Tag:Memphis Grizzlies
Posted on: August 26, 2010 8:41 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 9:19 am
 

Shootaround 8.26.10: Heat defense and Boom fat

More on Heisley's train wreck, Chinese investor deal falls through for the Cavs, the Heat defense, and Baron Davis' fat.
Posted by Matt Moore


Earlier in the week we told you about Michael Heisley's train wreck on Memphis radio . Now, Chris Herrington writing for the Memphis Flyer has gone through the interview quote by quote to outline just how off Heisley is in his logic and assertions. It's so bad that Herrington had to break it into two parts . That's a fairly impressive crash and burn for the owner of a major sports league franchise.

How good are the Heat going to be on defense? That's the question John Krolik walks us through on Pro Basketball Talk. Krolik asserts that Wade and James are not only terrific perimeter defenders, but their weaknesses should be covered by the other's strengths (ex. Wade's weak post-defense can be managed by James' strength there). The big questions, predictably, surround their low-post defense and it's likely going to be up to Bosh to step up for the Heat to be dominant defensively. Bosh is going to have to be the player he was treated as and paid to be in free agency, with a complete game to go alongside those pretty jumpers and rebounds.

Former NBA player Jay Vincent has been indicted in an internet scam fraud.

The deal to bring in Chinese investors to the Cavaliers fell apart months ago , via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The investment was partially targeted by Cavs ownership to help woo LeBron James. It represents just another in a long series of events that likely did not help the Cavs in retaining James, despite a feeling from most people that his relocation was planned out months or maybe even years ago. If there was any chance of him changing his mind, front-office moves and things like this deal falling apart likely didn't help instill confidence from him in the franchise or its future.

Danny Ferry has rejoined the Spurs and will oversee their D-League affiliate among other duties. The Spurs take the operation of their affiliate very seriously and Ferry is a prime candidate for this kind of job. It's likely a welcome relief to be working with players that want a job again after his recent experiences.

Long story short: fouling or not fouling when up three will pretty much net you the same win percentage. Go figure. No, seriously, go figure, because the math behind this stuff is fairly complicated.

Baron Davis refutes a report that he's gone tubbo. No word on if he's also going to refute the assertion that he's lazy, injury-prone and inefficient.

Scottie Pippen's getting his own statue , which is pretty neat for him. Of course the best pose of him won't make it: him standing over Patrick Ewing.

A Stern Warning reports that Patty Mills will remain a Blazer this season .

Some really great news for Mikhail Torrance, who suffered a heart attack in a work-out, collapsed, and slipped into a coma. He's breathing on his own again .





Posted on: August 24, 2010 9:31 am
 

Shootaround 8.24.10: Heisley goes Vesuvius

Heisley blows up, Bosh says no to loyalty, and Nate McMillan's on the hot seat in today's Shootaround...Posted by Matt Moore

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley went on the radio yesterday and had himself quite the little adventure. Among his more interesting answers, besides calling host Chris Vernon "partner," and "son" several times, Heisley admitted that he has not read the CBA, and was therefore previously unaware of the clause that allows for negotiating with rookies on incentive-based bonuses. This is toally okay for an owner who simply signs the check and directs the front-office, but not so much one who makes the majority of basketball decisions. Having listened to the whole interview, I can tell you it was, in fact, an abject trainwreck.

SI's been close with Chris Bosh, and did another interview with him this week. The soundbyte you'll want to take note of is that he thinks loyalty has no place in free agency. Which was, you know, kind of apparent to begin with.

Nets Are Scorching looks at how Derrick Favors could make the difference in the Nets breaching the playoffs. This is akin to looking at how your place kicker can help win you a Super Bowl.

Is there any player with a wider range of possible results this season outside of Greg Oden than Hakim Warrick? In Phoenix, in a system that produces great players beyond their talent alongside Nash, with a host of magical trainers, Warrick could make significant leaps forward. Or, he could be Hakim Warrick. At least he's excited and ready to work .

Blazers edge says this is a "make or break year" for Nate McMillan.

