Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Live Blog: Grizzlies @ Pacers

Zack is out of town tonight, so I'll be taking over the live-blogging duties. Try not to be too hard on me.

Grizz Starting Lineup: Kyle Lowry, Mike Miller, Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol, Hakim Warrick
Pacers: Travis Diener, Mike Dunleavy, Danny Granger, Troy Murphy, Jermaine O'Neal

Interesting lineup for the Grizzlies, since Kyle and Hakim haven't started to this point.

Q1 - 6:48 -- The Grizzlies are attempting to run whenever they get the opportunity, but haven't really gotten the offense to click yet. Pacers 11, Grizzlies 4.

Q1 - 6:21 -- Darko with a great move to get around J.O., but can't convert. Goes to the line for two and misses them both. He has to work on his free-throw shooting.

Q1 - 5:35 -- Darko with the big block on J.O. and then runs the floor, gets the nice feed from Miller for the dunk! Pacers 15, Grizzlies 10.

Q1 - 5:31 -- Conley checks into the game. Hakim Warrick with the explosive dunk over Jermaine! Pacers 15, Grizzlies 14.

Q1 - 2:54 -- Miller really seems to be seeking out rebounds this season, as he pulls down another one. We go to the TV timeout tied at 19 all.

Q1 - 2:44 -- Conley gets around his defender effortlessly and gets a bogus charging call that the commentator correctly identifies as a "rookie call". Chip will be fuming at the mention of that!

Q1 - 1:58 -- Grizzlies still need to work on their transition defense. Too many opportunities for the Pacers when they get our and run, even after made baskets. Cardinal and Navarro are in the game now.

Q1 - 0:32 -- Navarro ends an 11-0 Pacers run with a three-pointer from the left wing to make the score 30-22 in favor of the Pacers.

Q1 - 0:00 -- Conley abuses Tinsley, but cannot convert just before the end of the quarter. That part of his game will develop with more experience in the League. End of the 1st quarter: Pacers 31, Grizzlies 22.

Q2 - 11:22 -- Quinn Buckner just described Cardinal as a "non-athlete who still manages to play basketball". Yep...that's a pretty accurate description.

Q2 - 10:50 -- Just reported that Pau's ankle sprain was going to keep him out of the remainder of the game. Obviously, we'll continue to give updates on this as the game goes on.

Q2 - 9:26 -- Marquis Daniels is showing flashes of the player that he was with the Mavericks. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, that was when he was good. Pacers 42, Grizzlies 28.

Q2 - 8:10 -- Buckner has his projected Southwest Division standings as follows: Spurs, Rockets, Mavs, Grizzlies, Hornets. Very interesting. Wonder what he knows that I don't?

Q2 - 7:37 -- Kyle with the quick hands to pick Diener's pocket and then get fouled on the other end. If he can maintain his defensive tenacity while developing his offensive game, he could be a terror for opposing teams. Pacers 44, Grizzlies 29.

Q2 - 6:47 -- O'Neal at the free-throw line and I glance at the boxscore for the game. Granger and Dunleavy are in double figures for scoring, with Daniels right behind them with 9 pts. The Grizzlies leading scorer is Rudy Gay with 6.

Q2 - 5:45 -- More poor transistion defense, as Kareem Rush feeds Shawne Williams behind the defense for an alley-oop. Pacers 47, Grizzlies 33.

Q2 - 5:02 -- Rudy settles for the step-back jumper while guarded by Murphy. Fortunately, he hits the shot, gets fouled and converts the free-throw. He should be blowing by Troy on that play 9 times out of 10 though.

Q2 - 3:25 -- The first notable Andre Brown sighting of the night, as he hits a jumper from the left elbow and then gets an unnecessary foul while jostling with J.O. on the other side of the court. Good thing he'll be riding the pine most of the season, I suppose. Pacers 55, Grizzlies 39.

Q2 - 3:00 -- Guess what? More non-existent transistion defense as Marquis Daniels gets the flush again. Perhaps we need to hire an MLG&W worker to stand at half-court leaning on a shovel with a bored look on his face, half-heartedly paying attention to passing traffic while flipping the STOP/SLOW sign every few minutes. Think that would help?

