I don't care how teams perform in Summer League games. I really don't.
Having said that I do hate to see the Grizzlies look bad on national TV (even if it is just NBATV. Being that the only game being televised this summer (and I am sure to write a blog about how disappointing that was later) is was a shame that our Baby Bears had to play their 3rd game in as many days against a Lakers team that was well-rested.
I don't know if Stu Jackson actually writes the summer league schedule but whoever it is that does write the schedules obviously has been in touch with Stu. How else can you explain three straight games (and a fourth consecutive game tonight) in a 5 game summer league format? It's not like the entire league is being shortened to 7 days or anything. The Las Vegas summer league runs from July 11th to July 20th but the Grizzlies finish their summer league participation on July 16th. 5 games in 6 days. That is ridiculously tiring for any player much less rookies just getting back into game shape after working on drills to prepare for the NBA draft over the last two months.
Right now traditional NBA whipping boys the LA Clippers and our Memphis Grizzlies are the only teams to have played 3 straight games. LA already lost rookie Eric Gordon to a hamstring pull and won't play Game 4 until the 16th (against the Grizzlies) before ending their summer league participation on the 17th. Coincidence? I don't think so. The more glamourous Lakers won't play game 3 until the 16th.
What difference does it make? Well summer league isn't about the whole team (sorry Ere, Tucker and Burtt to name a few players). It is about getting your high draft picks prepared for training camp. To get them up to speed on the offense and for the known players to spend time with the coaches. Guess which teams is getting more practice time to indoctrinate their rookies. Memphis' rookies are having everything thrown at them in 8 days from start to finish. The Lakers have the pre-tournament practices and then 10 days in Vegas to work on things.
Now I know I am tired and frustrated after watching the game and seeing our tired legs getting constantly beat down the court and failing to establish position but I think I have a point too. I hope this isn't a foreshadowing of the upcoming schedule from the NBA. The Grizzlies would probably play 60 games back to back with travel if the same idiot who wrote the Summer League schedule gets to write the real season schedule this season.
Addendum: Does ESPN ever get information correct about the Grizzlies? Here is an exerpt from their NBA coverage of last nights game:
The Grizzlies will play their fourth game in as many days on Monday as they play the San Antonio Spurs in the final game at Thomas & Mack.They were so close to getting that information right. It isn't the Grizzlies last game (they play the Clippers on Wednesday night).
Sunday Night Party: It was a lot of fun seeing everyone at the Buffalo Wild Wings last night. About 20 people showed up including the 3 SOB crowd sans MemphisX (he doesn't like to be seen in public with the rest of us), Memphis Slim, HPTMatt, The NoG crowd of CircleK, Commodore 64, Zac and PMI (I suppose it isn't a shameless plug to promote NoG), NancyW, GrizzLifer, GrizzBoyd, Mr Wright and True Blue (with some beautiful friends by the way), the poster formerly known as Grizzman (who was barely recognizable after losing 70 pounds - Can you say Jarret) and of course the resident Grizzlies experts Chris Herrington and East Memphis Bob. It was frustrating the team didn't play better but the conversation was lively and interesting.
Darko Update: One conversation in particular made me think last night. Someone asked if Serbia was in the pre-Olympic basketball tournament. I said no because I didn't think they were. I now found an article that supports that contention: Pre-Olympic teams. Darko is playing on his national team this summer but in a Euro Cup qualifier not the Olympic qualifier. Hope that helps clear things up.