Beyond the Beat takes a look at players' reactions to the famous masks they've had to wear for facial injuries. That's nto a metaphor. We're talking actual masks.

Bucksketball is worried about chemistry with the Bucks. They have the talent, but the personalities is the concern.

Is Will Bynum going to wind up starting ? Really?
Posted on: August 19, 2010 8:52 am
 

Shootaround 8.19.10: John Mayer burns the Heat

"" Posted by Royce Young

  • The Hornets are embracing variable ticket pricing: "Yet-to-be-determined prices will be assigned to games based on value and demand, influenced by factors such as an opponent's quality and the day of the week the game is played. Each game will fall into one of five pricing categories: marquee, premium, classic, value and preseason."
  • Rob Mahoney of Hardwood Paroxysm on who takes the last shot in Miami: "In almost every regard, the Miami Heat will not be like other basketball teams. So why should they be when it comes to their play-calling with the game on the line? Erik Spoelstra has all of these incredible scoring options laid out for him. No coach in recent memory has been more empowered to go away from the “Get X the ball and get out of the way,” endgame mantra. If there’s really a place where Spoelstra’s talents can stand out amidst the incredible star power on Miami’s roster, it’s there."
  • Terrico White should've been in the dunk contest last year. So what that he was still in college.
  • Dime looks at the five worst trades ever: "Date: September 9, 1980; Warriors Get: Two 1980 1st-round draft picks (Rickey Brown and Joe Barry Carroll); Celtics Get: Robert Parish and a 1980 1st-round draft pick (Kevin McHale). This is like something out of a video game. The Celtics should have got fined for armed robbery. How do you steal two NBA legends for nothing?"
  • Usain Bolt sees Kevin Durant as a role model: "When I was younger mine were Michael Johnson and Don Quarrie. Johnson was pretty much the best runner in the world, particularly at the 200m  -  my favourite event  -  and Quarrie was one of the best Jamaican sprinters in history, so I just wanted to be like them. I still have people I look up to even now. At the moment it's Kevin Durant, the basketball player (he plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder). Kevin is a good leader; he's very strong and very determined. Whatever he does, whether he's tired or injured, he works through it, pushes on and challenges his team-mates to do their best."
  • The Grizzlies and rookie Xavier Henry are in a stalement with his contract over performance based incentives. And owner Michael Heisley had in interesting quote on it: "Isn't it reasonable to think that the 12th pick in the NBA draft can make the rookie team?" Heisley asked. "I think what we're asking for is reasonable." I guess that would depend on what one sees as reasonable, would it?
  • Kenyon Martin tells The Denver Post he understands Carmelo's situation and even says the Nuggets are going backward: "I understand what he's going through," Martin said in a phone interview. "If I'm Melo, I'm thinking — are we getting better? They've got to prove to me that we're getting better... Everybody else around us got better. But we're taking steps backwards."
Posted on: August 11, 2010 11:04 am
Edited on: August 11, 2010 11:08 am
 

Breaking down the back-to-backs

Posted by Royce Young

Other than the fact that since it's August and we're all starved for NBA news, the schedule release typically doesn't have a ton of surprises. On the surface, all schedules are created equal with everyone having 41 home games and 41 road games. (Unless you're the Lakers and you get a couple extra home games when you go on the "road" to play the Clippers.)

But all schedules are not equal. Not in the slightest actually. Other than some teams getting contenders four times instead of three because of the way the scheduling rotation works and the fact the Clippers have a 10-game road trip (!), there's the issue of back-to-backs. And back-to-backs can take what looks to be an easy month and turn it into a 30-day grind.

The Bulls and Bucks lead the way with 23 back-to-backs. That's a bummer for the Bulls who had one of the highest totals in the league last season. For all you Laker haters, here's some more ammo: The champs only have 15, which is tied for the fewest in the league. The Suns have just 16 and the Thunder and Hawks have only 17.

