Monday, November 30, 2009

Memphis Grizzlies Report #7 - Is Conley the Point?

Enslen talks about the first three games of the road trip and Mike Conley.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On-Air Comments About Grizzlies' Hamed Haddadi Merit Suspension

(Cross-posted from Bleacher Report)

The Los Angeles Clippers' television broadcast team was suspended for one game because of on-air comments made about Memphis Grizzlies' center Hamed Haddadi.

Longtime Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler and broadcast analyst Michael Smith were pulled from the Clippers' game last Friday against Denver. Because the Clippers' feed was not seen in Memphis, the comments about the Iranian-born player did not get a lot of attention and became a footnote in a 106-91 Grizzlies win last week.

The team got into trouble because of one Clippers fan sent an email saying that the Lawler pronounced Iran as "Eye-ran," the Los Angeles Times reported. The fan only wanted to highlight the issue and was not demanding punishment.
But FOX responded with an apology and suspended the broadcast team.
In other on-air comments, the team also asked if Haddadi was "Borat's older brother" and "If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I'm going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part."
Everyone mispronounces words, including me. I hate that I do it. I thought that the the "Eye-ran" error was not worthy of a suspension, only because we would not have cable news anchors because most of them would be suspended for making the same mistake.
It does not make it right, but that is not a reason to pull them for one game. However, the "Borat's older brother" comment went a little over the line.
So I can live with the announcers sitting for one game. Lawler and Smith were cracking jokes (bad ones) during garbage time of a blowout loss. So a one-game suspension is fine with me.
Hey, they are forced to sit through 82 Clippers games every year. That is enough punishment for anyone.
You can watch a video of the comments here .
You can see a story along with a written transcript from the LA Times here .
What did you think of the decision? Justified? Not justified? PC run amok?
Note: You can listen to my weekly podcast called Memphis Grizzlies Report . Go to the website for past shows and show notes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ep. 6 - Four out of Five

Enslen talks about the Grizzlies' winning four of five games, the departure of AI, and more.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grizzlies' Owner Michael Heisley Should Show Allen Iverson the Door

(Reposted from Bleacher Report)

This morning, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has finally taken a stand with Allen Iverson.

Show up or else.

“I’ve treated this like Allen told me it was—a personal leave,” Heisley said on the paper's website. “But either he’s retiring or coming back to play. I’m not upset with Allen. We’ll be happy to accommodate Allen. If he retires, then he retires. If he wants to come back, we’ll gladly accept him back. But I have personally made it clear that there’s going to have to be a decision made. We’re expecting an answer in a couple of days.”

It is about time. The future Hall-of-Famer has been away from the team for 10 days and counting. The article said that there has been no contact with the team in that time.

It's clear that the signing of Jamaal Tinsley last week has put Iverson on the clock. He can either choose to join the team or he can go away.

Personally, I do not think Iverson adds to a 2-8 team. The Grizzlies would be 2-8 with him in the starting lineup, if he was the sixth man, or if he were in Charlotte, Cleveland, or sitting at home in Atlanta.

Heisley should acknowledge that his Iverson experiment was a screw-up from beginning to end and get rid of him. He should not play the waiting game for Iverson, if does not want to play.

The Iverson-Memphis relationship did not make sense from the beginning. But Allen, it is time to earn your $3.1 million contract.

If you do not want the money, retire.

Note: You can listen to my weekly Memphis Grizzlies podcast at Memphis Grizzlies Report .

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Memphis Grizzlies Report #5 - Grizzlies Win

Enslen talks about Memphis' second win and the signing of Jammal Tinsley.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Indefensible Truth: Lack Of Defense Dooms Grizzlies

(Cross-posted at Bleacher Report)

I was listening to one of the talking heads on ESPN talk about the NBA the other day.

They were talking about Mike Brown, the head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The talking head said that the one thing Brown did was to bring a culture of defense and rebounding to the franchise.

That phrase struck a cord with me. I immediately thought about the 1-6 Memphis Grizzlies, the second-worst team in the Western Conference.

What is the culture of the Grizzlies?

For the first seven games of this season, it is clear that the team is more concerned with scoring than defense.

The team wants scoring: They got Zach Randolph, a 20-10 power forward who is having a great season. They bring back young players such as O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol, each can average 20 points a game. All four players have produced points for the team.

Here are a few examples from the first seven games of the season.

  • Memphis had a 51-49 halftime lead against the Lakers. Los Angeles shoots 67 percent from the field in the third quarter and cruised to an easy win.
  • Rudy Gay scored a game-high 33 points against the Los Angeles Clippers. Memphis goes ahead by as many as 11 points in the first half. They lose the game 113-110.
  • In three of their first seven games, the Grizzlies allowed an opposing player to score 40 or more points.

There are halves when Memphis plays great defense and halves when they disappear. There are games when the Grizzlies get a double-digit lead, but you know they can never hold the lead.

There are games when the opponent's best player has a huge game and sinks Memphis.

"Hopefully, once we get through this tough stretch," Hollins said to the Commercial Appeal, "we can get back to where we have a couple of hours of practice time to work on things."

Tough stretch? Golden State, Sacramento, the Clippers?

Yes, they had Denver and the Lakers. But there is little excuse to go winless when three of the five teams in this "tough stretch" have losing records.

"What can I say?" Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said to the L.A. Times about Kobe Bryant following their game against Memphis. "This is a guy that sees a weakness in a team and exploits it, and tonight [the Grizzlies] didn't seem to want to put the finger in the dike. They just let the leak continue. It was a killer instinct out there [by Bryant]."

Translation: Defense is "want-to". Memphis does not want to play defense.

Is the Allen Iverson situation a distraction? Yes. Is it the reason they are 1-6? No.

They are 1-6 because the team's lack of defense costs them games.

That is not something two practices and an off day can solve. They can play decent defense for moments.

Memphis Grizzlies Report #4 - No More Answers?

Enslen talks about a bad roadtrip and the departure of Allen Iverson

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Memphis Grizzlies Report #3 - West Coast Swing

Show notes: Enslen talks about Memphis' first win and the beginning of a five-game West Coast road trip.