Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am Thankful We Drafted Thabeet

At least I was for about 15 seconds last Monday. Then I remembered Tyreke scored 28 on us, and none of our players could guard him. That's when I stabbed myself in the left eye with a fork.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Agent Zero Trade Proposal

Before you say #1 "David, the Grizzlies have won 4 of their last 5. We should be celebrating instead of proposing trades." or #2 "Your Arenas trade proposal is idiotic fantasy and doesn't make sense for either team." -- Hear me out.

#1 Talk to me about how good the Grizzlies are when they're at .500. Until then, I'll continue to propose outlandish trades for my own amusement. So there.

#2. Here's why the trade makes sense (in my fantasy world).

For the Washington Wizards...

As Michael Heisley once said, "We can lose with or without Arenas."

The Wizards were supposed to bounce back from a disappointing 2008-2009 season with Arenas returning from injury this year. So far, they're one of the worst teams in the league, and $24 million over the salary cap.

Dumping Arenas for Memphis scrubs saves them ~$3 million this season when you factor in the luxury tax. Plus, ~$38 million would come off their books next June, and another ~$24 million the following June. Plus, they wouldn't be on the hook for Arenas' 5 year max contract.

With Arenas playing 15 games in the past two seasons, you can't tell me the Wizards aren't listening...

Too bad Wes Unseld isn't still GM. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if that would be good or bad in this scenario.

For the Memphis Grizzlies...

Here is the case against Agent Zero:
  • The last thing the Grizzlies need is another shoot first, pass last player in their starting 5.
  • The last thing the Grizzlies need is another shoot first, pass last player as their point guard.
  • Did I mention he played 15 games in the past 2 seasons?
  • Arenas turns the ball over a lot and rarely gets assists.
  • Arenas is locked into the type of contract that Heisley avoids like John Gosselin avoids his wife.
I've almost talked myself out of this, but before I do, consider this:
  1. The Grizzlies have admitted they can't attract big name free agents (for more than 3 games anyway).
  2. The Grizzlies are building via the draft, but are terrible are evaluating draft prospects (see 2009 and 2007).
  3. Therefore, if the Grizzlies want to get a quality player, they need to take a chance on a down-on-his-luck-player with All-NBA pedigree and a team desperate / stupid enough to make it happen.
  4. Gilbert Arenas fits that bill.
  5. He's also a slight upgrade over Mike Conley at point guard.
So there it is. There's my outlandish trade proposal for the Thanksgiving holiday. If not Monta, then Agent Zero. Please comment below and let me know how I'm out of my mind.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some Good News

Normally I don't write about individual games. But with all the recent negativity, I want to highlight what was easily the best game of the season.

More than in any other game I've watched, the Grizzlies played like a team rather than a group of individuals. It showed on defense where this season's worst offenders, Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo, were focused on staying in front of their men and everyone made an effort to contest shots.

And it showed on offense, where the team:

1. Ran offensive plays. (I almost forgot what it was like to see an offensive play.)
2. Made a concerted effort to feed Gasol and Randolph. (Multiple times on some possessions)
3. Minimized one-on-one play (Gay and Mayo stood out in their efforts to avoid this.)

I have never seen Gay focus like this and let the game come to him. I hate to use that cliche, but that's really what he did. In the first half he focused on defense, and he didn't force his offense.

Other positive notes include:

1. Marcus Williams looked comfortable at the point. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a butt injury soon.
2. Sam Young and DeMarre Carroll minimized mistakes and focused on their rolls.
3. Even Hasheem Thabeet looked like he knew what he was doing.
4. Marc Gasol is making a case for team MVP. Does he have what it takes to be the vocal leader the Grizzlies need?

We shouldn't blow one game out of proportion. There's still reason for concern:

1. Mike Conley
2. Too many unforced errors
3. They were playing against a lottery team with two injured starters and an injured 6th man.

In a season that's already become one of the Grizzlies' most embarrassing, this was an early highlight.

Updated Ellis Trade

With Stephen Jackson traded, Kelenna Azubuike out for the season, and rumors that Monta may want out, I have adjusted my proposed trade.

The key of the trade is that the Warriors move into rebuilding mode by getting $12 million off the books within two seasons. Second, the Warriors, in desperate need of bodies, can turn one player into multiple players. Third, the Grizzlies can sweeten the deal with money and a first round draft pick this year (or two). Fourth, the Warriors might be crazy enough to do it. Fifth, the Grizzlies can interchange several other players if the Warriors aren't satisfied with these. Sixth, the Grizzlies would never do it because it means they take on money long term.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yo Tinsley

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Trade

Only in the land of the Grizz are trade proposals that ship the team's leading scorer out of town a pleasant distraction 9 games into the season.

Here's my weekend trade proposal. Though it will never happen (because it requires the Grizzlies to take on long term money), it was accepted by ESPN's trade machine. So there's that.

Otherwise, I think we can use draft picks and cash to negotiate.

Cleveland gets Stephen Jackson, the disgruntled veteran, and Steven Hunter, a body off the bench to replace Ilgauskas. Cleveland probably has to give up draft picks and cash but gambles on Jackson providing enough defense and shooting on the wing to get past Orlando and Boston.