Six teams have 22, six have 21, two have 20, six have 19 and four have 18. The full list:

1. Chicago - 23
2. Milwauke -  23
3. Charlotte - 22
4. Cleveland - 22
5. LA Clippers - 22
6. New Jersey - 22
7. Philadelphia - 22
8. Portland - 22
9. Detroit - 21
10. Houston - 21
11. Indiana - 21
12. Memphis - 21
13. New York - 21
14. Washington - 21
15. Dallas - 20
16. Orlando - 20
17. Boston - 19
18. Denver - 19
19. Miami - 19
20. Minnesota - 19
21. Toronto - 19
22. Utah - 19
23. Golden State - 18
24. New Orleans - 18
25. Sacramento - 18
26. San Antonio - 18
27. Atlanta - 17
28. Oklahoma City - 17
29. Phoenix - 16
30. LA Lakers - 15

One underrated angle on the back-to-backs is how many games a team gets against a team on the second night of a back-to-back. Phoenix has the most in the league with 15 games against teams that played the night before. The Suns are followed by Cleveland (10), Oklahoma City (10), Atlanta (10) and San Antonio (9).

The Lakers, who have the fewest back-to-backs in the league, only have four games against a team that played the night before. Sacramento has the fewest in the league with only one.

Related to that, the Bucks, Cavs, Celtics, Bobcats, Bulls, Grizzlies and Clippers all have four or more games against a team playing in its fourth game in five days with no rest. The Lakers, Suns, Warriors, Spurs and 76ers have zero such games.
 
And on the flip side of that, the Bobcats, Cavs, Bucks, 76ers and Wizards all have four games that are on the fourth game in five days with no rest. So clearly the league tried to even that out. You get some, you give some. A bunch of teams only have to do that once including the Suns, Thunder, Lakers and Heat.

Based on back-to-backs, days off and playing against unrested opponents, you could make a strong case that Oklahoma City and Phoenix have two of the most favorable schedules in the league. The Lakers, while having the fewest back-to-backs, also have one of the lowest amount of games against unrested opponents.

While the schedule is going to be unfair for some teams because that's just life, it's clear the league tried to even things out. Playing against a team that is coming in off a red eye flight and that played just 20 hours ago is a huge advantage. Probably even more than having a low number of back-to-back games.

But back-to-backs are just part of the schedule story. Who are the back-to-backs against? What about long road trips, days off and long home stands? In the end, it doesn't matter all that much. For the most part, the best teams win and the bad teams lose.

Info pulled from NBAStuffer.com
Posted on: August 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 5:58 pm
 

5 can't miss national TV games in 2010-2011

Posted by Matt Moore

The story of the 2010-2011 national television schedule is about what you'd expect. Lots of Heat, lots of Boston, lots of Lakers, and the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Boston Celtics surprisingly lead all teams in national television appearances across NBATV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with 33 appearances. The Miami Heat, no shock, are second, with 29 appearances, while the defending champion Lakers appear 27 times. That number is likely to increase signficantly with NBATV's fan night. The Orlando Magic also appear 29 times, compared to the East's three-seed Atlanta Hawks, who appear just 14 times. Of the 15 games on ABC, 14 feature the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, or Magic.

New York appears 18 times, while Phoenix has certainly earned some faith from the producers, landing 25 national appearances. Oklahoma City were the big winners, with 24 big-time appearances, and the first post-Christmas ABC game, facing the Heat at home. It's a big win for a small market club.

Of course, most other small-market clubs didn't fair so well. Indiana is without a single appearanc. Charlotte and Memphis have 6 each, New Orleans 7, and Milwaukee only has 8, despite being playoff or near-playoff teams. This is in contrast to the Clippers, the freaking Clippers, getting 12 appearances. Win total didn't have much to do with these decisions.

