Friday, December 14, 2007

What Does It Take To Go On A Winning Streak?

I was pretty low after the loss at home to Portland. Portland wasn't playing well and we had won the previous game in a dominating fashion. How did we lose that game?

Maybe it was just difficult to put two wins together. The team's only done it once this season after all and we had to wait until April last season to win two in a row. Do the Grizzlies just sit on their laurels too much or what?

That got me looking around the league to see what team had the longest winning streak and you know who showed up on the list? Those same Portland Trailblazers that beat Memphis. They won four games in a row after beating Memphis. Those wins included a win at Utah (only their 2nd road win of the season) and last night's win over Golden State (Milwaukee and Miami were the others). They beat both Utah and Golden St without LaMarcus Aldridge who is out with plantar fasciitis (the same injury that supposedly sidelined Pau three seasons ago).

So maybe I shouldn't feel so bad about the loss. The team was within 3/10ths of a second of beating a team that is red hot.

It didn't make me feel any better. The Grizzlies still lost so who cares if the team is red hot or ice cold. A loss is a loss after all.

In researching what has happened to Portland I read this interesting quote from Jarrett Jack" I think it's just a contagious confidence." Contagious Confidence? What the heck is contagious confidence and how do the Grizzlies catch it?


"Confidence is contagious." - Vince Lombardi

Probably by finding someone to hit a game winning shot. That is how Portland accomplished it. Since the last second shot by Travis Outlaw the Trailblazers have started to believe in themselves. Their 2nd yr coach, Nate McMillan said "I really think the whole team is getting a feel of what we want to do.'' So understanding what the coach wants of them, gaining a touch of confidence from hitting a big shot and a team can turn things around in a hurry.

It reminds me of the Chicago Bulls of three years ago. They were 4-16 at one point that season but finished as one of the hottest teams in the league. It took some time for the young players to learn what it was they were supposed to be doing and it took some clutch wins to bolster their confidence.

Think about that today as the Grizzlies prepare for the Clippers. Iavaroni hasn't been here two years and the Grizzlies haven't hit that big shot yet but with plenty of days to practice lately and a team on a long road trip in town this could be just the situation Memphis needs to turn things around.

It just takes a little contagious confidence after all.

4 comments:

zack said...

if I remember right, the full Lombardi quote was "Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence." The second part is just as important and relevant.

My senior year in high school, I would write a different Lombardi quote on the chalkboard during our various meetings...some of my favorites that I can remember...

"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."

ChipC3 said...

Practice makes Permanent.
Perfect practice makes perfect.

And I agree that hard work is needed before success can be achieved. The question is how much longer and what will be the event that changes the perception?

For Portland it took a last second basket against the Grizz to turn their season around. I am suggesting that a big win at the end of a game could do the same for the Grizzlies.

MemphisX said...

It reminds me of the Chicago Bulls of three years ago. They were 4-16 at one point that season but finished as one of the hottest teams in the league. It took some time for the young players to learn what it was they were supposed to be doing and it took some clutch wins to bolster their confidence.

I think we are similar except we are in the stage of the season before they made the playoffs when you had a young core (Curry, Chandler, Jamal Crawford, Hinrich) being shown how to play by some questionable vets (Jalen Rose, Eddie Robinson).

They then got rid of all the players that didn't buy into the system and went from sub 30 wins to playoffs in one season with a young group that bought into what Skiles wanted to do. Their only problem is making mistakes with their future draft picks and cap space.

hptmatt said...

my favorite Vince Lombardi quote comes from the Jerry Kramer book "Instant Replay" about the 67-68 Packers-the quote is one that Kramer said Lombardi spouted ad nauseam:

"Gentlemen, today we start the big push".

That one needs to get drilled into the Grizzlies' heads...before each and every game...