Q2 - 1:41 -- Conley finally gets on the board, hitting one of two free throws. Couldn't tell you why he was on the line, since it is storming here and the satellite blinked out for a few mintues. Pacers 61, Grizzlies 42.

Halftime -- Pacers 63, Grizzlies 42.
Here's what I think is going on -- Iavaroni is keeping everyone under wraps to keep everything hush-hush. Then, when the regular season starts....BOOM! Unleash the Secret Weapon! No? Well, I tried. Maybe they are just looking to see how big of a deficit they can overcome in preseason after what happened against Minnesota on Monday night. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself at this point.

Right now, the Grizzlies are failing miserably at defense (especially in transition), rebounding (-5 differential) and ball control (-6 steals/blocks differential). They'll have to address these issues in the locker room if they want to have any shot of coming back in this game.

Q3 - 12:00 -- Grizzlies start the 2nd half with Lowry, Miller, Gay, Warrick and Darko on the floor.

Q3 - 10:46 -- Hakim tries to make something happen by going hard to the basket and gets rewarded with free throws. He converts one of two while I listen to the Pacers' announcers continue to be unabashed homers. These guys could give the Blazers' broadcast team a run for their money!

Q3 - 10:23 -- More free throws by Hakim and he manages to can them both. Then he makes a nice defensive play by forcing a shot alteration. Pacers 65, Grizzlies 45.

Q3 - 9:44 -- Jamaal Tinsley hits a three-pointer to answer Rudy's long bomb on the other end. Then Jermaine O'Neal takes his third charge of the night on Hakim. Jermaine the Flopper? I think so, since he outweighs Hakim by about 75 pounds! Pacers 70, Grizzlies 48.

Q3 - 6:46 -- I had a conversation with someone earlier today and they said that if Mike Dunleavy beats us, then so be it. Well he just hit another 3, giving him 16 points on the night, leading all scorers. *SIGH* Good thing this is just the preseason or my night would be ruined. Pacers 80, Grizzlies 56.

Q3 - 5:23 -- Rudy is being more agressive, driving more and getting to the free throw line. That's a very good sign IMO. Kyle is putting pressure on the Pacers' defense at every opportunity -- I know this because even the incredibly biased announcing team had to mention it. Just as I type that, Lowry blows by Owens and gets fouled. He'll shoot two....and hit them both. Pacers 82, Grizzlies 62.

Q3 - 3:27 -- Rudy hits another jumper, giving him 19 points on the night. The Pacers seem content to allow him to shoot from 15-18 feet and fortunately he's hitting them tonight. Cardinal checks in and gets talked up by the broadcast team again. Boy, they must love former Boilermakers! He's the only guy they want to praise tonight on the opposition. Pacers 87, Grizzlies 68

Q3 - 2:57 -- I cannot decide who is more frustrating on the Pacers: Jeff Foster or Ike Diogu. I think it has to be Foster because you know what he's going to do -- rebound and be annoying -- but you're absolutely powerless to stop him. Diogu's ability to do a little bit of everything while appearing so unassuming due to his physical build is very frustrating as well though. I remember him destroying the Tigers in the NCAA tournament his freshman year too, so perhaps I have some residual feelings based on that, too. Grizzlies 89, Pacers 72.

Q3 - 2:14 -- Travis Diener might be the most underappreciated player in the league. He's not great at anything, but he's above average at enough to develop into a solid PG. His decision making ability is the only thing that stands out as being more than just "solid".

Q3 - 0:57 -- Finally! Rudy drives past Marquis Daniels and crashes into Foster, drawing the foul call. He hits both free throws, making it 9-9 from the line tonight. Pacers 93, Grizzlies 81.

Q3 - 0:00 -- The Grizzlies have clawed back as they are now down by only 12 after trailing by as much as 28. Rudy has led the charge with an assortment of great plays on both sides of the ball. They'll have to work hard to come away with a victory in this one, though some important Pacers are in foul trouble. That was a 39 point quarter for Memphis.

