March 3rd – Memphis Grizzlies (15-43) at LA Lakers (48-12)
So, a day’s rest after the loss to the Suns, and it’s back home to host the Grizz. Before going into the preview, let’s see what Joshua Coleman of Three Shades of Blue has to say about … well, stuff. I played some word association with him, and…
Behind Enemy Lines: Memphis Grizzlies
Near polar opposites. Pau is skilled, but avoids most contact like anyone else would avoid an Ebola-infected monkey frothing at the mouth. Marc is also skilled, but seems to relish contact and actually seeks it out. Pau is a better scorer and passer, but Marc is a better rebounder and defender. They would be great in the same NBA frontcourt, IMO.
Bought out. Adonal, we hardly knew you. But thanks for bringing that draft pick from Orlando with you. That’ll be most helpful in a few months.
A make or break year for the franchise. If the team doesn’t get favorable positioning in the draft and sign at least one (hopefully two) quality veterans with their mountain of cap space, then they will be looking at a revolt from their few remaining fans and season ticket holders. I’m not asking them to sign Carlos Boozer or Lamar Odom, but someone along the lines of Trevor Ariza or Marquis Daniels shouldn’t be out of the question. This team needs an infusion of talent of the veteran variety to go with all its youthful talent already on board.
Without being too over the top, I don’t think it is a stretch to say that the future of a franchise rests on his shoulders. He has been that impressive so far in an amazing rookie campaign that has people talking about just where his ceiling really is. I don’t know that he has the ability to reach the Kobe Bryant/Dwyane Wade comparisons that some pundits have thrown around (I don’t think he has their athleticism), but I’ve learned not to doubt him just yet. He still has plenty of room to improve (his ballhandling and defense, most notably), but he’s clearly been one of the best rookies, not just in this draft, but in recent history.
I despise them. No, wait, that’s not quite right. Mega-loathe, would actually be a more accurate term. With that said…I think they are the favorites to win not only the West, but the whole freakin’ thing. They will face some stiff competition from the Spurs in the WC Finals and (likely) either the Celtics or Cavaliers in the Finals, but I believe that they have the pieces in place to win it all….whether or not Andrew Bynum manages to come back in time for the postseason.
The Memphis Grizzlies will be facing an LA side eager to put two recent losses behind them, and bear’s on the menu. It’s an interesting match-up, the Gasol brothers playing on each other… and whilst Master Coleman’s point on the senior Gasol being more finesse than physique, but of late Gasol’s been bringing it to work in both capacities. Marc’s got his hands more than full with big bro.
Additionally, (discounting his last game) Lamar Odom’s been a physical presence too. Even sans Andrew Bynum (who seems cursed by the Grizz), LA have too much length for Memphis. It’ll be interesting to see what ROY-hopeful O.J. Mayo can do today – he’s my pick for the award, and he’ll need to have every inch of that ready today for Memphis have any semblance of a chance in this game.
Kobe Bryant’s been in MVP-like form of late, and I cannot see anything changing in this game.
This is home.