Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Memphis vs New York Knicks - 4.2.08

Memphis slipped back against the Hawks after starting to take some positive steps forward in the preceeding games. Fatigue appeared to be part of the problem although I can't blame that solely for the weak showing against the Hawks. The Grizzlies youth will not make a smooth rise to success but the effort exhibited in the 4th quarter showed the young guns haven't quit on the team, the coach or the city yet. Right now Iavaroni and the Grizzlies are looking for something positive to build on for the future.

New York is taking a different approach to the end of the season. Instead of searching for something positive to build on, the Knicks are clearly looking to lose games to increase their chances of getting something positive in the draft. The Grizzlies took this approach last season when there were clearly two players that could make a big difference on a team. It isn't so clear this season that such a player exists in this draft, at least not along the lines of an Oden or Durant. Only time will tell if David Stern's favorite team has better success in the lottery than the Grizzlies did last season.

Point Guards: Mike Conley vs Nate Robinson
There aren't many PG's in the league that Conley can look down at but Nate Robinson is one. That isn't to say that Robinson is going to be physically pushed around by Conley. If Kyle Lowry is a middle linebacker among PG's then Nate Robinson is a strong safety. Not as big as a linebacker but still capable of laying out a player not paying attention to him. Robinson struggled against the speed and power of the Grizzlies point guards last time and will probably struggle again since he isn't a good set up PG. If hot Robinson can outshoot either Grizz PG but both Grizz PG's are better at getting the team involved.
Advantage: Memphis

Shooting Guards: Mike Miller vs Jamal Crawford

Miller had one of those games at MSG earlier this season. 12-16 from the floor, 7-11 from the arc, 34 pts, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and Crawford looking like he didn't know what hit him. It may be too much to expect a similiar performance from Mike especially after the lackluster effort exhibited against the Hawks. That has always been Miller's MO, when he is hot he is deadly but when he's not he's invisible. Crawford can be deadly when hot but when he's not then he is terrible which is worse than invisible. It is one thing to realize you are having a bad game and defer to others. It is quite another to not realize you are having a bad game.
Advantage: Memphis

Small Forwards: Rudy Gay vs Wilson Chandler

Rudy Gay put on a show in the 4th quarter against the Hawks but it was against the Hawks backups predominantly. Then again this entire game will have Rudy up against the Knicks backups and they aren't as good as the Hawks backups. Wilson Chandler has never looked good for New York but he did have a career high the last time these two teams met scoring 17 pts. The last two games Chandler has scored a total of 12 points.
Advantage: Memphis

Power Forwards: Hakim Warrick vs Jared Jeffries

Why is Chandler starting for New York? Oh yeah, the Knicks want more ping pong balls. Hakim hasn't looked as sharp lately under the strain of increased minutes but he should be well rested for this game. Jeffries was supposed to be the missing piece for Isiah when he signed him to a big contract from the Washington Wizards. So far that money hasn't been as poorly spent as Jerome James' contract but it is close. 53 starts over two seasons isn't exactly what Knick fans expected. 3.3 ppg and 3.1 rpg aren't either.
Advantage: Memphis

Centers: Darko Milicic vs David Lee

David Lee is the type of player every great team needs. He's a modern day Kurt Rambis. The guy who is there to make everyone else look good and in the process actually puts up great numbers himself. He is all about winning and playing to win. So what is he doing in NYC? Darko has been up and down but mostly up lately. If he can catch a pass and be aggressive to the rim he is very good but Lee isn't a big banging type of center. In fact he isn't a center at all and Darko may struggle with his quickness and range. Defensively Darko doesn't like to fight for position and Lee refuses to allow people to set up the way they want.
Advantage: New York

Benches: Memphis vs New York

Quentin Richardson has been starting some games for New York but as bad as he is been playing it makes no sense to put him on the court at all. Which is why Isiah just might start him anyway. Randolph Morris, Renaldo Balkman, Malik Rose and Fred Jones all make appearances off the bench but like everything with the Knicks the pieces don't fit together well. Memphis' bench has been really playing well together with the three guard offense of Lowry, Navarro and JCritt causing teams fits to control. Jason Collins provides the muscle and occassional inside scoring for the bench.
Advantage: Memphis

Relevant Blogs/Commentary:
Knicks Nation
Father Knickerbocker
Posting and Toasting

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

you DO know that Robinson played DB at University of Washington, right?

Anonymous said...

We need a deeper bench and one big guy that's just tenacious on D.

I really want Darko gone. I want Gay, Miller, and Warrick to stay. Conley can stay as well, unless we're in a situation where we need (and can) trade up to get Derrick Rose.

Have to get #1 or #2, no matter the cost. Oh wait, cost usually invovles money..and all we do is penny pinch.

I'm still livid over Heisley rejecting the Chicago trade.

Anonymous said...


How's parking for an arena that only gets 3,000 people? Also, are there any random ushers that make sure you're in the right seat?

I've never been to a Grizzlies game, but I'd be willing to try the Phoenix game.

It's fun going to Memphis Redbirds games on terrible seasons. They still win most of their home games, but nobody cares. No lines, whee.

ChipC3 said...

Parking is a piece of cake. Ushers do make sure you have tickets to sit in the right seats. There are lines at the concession stands despite there being so few people in the stands. Against Atlanta a friend of mine was comped a beer for havintg to wait so long on his food.