Q4 - 11:22 -- Kinsey starts off the 4th quarter with a nice pull-up jumper off a feed from Conley. After his shoulder injury this summer and the article in the CA today, I hope that he knows how hard he'll have to work to get a place at the table this season. Pacers 95, Grizzlies 85.

Q4 - 9:52 -- Just saw Darko standing next to J.O. Even with his perpetual slump, The Dark One still towered over him by two inches. Maybe we can tell him that J.O. killed his dog or something and then watch what happens. Then again....maybe not. No need to see the NBA's first Flagrant Foul Level 4 -- Homicide. J.O. has quietly amassed 20 and 10 tonight.

Q4 - 8:57 -- Conley with a huge three from the left wing to cut the deficit to 6 points. 97-91 Pacers as Indiana needs a timeout. Too soon to call them the Comeback Kids?

Q4 - 8:21 -- Good hard foul by Cardinal on Daniels. Marquis has gotten far too many easy buckets tonight. About time he was forced to earn one.

Q4 - 7:14 -- Kinsey hits a three and then Conley gets the steal and the bucket. Pacers 103, Grizzlies 96.

Q4 - 6:28 -- They just flashed a graphic that is very telling: Free Throws, Grizzlies - 35/44; Pacers 33/38. Gotta work on those free throws. Mark Price is gonna earn that paycheck this season!

Q4 - 5:05 -- Pacers 110, Grizzlies 101. The refs have made another horrific call as the Pacers' player had ahold of Kinsey's jersey and when TK moved to get the rebound, that jerked him to the side, somehow earning him a foul call. Unbelievable!

Q4 - 4:08 -- Why do I know that Ike Diogu has range out to 18 feet and the Pacers' broadcast team doesn't? He was a perimeter threat in college, frequently hitting three-pointers. The Pacers have most of their "A squad" back in and have pushed the advantage back to 11, taking a 114 to 103 lead.

Q4 - 3:03 -- Tinsley just made the highlight reel by dribbling the ball between Navarro's legs, but missed the layup after pressure from Darko.

Q4 - 2:18 -- The Grizz remembered that Darko plays for them as he finally gets the ball in the post, scoring on a nice shot from the right block.

Q4 - 1:32 -- Shot clock violation on the Pacers and the Grizzlies are hoping for a miracle now, down 116 to 106 with a minute and a half to go in the game.

Q4 - 1:21 -- I know he has a lot of loyal fans, but Hakim is a black hole. He just does not pass the ball at all. He hits two free throws to close the gap to 8 points.

Q4 - 0:57 -- Navarro with another three-pointer, his third of the night. JCN is, without a doubt, the best bargain in the NBA this year. Hopefully, the front office already has a good idea of how they are going to clear enough cap space to re-sign him next year.

Q4 - 0:46 -- Just announced that the upcoming free throws would be the 89th and 90th of the game. That should tell you just how controlling the refs have been in this contest. Pacers 120, Grizzlies 113.

Q4 - 0:10 -- Casey Jacobsen just missed two free throws. That would have cut the lead to 3 points. That's very disappointing, but it is hard to come off the bench after sitting for so long and immediately hit shots. Too bad, as that would have put tremendous pressure on the Pacers' inbounding of the ball.

Game Over -- Indiana Pacers 122, Memphis Grizzlies 115

The Grizzlies made a valiant comeback effort, but fell just short. They showed a ton of heart tonight after a horrible start, so that is encouraging as we move forward.

Thanks to all of you who stuck it out with me tonight. I saw you out there, even though you didn't leave any comments. Until next time, I'm out!



Anonymous said...

Thanks Spartacus. I read it after the game and, as always, appreciate your perspective.


ChipC3 said...

ROOKIE CALL!?!?! What professional league other than the NBA has such an accepted practice of different rules based on experience? Hell yes it burns me up everytime I see and hear that happen.

Great job Spartacus. Team played hard on the road and without Gasol still made a game of it.