Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Scrimmage Impressions

Let me start off by thanking the Grizzlies for thinking outside the box again. This franchise is obviously making serious efforts to reconnect with the fans despite never saying that is what they are trying to do. I find it interesting that last season when the disconnect was a hot topic of discussion it seemed that no one was really interested in dealing with the problem outside of Andy Dolitch. This year everyone from the GM down to the assistant equipment manager (who was so kind to get Rudy Gay to sign a photograph for my nephew) is interested in letting the fans feel appreciated.

The scrimmage was incredibly well attended for a short lunchtime lightly promoted event. Half of the lower bowl was open for fans and it was packed. Seats were actually hard to find.

I can't comment personally on the first half as real life interrupted my passion. However I was told that Damon Stoudamire really stood out. He looks noticeably thinner this season and quicker from what I saw and the limp is gone. Mike Miller was aggressive going to the hole and even had a nice block to compliment his normal outside shot.

In the second period I was able to make first hand impressions. If I was to use one word for Juan Carlos Navarro it would be crafty. He made a drive that stirred memories of Manu Ginobili. Hakim Warrick had two blocks on back to back possessions. Rudy showed off some jaw dropping moves. I am glad no one in the NBA checks Rudy's DNA. Not because I think he's on steroids. I'm just not sure he's human the way he moves! My favorite play I saw came from Mike Conley Jr. when he used his 41 inch vertical leep to go over a player (I think it was Darko) to tip a pass over to Gasol for a dunk. It was really incredible to watch.

The low point of the scrimmage was seeing Mike Conley laying on the court. Darko set a high pick and Conley literally crumbled to the court. After the game Gasol told me he just caught a knee in his thigh and the injury wasn't serious. That calmed me down a bit. allowed me to think a bit more clearly and, more importantly, someone on the Grizz set a strong enough pick to put someone on the floor! I am not advocatng dirty play but physical picks are not so bad.

Hopefully some one (Zack) will fill in the blanks in the first half. I saw Ranstay, Neon Leon, Memphis Slim, Grizzman and Zack at the game so I am sure someone should be able to complete the picture for me.

For those interested Kasib Powell was waived prior to the scrimmage. Unfortuantly the Grizzlies forgot to tell the announcer who had an akward moment introducing a non-existent player. I heard rumor that Marc Iavaroni used a decidedly displeased expletive at the oversight.

I had a pleasant surprise after the scrimmage in meeting Chris Vernon, radio 730AM host who was selected the best drive time talk show today in the Memphis Flyer. Conrats Chris and I love the audio links on the ESPN web page. Chris was kind enough to show Zack, Memphis Slim and myself around the radio station with him. It was very interesting.


Anonymous said...

Did you see the Grizzlies New Commercials? They played them at the scrimmage and they have them on They are really cool.

Ryan Schwan said...

Personally, I love hard picks. I remember when Robert "Tractor" Traylor was on the Hornets and set a pick on Speedy Claxton that left him groggy on the floor for about thirty seconds. That rocked.

Anyways, you guys really churn out posts - makin' me feel all inadequate and stuff.