On Tap: The Memphis Grizzlies

Kurt —  February 11, 2006

Record: 26-23 (21-28 Pythagorean), 7th seed in the West (tied for 6th)
Record last 10 games: 2-8 (lost five straight)
Laker record against Grizzlies: 1-2
Offensive Rating: 105.1 (21st in league)
Defensive Rating: 103.1 (3rd in league)

Where does Kobe get his points: Last time the Lakers played the Griz, Kobe had 45 points, almost 10 more than his current per-game average. But where is he getting those points on the floor? Well, 82games.com has broken it down (and for all the top players).

He gets an average of 13.7 points (39% of his points) on 2-point jump shots. Another 9.4 points come from the free throw line (a whopping 26%, and the highest number in the league). He also gets 6.1 per game on three point shots and 6.3 on dunks and lay-ups.

Why tonight’s game really matters: From the sixth seed Grizzlies/Hornets (a tie) to the 12th seeded Kings, the teams are separated by just 4.5 games in the Western Conference. That’s seven teams with a shot at one of the three bottom playoff spots in the West. If you want to get one of the three, you need to beat the teams fighting with you for those spots. (Same thing with the game Monday against Utah).

The Lakers coming in: I think all us Laker fans are trying to repress the recent road trip save their best game in a while, the win in Houston. That included a good game from Kwame Brown, something they are going to need against the powerful inside game of the Griz.

The last time these two met was a game we’d all like to have wiped from our mind like Kate Winslet — remember that Memphis never led in regulation but won in overtime. Paul Gasol had 24 but it was Damon Stoudamire’s 25 that was the kick in the gut (he will not play due to injury).

Some good news, the Lakers said they are hopeful Chris Mihm will play tonight.

About the Grizzlies: Let’s start with them as a team, and it’s really pretty simple — great defense, far from great on offense. This is a team that statistically has played over its head for most of the season, winning in spite of its offense, and now things are starting to catch up with them.

That said, Pau “Serpico” Gasol deserves to be All Star, he is one of the best big men in the game. By the way, he averages 19.6 points per game and (as per the way Kobe’s points were broken down above) he gets about 9 of those a game in close to the basket and another 5.5 from the line.

The guys who don’t get enough credit are Shane Battier, Eddie Jones and Mike Miller. This can be a balanced team, when healthy. They just aren’t healthy right now.

Key’s to a Laker win: Run them out of the building — Memphis likes to play at the slowest pace in the league (85.8 possessions per game, 5 less than the Lakers) and this is their second game in as many nights. There are fast break points to be had.

Last night, the Griz started Chucky Atkins over Bobby Jackson. We can only hope they do that again. Also, shooting guard Mike Miller missed the game with a sprained ankle, if he doesn’t play that’s another break for the Lakers.

Gasol will get his, the Lakers need to make sure that Battier or the always dangerous Eddie Jones don’ have a huge game. This is one where the Lakers can build a lead early and blow them out late.

That is, depending on what Laker team shows up.

Kurt

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9 responses to On Tap: The Memphis Grizzlies

  1. I don’t know if I’d rather have Atkins play over Bobby…I’ve seen former crappy Lakers light up this team much too long (Jumaine Jones anyone?)…Jackson will probably end up breaking his ankle from lighting up Smush anyway…

    Proof that Kwame Brown’s 3rd year has been guaranteed!
    http://www.dfw.net/~patricia/contracts

    sigh..

  2. yeah, watch out for Eddie Jones, doesn’t it always seem that a player we’ve traded away, (Jumaine Jones) loves to have a career night against us.

    Kwame really needs to follow his last game’s strong performance with yet another one, (and after that, and after that) because we all know he can bring it when he wants to…now he has to make believers of us ALL, that he can bring it on a consistent basis.

    also hope to see “Cookie Monster” keep up his hot shooting, cause I’d sure like to see him start believing this can be a career turning point, and not just a 2 game highlight reel from 2006. belief is key to a player raising to the next level, and I’ve always liked Cook’s game.
    (of course, I really like Jumaine Jones game, ie; good outside shot, but mostly hustle) so I’m hoping this doesn’t mean to mangement, “oh great! just think of what we can get for him” (another draft pick???)

  3. This game means a lot in the big sceme of things.. If we win this game then we will be tied record wise with the griz. and it should spring board a belief that we can start winning again. We got a lot of games that are coming up that are not just very winable but also games that playoff teams win. I did say pl.ayoff teams cause the season isn’t over yet and we can very well fall out of our playoff spot that we are clinging on to… I hope we can finish this season at the 6th spot. (and I know that I am being optamistic), But I do think it would be our best chance at making a quality playoff run. Oh yeah and kurt I know where you went…lol.. I was just saying that I am glad that you were back. Lets go LAKERS.

  4. yeah, I forgot about Chucky being on the Griz now, you know he’s gonna be motivated to also have a career game. better watch out, play him tough, especially Smush since he’s looking at him like the guy who took his place. smush has to rise to the occasion…play some serious D.
    I guess this really has to do with the pride of having once been a Laker, no matter who you are, it’s gotta hurt to be traded away from one of the most historic franchises in the league. and the fact that you are playing in front of all the stars, hollywood and all that…
    so watch out for Eddie and Chucky! (but don’t forget about Gasol, and jackson, they can hurt you too)

  5. Can they please trade Odom and Cook!

  6. DJ not damon jones February 12, 2006 at 1:06 am

    this game feels like deja vu all over again. right before that kobe suspension, lakers lose 99-100 and kobe took a bad shot at the end, similar to tonight. can’t they keep leads for like one game? it always backfires on them!

  7. arrrgh.

    well. the defensive effort to begin the 4th quarter was TREMENDOUS. wouldn’t it be something if they ever started a game like that?

    uh, didn’t cookie put up the shot WAAY too early on that second-to-last possession? professional second-guesser stu didn’t have a peep to say about it. i wonder if they ran down the game clock the griz would’ve had possession back with oh, 2.1 seconds to go or so.

    at least kwame had a great offensive game. i was also offended with his new goal stated in yesterday’s o.c. register article of wanting to stay in the game for 30 minutes a night now. sounded pretty nebulous to me. like he just wanted to occupy space for greater periods of time. unlike chris’s double-double new year’s resolution. oh well, i guess tonight he proved there’s still hope.

    nice improvement over the road trip, more movement, acting like they give a damn, etc. but still another L that shouldn’t have happened.

  8. This game was imperative in terms of standings..another loss that can’t happen anymore if this team expects to make the playoffs…

    With Utah a half game out, and Sacramento/Minnesota/Houston not even in the current playoff standings, they HAVE to win games like these…

  9. I also meant to add that I saw the new Kobe commercial the other day..
    It’s a pretty good commercial in terms of defining Kobe, but I don’t really understand why I would want his shoes after watching it…
    Its kinda silly that after watching a commercial talking about how everyone hates him..most people have responded by..surprise! hating him even more..some guys can never win..

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/5314632?GT1=7840