--The Memphis Grizzlies got their first 2007 regular season win by beating the Sonics 105 to 98. Congrats.
--Coach Marc Iavaroni got his first regular season NBA win last night. Congrats.
--Micheal Conley saw his first regular season action in the NBA last night. Congrats. Conley came in during the second quarter and played about 8 minutes. I suspect this will be the norm in the near future.
From Seattle's Perspective
After some Griz games I would like to highlight what is being said in the opposing city. I'm sure every Griz fan that reads this blog, also reads the Commercial Appeal's coverage of the Grizzlies (Tillery's recap is here). Below are some snippets from the Seattle media...
Jayda Evans at the Seattle Times wrote,
He was told no one on Memphis' team could guard him.
Not that it gave Sonics rookie Kevin Durant any false confidence, but it did make those 14 misses sting a little more. Especially because some were against the player who spoke the words, second-year Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay.
Eric D. Williams at the News Tribune wrote,
Seattle fights mightily in the fourth quarter, but ultimately can’t make enough plays to close out a win.
Memphis must have studied the script while waiting for Seattle to return from back-to-back games in Los Angeles and Sacramento. The Grizzlies followed the plot line to perfection in defeating Seattle, 105-98, Wednesday night in front of an announced crowd of 10,761.
The game was in question with 20 seconds left, but Memphis guard Kyle Lowry put the contest out of reach by nailing a 3-pointer from the wing, pushing Seattle a game closer to some unwanted franchise history.
Gary Washburn at the SeattlePI wrote,
After the shot fell through the hoop, Wilcox slammed the ball into the basket support, a testament to the team's frustration.
To no one's surprise, the Sonics, winless in their first five games, were unable to hold a 65-51 third-quarter lead. But what was surprising was how quickly the lead disintegrated and turned into a sizable deficit.
Earl Watson's jumper gave the Sonics the 14-point lead with 9:25 left in the period. And by the time Lowry completed a three-point play with 5.9 seconds left in the period, Memphis owned an 87-81 lead. The Grizzlies went on a 36-16 run in just over nine minutes, adding to the list of runs against the Sonics this season.
Random Thoughts From a Sleep Deprived Graduate Student
--I think the Griz will make the playoffs. Bethlehem Shoals thinks the Griz will make the playoffs. But is making the playoffs good for the Grizzlies? From a business standpoint in the short-term, yes. Memphis fans are more likely to go watch a team playing for or in the playoffs than a team destined to be in the lottery. But in the long term, the answer is likely no. As new SoB, MemphisX, pointed out, we have a talent gap. This year's draft looks to be talented and deep. We could sure use any of the stud's likely to go in the top 10. Plus, if we finish as one of the top 10 teams in the league, we lose our 1st round pick to the Wizards in the Juan Carlos Navarro trade. However, it will not be fun to see Memphis relying on more high draft picks to develop. The more sensible way to acquire more talent is likely through trades. But getting back to the question of is it good for the Grizzlies to make the playoffs. Probably. Although it is probably best for the Grizzlies to show dramatic improvement, be as good as a playoff team and barely miss the playoffs due to great play by other Western Conference teams.
--I might be wrong about JC Navarro. There is no way he is in contention for 6th man of the year. He might not be in contention for 10th man of the year. JC hasn't shot well from beyond the arc, and has yet to make a shot inside the 3 point line this year as well, missing on all of his patented 'La Bomba' running floater in the lane. Between JC and Casey, we expect pinpiont 3 point shooting. We haven't gotten it. We aren't paying these guys to play defense, they need to start earning their money by being sharp shooters.
--No, Chris Herrington, I don't think it is too early to call Darko the best center in Grizzlies history. At least not from me. He has officially beat out Lorenzen and Jake for that honor already. Darko has really impressed me in the first three games of the season. My biggest complaint surrounding Darko is the inability of the rest of the team to get him the ball in the post when he has his man buried under the basket. Darko might not have shown great touch around the basket, but he has shown an ability to get great position on the block. I want to see our guards and espicially the bigman in the high post to do a better job of getting Darko the ball when he has his man pinned.