The Grizzlies tied the playoff series with the Thunder 1-1 last night with an exciting overtime win in Oklahoma City. There were so many awesome moments including Tony Allen’s outstanding defense on Kevin Durant, Beno Udrih’s unexpected success of the Grizzlies’ bench, and Kevin Durant hitting an impossible 3 point shot while getting fouled to send the entire city into a panic attack. Here are some highlights:
The Thunder have been a top-five offense the last four seasons, but it’s pretty clear how to slow them down. Disrupt Durant, disrupt the offense. What can often look like an unstoppable attack with Russell Westbrook’s frenetic, relentless style combined with Durant’s free-flowing efficiency, the Grizzlies just turned the Thunder into long distance shooters. The Thunder took 30 3-pointers, hitting just nine, as Memphis completely upset the rhythm of OKC’s offense. Allen’s ball denial and bulldog defense was at the middle of all that, upsetting any comfort the Thunder had.
— Mike Conley (@mconley11) April 22, 2014
— Beno Udrih (@BenoUdrih1) April 22, 2014
Winner: Tony Allen
I will never forget chatting with Tony Allen two seasons ago about how he squirmed around pin-down screens designed to free Kevin Durant for jumpers. He didn’t accept the fundamental basis of the question — that it was a hard thing to do. “You just do it,” he would say. I would counter: “OK, so, there is one large man running at you with the singular goal of blocking your path, and a slithery 7-foot scorer directing you into that large man’s chest. What is the best strategy for avoiding that large man?” And he would respond, again and again: “You just do it. You don’t get screened.”
The Thunder ran a version of that play for Kevin Durant in the waning seconds of overtime Monday, when they trailed by two points. They used Serge Ibaka as the screener, a larger man than they normally use. And Allen, true to his word, just would not get screened:
Winner: Beno Udrih
Udrih wasted away with the miserable Knicks and barely played for Memphis, but with Nick Calathes suspended, he suddenly finds himself running the Grizz second unit and hitting his typical pull-up jumpers. One suggestion: Maybe he shouldn’t play without Gasol also around as a facilitator; the minutes Udrih played with Gasol sitting in Game 2 were terrifying.
And couldn’t help but mention this..
Winner: Mila Kunis
So, this Mila Kunis Jim Beam ad campaign … I mean … it’s pretty good … right? Am I the only one sweating?
Well its that time of year again and Grantland is back at it. And how could they not be with a game like the Grizzlies and Thunder played on Monday.
Our KD, who art falling down
Splashing is thy game
Thy finger guns
Thy foes be sonned
Shots fall as they do with Kevin
Give us this day a shot so cray
And forgive Perk his trespasses
As he made the basket for an extra five minutes
To end it not in regulation
But delivered us to OT, Amen
The NCAA agreed to allow schools to provide NCAA athletes with unlimited meals and snacks. Andy Staples thinks this might give some schools a recruiting advantage. Particularly if your school is in a town with awesome food:
With Gus’s Fried Chicken and a bevy of dry-rubbed deliciousness at any number of quality barbecue joints, the Tigers should be national title contenders within three years.
It seems like Staples did leave out one staple food item of Memphis athletes. Chings Hot Wings.
From the article
While some of the seeding still has to be worked out in the final days of the regular season, the Memphis Grizzlies became the 16th and final team to clinch a postseason berth with an impressive 97-91 road victory over the Phoenix Suns. The loss officially eliminated the Suns from the playoffs.
Memphis will finish the regular season with a showdown against the Dallas Mavericks. The loser of that game will get the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
What that basically means is the two teams will be fighting for the right to avoid a first-round matchup with the San Antonio Spurs.
Got it!Spot in the Playoffs is ours&yours fans!We all believed and I said it will pan out&it did!2gether we can achieve great things!!