Golden State gives up the best players in the trade, but...
1. They get rid of the disgruntled Jackson.
2. They part with Monta Ellis, who hates the coach and the organization and is locked into a 5 year deal.
3. They get Ilgauskas' expiring deal.
4. They get Conley and Gay, who are cheap and may benefit from a change in scenery and a new system. It's not like the Warriors are big on defense.
5. They get long term savings.
6. Jaric is included to make the numbers work. He excels in this role. He would probably end up being Coach Nelson's favorite player.

Memphis acquires Monta Ellis, a young veteran with all star potential and local ties, and Kelenna Azubuike, a veteran small forward to temporarily fill in for the loss of Gay. (My first trade didn't include Azubuke or Jaric, but then I realized we wouldn't have any small forwards on the team or even anyone to trade later. Plus, I wanted to write "Kelenna" on the blog.)

I have advocated for acquiring Ellis before. Pairing Ellis with Mayo would make for an exciting back court. If we're ready to give up on Conley (and I think we are), then we have to do this.

How does this affect the Grizzlies' season?

How does it affect the upcoming (just-around-the-corner) draft?

Would AI come off the bench behind someone who is actually good?

These are the questions we have to ask. Discuss.

Monday, November 09, 2009

God Chose Personal Leave

Remember when god chose Memphis as the city where Allen Iverson would play for the home team? (In case you forgot, it was 2 months ago on September 9th at 7:06 AM.)

Now god has sent Allen Iverson away from the team without allowing him to play one game in Memphis, and Iverson is in danger of threatening Kwame Brown's lock on Most Embarrassing Stint as a Grizzly.

Iverson is seen here praying to the big agent in the sky.

Of course, as was true of Brown's stint with the Grizzlies, (and almost everything about the Memphis Grizzlies) Iverson's shitshow is more about the ineptitude of the Memphis Grizzlies than the immaturity of the 34 year old guard.

First, it's despicable that the Grizzlies didn't address their expectations about Iverson's role directly with him before they signed him. He had a history of getting pissed off when asked to come off the bench, and the Grizzlies leadership had to know he might come off the bench.

Second, common sense would dictate that the coach may want to have 1:1 conversations with his players. Based on what Iverson and Coach Lionel Hollins have said in the media, it appears this possibility has escaped Hollins.

Do you like it when your manager addresses issues about your role and performance with the entire world instead of in a 1:1 meeting? No, you don't like it.

Iverson is pictured here flipping the bird at Lionel Hollins.

The worst part of all: The Grizzlies are a steaming pile of shit with or without Iverson. Three of the starters, OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay, and Mike Conley, are playing so poorly on defense, that none of them deserves to start.

Unfortunately, as anyone with eyeballs and a functioning brain knew 4 months ago, the bench is so terrible that, without Iverson, there's no one one to consider replacing them.

Here's a video of the controversial starting lineup in Oakland.

Of course, this is par for the course with the Memphis Grizzlies. Instead of maximizing their potential and winning games against less talented teams, the Grizzlies are arguing over whether the fifth best player on the team should start over the sixth best player.

The lord works in mysterious ways.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bill Simmons and Me

I met Bill Simmons at Borders in San Francisco on November 5.

He took my photo on his Blackberry, we chatted about how Jerry West almost died when the Grizzlies lost the Lebron sweepstakes, and he signed page 188 of my copy of The Book of Basketball.

Here's me as Allen Iverson, Ben as Rudy Gay, and Simmons as The Sports Guy:

Later, Lakers fan Evan (wearing a Memphis Gasol jersey) had Simmons sign "I heart Kobe". Don't worry, Simmons wrote "don't" between "I" and "heart".

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The 2009-2010 Memphis Grizzlies

They lost one of the 2 games I get to see in person this year badly to a terrible team and looked terrible doing it. By terrible, I mean unforced turnovers. Like passing the ball out of bounds or to the opposing team.

Grizzlies vs Warriors Tonight

I will be leaving for the Oakland shortly to see the Grizzlies take on the Bay Area Warriors.

I have just bet $22 dollars to win $20 if the Grizzlies lose by fewer than 6 points (or win).

Grizzlies, whatever you do, please cover the spread.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Bill Simmons in SF on Thursday

On Thursday, I will meet my favorite Sports writer, Bill Simmons, columnist from my least favorite Sports News Organization, ESPN.

He'll sign my copy of his book, The Book of Basketball, at Borders sometime after 7 pm.

As a result, I am proposing 2 opportunities for Bay Area Grizzlies fans.

1. For Bay Area Grizzlies Fans: Hot off the Grizzlies' victory over the Warriors on Iranian Appreciation Night (also known as Wednesday), let's show Simmons the force of Bay Area Grizzlies fans. If you're in the Bay Area, please show up at 6:30 to Borders wearing Beale Street Blue.

2. Grizzlies Fans Outside of the Bay Area: Simmons has offered to write any one sentence I request in the book. Please add your suggestion to the comments below, and I will choose the best suggestion to be written in my book.

If I don't get any good suggestions, I will simply ask Simmons to list the pages that reference the Memphis Grizzlies since he erroneously omitted that from his index.

Other than that, I plan to ask the Sports Guy to predict whether the Grizzlies will win the NBA Championship one year after Chris Wallace leaves the organization.

I hope to see you there.