Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Memphis at Denver - 4.16.08

Memphis closes out their 2nd consecutive disappointing season in a city that has never been friendly to the Grizzlies and against a playoff team celebrating their fan appreciation at the game. Unlike last season this year is just ending bad. A loss would guarantee Memphis no worse than a tie for the 4th worst record in the league and the corresponding ping pong balls in the lottery. As Memphis fans are well aware, finishing with the fourth worst record only means Memphis is guaranteed no worse than the 7th pick in the draft. Memphis put up only a token effort against Minnesota in their final home game so the likelihood of the Grizzlies giving a serious effort at altitude against a hostile crowd is unlikely.

Denver has already begun celebrating their season, or at least one of their stars has. Carmello Anthony was arrested the other night for driving under the influence. The question is will Denver attempt to avoid Los Angeles and former Grizz star Pau Gasol in the 1st round by beating Memphis and hoping Dallas loses their final game against New Orleans. Denver has to be pleased with the potential of winning 50 games this season and a little surprised it could only earn them the 8th spot in the playoffs.

Point Guards: Mike Conley vs Anthony Carter
Kyle Conley or Mike Lowry or whatever, the twin headed PG situation may get even more crowded this summer if the Grizzlies get lucky in the draft. Who am I kidding? The Grizzlies get lucky? Say hello Brook Lopez people. Anthony Carter has been a pleasant surprise for the Nuggets who signed Chucky Atkins in the off-season to man this role.
Advantage: Denver

Shooting Guards: Juan Carlos Navarro vs Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson gives 110% everytime on the court. I know that isn't possible but then again, what Iverson has done on the court over his career shouldn't be possible either. Juan Carlos Navarro will have to jack up a bunch of 3s to set the NBA record for 3pt shots by a rookie but why shouldn't he go for it?
Advantage: Denver

Small Forwards: Rudy Gay vs Carmello Anthony

If this was earlier in the season it would be the marguee matchup of the night. After the DUI situation with Anthony and Rudy's already locking up the 20 ppg thing I doubt either will make more than token appearances at best. If one does it will be Rudy.
Advantage: Memphis

Power Forwards: Hakim Warrick vs Kenyon Martin

Kenyon Martin has finally had a healthy season after years of injuries wrecking what looked to be a promising career. His numbers are down across board but Denver is just happy to have a player at the PF position playing 70+ games this year. Hakim Warrick had a big game in Portland (17 pts and 14 rebs) but has not put up the all-around numbers this season that most PF's in the league can. He is a finese PF and that makes it difficult against more physical players like KMart. His range has improved this year and that could work to his advantage against the less mobile Martin.
Advantage: Denver

Centers: Andre Brown vs Marcus Camby

Marcus Camby was defensive player of the year last season and while he hasn't been as dominating this season his presence in the middle will wreck havoc on the Grizzlies PG who love to drive the lane. Andre Brown is making a good case to be brought back next season or at least remain in the NBA if Memphis doesn't sign him with his play the last few games. He followed his double-double against Minnesota (13 pts and 18 rebs) with a career high 16 pts against Portland. He has poor hands and no real shot blocking ability but he does hustle and do the little things teams need from a 3rd string big man.
Advantage: Denver

Benches: Memphis vs Denver

Denver will be going deeper into their bench than at any other time this season. Expect to see plenty of former Grizz Chucky Atkins, Former Grizz Bobby Jones, Yakhouba Diawara and maybe even Jelani McCoy and Taureen Green. Anyone but their real bench players Linas Kleiza, JR Smith and Eduardo Najera. Those players and the starters will spend most of the night laughing on the bench (not alcohol will be served by the way). Memphis' bench was decimated by injuries to Javaris Crittenton, Mike Miller, Darko Milicic and Jason Collins against Minnesota. No one has heard anything yet but it is doubtful they will play in this game.
Advantage: Denver

Related Blogs:
The Nugg Doctor
PickAxe and Roll
Nuggets Hoops

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

anyone notice the stat line kwame dropped last night? 12 minutes played, goose eggs in every thing else.

i think its safe to say he knows he's gone after this season

Anonymous said...

Kwame.....AKA the "Expiring Contract".