— Beno Udrih (@BenoUdrih1) April 15, 2014
— Mike Conley (@mconley11) April 15, 2014
Z-BOOOOOO, I LIKE IT LIKE THAT YOU LEADING THAT BREAK, DONT KNOW HOW TO ACT. SLOW MOTION FOR ME.
— Chase (@deepfriedcouch) April 15, 2014
We have to get to seven because the most likely path would be OKC/LAC/SAS and those are the only teams we're allowed to play.
— Chase (@deepfriedcouch) April 15, 2014
Chris Herrington posted his second article on TrueHoop’s TrueMemphis series today and it was excellent as expected. Annointing Zach Randolph as my generations Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler really couldn’t be anymore perfect and you’ll be proud that you and ZBo ball the same city home. But I can’t summarize it close to as well as Chris explained it–so read it.
With the Grizzlies staggering toward the season’s finish line and a once presumed certain playoff spot very much in doubt, the curtain is threatening to close on what’s been one helluva show. But if the Grizzlies are fortunate enough to enter the postseason this spring and Lawler makes his annual appearance, my mind will flash to the future, a decade or more from now. The Grizzlies will be in the playoffs again, and during a third-quarter timeout it’s not Lawler making an entrance but Randolph.
Maybe he’ll perform the Blake Griffin choke-slam of 2013 with a plant in a Clippers jersey or have a stare-down with a Kendrick Perkins look-alike. Maybe, poetically, it will be a co-conspirator in a Blazers jersey who knocks off Randolph’s headband and cowers in the presence of his mean-mugging, provoking a mass “Z-Bo” chant for old-time’s sake and again turning FedExForum into a Monday night card at the Coliseum, Southern Heavyweight Title on the line and the hometown hero about to rally.
I wrote about Zach Randolph and Memphis wrestling culture for TrueHoop today – http://t.co/qWVVgIeBU5
— Chris Herrington (@HerringtonNBA) April 9, 2014
The Grizzlies have never had a feature on the TrueCities series, but Chris Herrington from the Commercial Appeal has announced he will be contributing to the TrueMemphis feature of TrueHoop. Chris is the one of the best and has a great understanding of the importance of the Grizzlies in this city. I know he will portray what is so special about this team and this city to TrueHoop’s national audiesnce.
Chris’s first TrueMemphis recaps the Grizzlies season so far and explains to the nation how exactly we got where we are after appearing in the Western Conference Finals last season.
That sounds like a good spin, but it was also what the front office believed. With what they inherited and what they added, the Grizzlies have assembled a team that should be capable of competing with anyone in the postseason. If they can get there.
— Chris Herrington (@HerringtonNBA) April 4, 2014
Lionel Hollins is at it again. I think people might start to to forget about the issues he had with the Grizzlies front office, but he just can’t seem to keep his mouth shut and let it go.
Hollin pauses, then adds, “Don’t take this the wrong way. I mean no disrespect to Dave Joerger (his successor as Memphis coach). But anybody (the Grizzlies) hire, if he lets the players play the way they want to play, they’re going to win. They know how to win. When I got there, they didn’t know how to win.”
Our fan favorite Grizz Bongo Lady has been making the rounds on the NBA blogs the last couple of days. I’m glad the rest of the league is finally getting to enjoy the fun she’s brought to FedExForum over the last few years.
During breaks in the action at Memphis Grizzlies games, the scoreboard occasionally plays a little game where they put a fake bongo on screen and encourage their fans to get up and “play” the bongos. The fans seem to enjoy it just fine until around the one-minute mark, when Bongo Lady literally plays her way into the picture …
Bongo Lady Clips
Bongo Lady Twitter
— Bongo Lady (@GrizzBongoLady) March 26, 2014
— NBKay (@KateeForbis) March 26, 2014
— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) March 26, 2014
— 929ESPN (@929espn) March 26, 2014
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) March 26, 2014
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) March 27, 2014
Update: Fan on the Year
The Starters podcast named Bongo Lady fan on the year. Congrats!
— Taco Trey Kerby (@treykerby) April 7, 2014