% of Poplar Bluff's population. Normally, this would be a great opportunity for jokes about the Grizzlies' attendance as compared with the population of Poplar Bluff. But there was one problem: The Grizzlies won the game, and Poplar Bluff High School subsequently retired Zach Randolph's jersey in its rafters.

These stories make watching the Grizzlies games fun. There's nothing I like more than hearing that citizens' of Poplar Bluff have had the hopes crushed by the Grizzlies. If the team keeps it up, people outside of Poplar Bluffs might also attend the games.

Main St, Poplar Bluff, MO, USA

And you know what else is both different and fun to watch? Rebounding.

Until this season, rebounding, which is 50% effort, 30% skill, and 20% size (I made that up.), has been one of the Grizzlies' weaknesses. Now, Zach Randolph, a 6'9 forward who can't dunk and isn't on the All Star Ballot, holds this season's record for rebounds in a game.

Nothing is more enjoyable than watching the Grizzlies get an offensive rebound with 2:30 left in the fourth quarter while the opposition is mounting a comeback. Ranked in order from "fists in the air and shouting" to "nodding silently", my favorite Grizzlies rebounders are Randolph, Thabeet, Gasol, and Gay. You might say, "David, that's the entire Grizzlies front-court", and my response would be "Yyyyyyyeeeeeesssss". That's the whole point. For the first time, the rebounding is a team strength, and the Grizzlies are fun to watch.


J-Bo said...

Z-Bo!!!!!!!!!!!! xD

John said...

It's also nice when you casually mention to a friend after the hornets loss, that at least the grizz one and randolph had 32 and 24 and his reply is, "Oh so they played the Nets?" and you can tell him no it was actually the Nuggets. i also thought you were waiting until we eclipsed .500 to post something like this?

David Jones said...

J-Bo- YES!

John, the readers demanded it. Plus, I am having so much fun watching games - it had to be mentioned.

Sam said...

When's the last time the Grizz had a winning record in the same weekend that the Tigers had a losing weekend? I bet it was when the Grizz were in Vancouver.

Sam said...

To clarify, I meant winning record for a weekend (ie, 2-0).

Sam said...

Marc Stein writes: "Division leaders Cleveland, Dallas and now Denver are all Grizz victims, but I have to admit that I still can't stop myself from wondering what we'd be saying if they had drafted Memphis alum Tyreke Evans over Thabeet."

Um, "Memphis alum"? I'll go out on a limb and suggest that Tyreke did not obtain a diploma from U of M.

joel said...

i like reading the happy posts.

John said...

you know what this team needs? Von Wafer, who is either some type of german cookie or a back up shooting guard.

Curt said...

i know you saw this, but i assumed it was worth posting immediately.

also i will never text you again, since i seem to ruin your life, but i appreciate the recent texts from you about how your vagina juices were warm for me. I will never complain as long as you keep those coming.

John said...

Goodbye Jaric we hardly knew thee.

Sam said...

John - Don't waive goodbye just yet:

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Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Sam said...

Time for that .500 post

David Jones said...

Mom, you don't have to post as Anonymous, but thanks for the feedback.

Sam, I submit my 1,000 word essay for your review.

eda said...