Your top five nationally televised games not on Christmas, Opening Night, or MLK Day:

  1. Heat at Magic, November 24th, ESPN: The Sunshine Massacre. The Heat's primary weakness, true size, is tested against Dwight Howard while Jameer Nelson could have a huge game against Mario Chalmers.
  2. Lakers at Thunder, February 27th, ABC: Welcome back, Lakers. They barely got out of the Sooner state with their playoff lives last April and the Thunder should be improved. Kevin Durant will likely take this one personally, while Kobe loathes challengers to his throne.
  3. Heat at Cavaliers, December 2nd, TNT: "Peace? Peace. I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee."-Cleveland
  4. Blazers at Jazz, April 7th, TNT: Let's imagine Greg Oden stays healthy. Let's imagine Al Jefferson stays healthy. Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap. The Northwest Division is a bloodbath.
  5. Lakers at Celtics, February 10th, TNT: It's refreshing when the networks give you two seldom-seen teams that never match up. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type game, really.

Posted on: August 10, 2010 3:54 pm
 

Toughest and easiest starts for 2010-11

Posted by Royce Young

The schedule is out so let the analyzation begin. One of the many things to look at any time a schedule is released is the kickoff week. Often times, the first week or two can make or break a season for a team. Get off to a good start, you energize the fanbase, gain some confidence and build a little momentum. Get off to a bad one and the fans think "Here we go again," confidence takes a hit and already people are thinking lottery.

So who has the easiest go of it in the opening weeks? And who got the toughest draw?

Easiest Starts
Cleveland: Maybe the league was taking pity on the Cavs who had a rough offseason but Cleveland gets a favorable start. The Cavs kick off with a home game against Boston, but then other than a game against Atlanta, nine straight games against lottery teams, including Washington, New Jersey (twice) and Philadelphia.

Los Angeles Lakers: The champs get a favorable start as 7 of their first 10 are at home with the road games being against Phoenix, Sacramento and Denver. Most of the games are against sub-.500 teams from last season with only a couple against quality squads (Portland, Houston, Memphis). It should be another good beginning in Lakerland en route to defending the crown.

Orlando: The NBA hands a gift to the Magic who get to open a new arena with a batch of home games. It gets tougher for the Magic later down the line, but to start the season, Orlando gets 8 of its first 12 at home, with most of the tough games coming into the new Amway Center. The drawback is a couple back-to-backs but no set is against two contending teams.

Toughest Starts
Philadelphia:
Any time you're breaking in the second overall pick you'd love to get a group of games against teams that he might be able to build confidence against. Evan Turner gets his first game against the Heat and then Atlanta. The schedule lightens a bit with tilts against Indiana, Washington, Indiana again and Cleveland, but then the Sixers face a tough five-game road trip including games at San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Dallas. Then a few weeks later in December, the 76ers have a six-game roadie against quality teams (Orlando, Boston, Chicago, Phoenix, Lakers, Denver, Golden State).

Memphis: Considering the Grizzlies start with five of their first seven on the road and then have home games Phoenix, Dallas and Boston, I'd say they qualify in the tough start category. Their road trip isn't brutal by any means (Lakers, Warriors, Suns, Kings) but it's definitely not easy. Memphis was a surprise team last season, but might struggle to get a hot start this year. The first month is littered with games against contenders and there's really no place for a three or four-game winning streak.

Phoenix: The Suns will be breaking in a number of new players and won't get a chance to ease into it. Phoenix starts on the road at Portland and Utah, then moves home for games against the Lakers, Spurs and Grizzlies. A four-game road trip waits later in November that takes them to Miami, Orlando, Charlotte and Houston. Phoenix plays more playoffs teams than not with eight of its 14 November games being on the road.
Posted on: August 5, 2010 3:43 pm
 

