Friday, November 16, 2007

Postgame Thoughts: Memphis vs. New Orleans 11.16.07

This was a fantastic game between two very entertaining teams. Let's get that out of the way right now, because as much as it stings to lose close games, this was pure entertainment from the 2nd quarter on.

Tonight was mostly about the coming out party for Juan Carlos Navarro aka "La Bomba". JCN hit 8/9 three-pointers on his way to a career high 28 points. Navarro was unbelievable, hitting everything he threw towards the basket. I say "threw" because Navarro doesn't really shoot, he kind of flings the ball no matter what kind of shot it is -- three-pointer, floater, runner, even his free throws look semi-unconventional. Hopefully, this is the first of many big nights for La Bomba.

Unfortunately for Memphis, Chris Paul matched his 28 points and David West led all scorers with 40 points. Maybe someone at the game can clear something up for me. Was David West invisible to the naked eye? Do you need special goggles to see him in person? I ask this, because the Grizzlies continually left him open in the first half, so I assumed that they could not identify him without some form of aid. That had to be it, right?

Unusual game for Rudy and Pau as they both stumbled through a subpar first half, but turned it on late in the game. Rudy, in particular, was amazing, hitting two deep three's to send the game to overtime when everyone thought the game was past saving. He missed the game-tying shot at the end of OT, but he is still showing flashes of the superstar level talent that Jerry West pronounced him to possess last year after the trade to acquire him. The future looks bright for Rudy....and Memphis, as a result.

Darko was largely ineffective in his limited minutes due to foul issues and then he injured his wrist, sending him to the locker room for X-rays. The results came back negative, so hopefully he will be available tomorrow night against Dallas.

I know Zack will be here to talk about Kyle's 8 assist/1 turnover night, so I'll leave that bit of enjoyment for him.

All in all, I think this was a great effort against a team that will be in the playoffs this year if they can maintain their health and I'm proud of our guys, even though they came up just a little bit short. One more night that produced a few lessons, some growth and maturation, and a peek into what the future holds for this young, talented team.

Thought's From a Sleep Deprived Grad Student (i.e., Zack)

Like Spartacus, I had fun watching this game. Ok, I had fun once we weren't down by 15. Which reminds me, did you know Peja was trying out for America's Next Top Model? Getting back on point and trying to be quick, here is what is on my mind right now...

Ricky Davis is getting nervous. His status as top Grizzly Killer, once miles ahead of the pack, might have serious competition. Apparently the Grizzlies forgot that David West is a really good shooter from mid-range. I guess that Haitian from NBC Hero's came in and erased all memories of that fact. Seriously, 40 points? Seriously? (note - Grizzly Killer is a term I apply to players that aren't anywhere close to being superstars, but look like them against the Grizzlies, time and time again.)

Juan Carlos Navarro would prefer we not have a draft pick this year. Wow! What a game from JC. That was something to behold. In reality, our top-19 protected 1st rounder is all but certain to stay in Memphis, but if we were able to pull the miracle off of being a top 10 team in the league, having Navarro shoot that well off the bench is probably a requirement. A big round of applause goes out to JC. On a side note, I think we should increase the Spanish flavor by trading for Garbo. Here's how.

Starting point guard emerges? Ok, not really. I understand the reality that for better or worse, Damon's job is safe as long as he is still a Grizzly. But my preference for Kyle Lowry being the Grizzlies full-time PG this season is probably not a secret for anyone that reads this blog or the Grizzlies message board regularly. Tonight was just another day at the office for the 2nd year guard. He picked up the pace, picked up the energy level, played great defense and even knocked down his jumpers. Commonly, his critics like to pick on his low assists and high turnovers, though tonight he had 8 assists and only 1 turnover (in contrast Chris Paul had 13 assists and 7 turnovers). Though in reality JC's hot hand is a big reason why Lowry's assists were so high (or conversely, JC's cold hand the previous games is the reason why he doesn't average 8 assists every game). Lowry might not be the most talented ball distributor, but his motor, his defense, and his will to win is as high as anyone not named KG.

Get well soon Darko. We are a better team with him, so I hope Darko the Serbian Enforcer is back at full-strength as soon as possible. I've really grown fond of Darko and seeing him go out with an injury sucked. Here I thought Stro was on the team to take everybody's minor injuries for them.

Rudy Gay is about 2 years ahead of schedule. Despite missing the bucket to tie in overtime, his back-to-back triples to send the game into overtime were simply electric.

USA Today Recap

1 comment:

Smith said...

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