Free Agency Layup Line: Shaq, Weaver, Law

Posted by Royce Young

A couple quick hits to make sure everyone is up to speed on free agency:
  • Shaq has officially signed a two-year deal with the Celtics. Danny Ainge said in a statement: “It is not every day that you can add a player of Shaquille’s caliber to your team ... I remember in 1985, we signed Bill Walton, and his addition put us over the top. We feel that with the addition of Shaq, we’ll have one of the best front lines in the league, and, when Kendrick Perkins returns, the deepest. Shaq has made it clear that he would do whatever it takes to help the team raise Banner 18, and we look forward to working towards that goal together.’’
  • The Grizzlies are reportedly about to sign guard Acie Law. GM Chris Wallace said Wednesday the team intends to sign him. Law worked out for the Grizzlies earlier this week and evidently impressed. He'll be brought in to help in the backcourt with Mike Conley and rookie Greivis Vasquez. HoopsWorld reports it's a one-year deal.
  • Brian T. Smith of The Columbian reports the Blazers are still exploring options for possibly moving Fernandez. He says wide variety of deals are being considered, but nothing is pending. The Knicks were a candidate but if they are close to signing Roger Mason Jr., Fernandez would likely be headed somewhere else.
  • Larry Johnson - yes, Grandmama himself - is interested in joining Chicago's coaching staff. Johnson has a history with new Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau as he played for the New York Knicks from 1996-2001, while Thibodeau was on the coaching staff working under Jeff Van Gundy.
  • The Suns have signed sharpshooting summer leaguer Matt Janning to a two-year, minimum salary contract. A Northeastern product, Janning is a combo guard and at 6-5, should be able to to play multiple positions. "With his great feel for the game and his size, he can play two positions and come off screens and shoot and dump to screeners," said Suns Director of Player Personell Todd Quinter to AZCentral.com.
Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 11:31 pm
 

NBA's 2011 MLK day is stellar as usual

Posted by Matt Moore

Along with the Christmas and opening day schedules released tonight by the NBA, the MLK Jr. Day schedule was also revealed. And just as in years past, the slate's pretty solid. If only we had a trusty NBA blog to run down the games that day.

Wait, we do have a blog like that! It's this one!

Okay, I'll stop. Here's the rundown.

1PM EST, Bulls at Grizzlies:

The Grizzlies had a huge win last year on MLK day over the Suns, a team much better than them in 2009-2010. And they'll find themselves in a similar situation this year. Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer make the Bulls a much better team than they were last year on paper. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have only added a shooting guard they can't come to terms with despite the existence of a rookie pay scale. So they've got that going for them.

But still, this should be a good matchup, if the Grizzlies aren't on a back-to-back. Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah are very different but nearly equal players in terms of production and skill. Zach Randolph is the flip side of Carlos Boozer. More consistent, less injury prone, and continuosly hammered for his locker room cancerous behavior. Not that Boozer is a saint, he's just somehow been excused regularly despite his contract situation being a distraction for Utah the last two years. But their production is similar so that's nearly a wash as well. Rudy Gay is a better but younger version of Luol Deng, and O.J. Mayo's scoring punch and perimeter defensive speed counters Kyle Korver/Ronnie Brewer's specific but limited skill-sets. Unfortunately, that Derrick Rose guy exists. Advantage: Bulls.

Let's not even talk about the bench diffferential, which is considerable. Like I said, back-to-back for the Grizz would be a bad, bad thing here.

4PM EST, Kings at Hawks:

The Hawks got ran last MLK by an up and coming Western Conference team in the Thunder. So naturally the league scheduled them against a similar, and only slightly worse in the Kings. Joe Johnson versus Tyreke Evans should make for a good theater, and Al Horford versus DeMarcus Cousins could be one of the most bizarre conflicts of style and personality among players under 25 all season. And hey, what says Martin Luther King Jr. Day more than Omri Casspi and Zaza Pachulia?

8EST, Magic at Celtics:

You don't really expect me to provide you with a preview for the estimated 22nd meeting of these two teams in three years, do you? Because if you do, you expect way too much out of me.

Oh, hey, something-something, Shaquille O'Neal versus Dwight Howard. Boom.

10:30PM EST, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers:

This is likely going to be a back-to-back for the Thunder. That's generally how these things work. But in what could well end up being an MVP season for Kevin Durant, it still should be incredibly fun. As we saw in the playoffs, these two teams are extremely well matched, and even with the Lakers' upgrades off the bench, OKC's continued development should make for a strong foil to their heavily favored position.

Plus, Cole Aldrich versus Pau Gasol could be high comedy.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com