In Game Chat: The Memphis Grizzlies

Kurt —  November 6, 2009

I’m at Staples and I’ll be chatting at ESPN’s Daily Dime live plus posting thoughts on the game here as it progresses.

Pregame notes: Phil Jackson strongly hints that DJ Mbenga will get the start. The key for him, he said, is not to get in foul trouble. He said in the preseason when DJ got a start they joked there was a pool on whether or not he would get four fouls in 10 minutes. He might break that tonight.

Also, Phil said that Artest may get time on Zach Randolph, so at some point the Lakers will go small. As for AI, Farmar will apparently get the first shot but if he can’t stop him Brown will get a chance. 30 minutes left to tip off.

• In the media room pregame, Mitch Kupchak was sitting and talking to the Memphis owner. (Insert your own joke here.)

• Almost halfway through the first quarter, and here’s what I learned: OJ Mayo can’t handle Kobe’s dream shake on the block, and the Grizzlies apparently have a philosophical opposition to help defense.

• I a very touching gesture, the Lakers just officially named the scorer’s table after John Radcliff, the team’s long time scorer and a great man. They also gave his family his championship ring from last season. Classy.

• Not a pretty first quarter of shooting — Lakers not named Kobe were 5 of 14. And it wasn’t the Griz defense that did it.

• Luke Walton gets in the air, without knowing what he wants to do far too often. But this last time he made up for it by not hustling back on defense. But his passing keeps him on the floor.

• Just a bad shooting half for the Lakers. The Grizzlies were by far the worst defensive team in the NBA coming in, but the Lakers shoot just 37.7% for the first half and trail by two at the break. Kobe shooting 50%, everyone else 33.3%. The only thing keeping the Lakers close, they have grabbed 51% of their missed shots for

• 7-0 Lakers run to start the second half changes the feel of the game. For now.

• A Fisher PUJIT makes it 10 for 16 from the floor for the Lakers in the second half, and they are up by 11.

• The Lakers go with the small unit (as I’d wanted, but with Powell as the center instead) and keep extending the lead. Lakers shoot 66% and score 38 points in the third.

• Sorry for the site crash, but we’re back.

• Post game, Phil praises Kobe for his shot selection, and calls Josh Powell the best sub the Lakers have had so far this season.

• In the end, this is what the Lakers needed, a comfortable win. Memphis is not a good team (despite a lot of good athletes) and these are the games the Lakers should win handily. They did. You can’t really knock a 16 point win with two starters out.



118 responses to In Game Chat: The Memphis Grizzlies

  1. Ahhhh 1st post… still counts 😉

  2. good job warren.

  3. LOL. Any links to tonight’s game? Justintv is gay… won’t let me in.

    • Almost halfway through the first quarter, and here’s what I learned: OJ Mayo can’t handle Kobe’s dream shake on the block, and the Grizzlies apparently have a philosophical opposition to help defense.

  4. Except for the 3 sec d call, I’m liking dj’s activity tonight.

  5. Oh dear lord, my college team is literally giving this football game away. Please tell me the Lakers are doing reasonably well… 🙁

  6. so far, the activity is good. kobe going to work on the o and lamar, ron ron and mbenga are playing good d.

  7. the iverson and kobe shootout tonight is going to be fun to watch.

  8. Flipping back and forth in commercial. So DJ started then?

  9. Yup DJ started

  10. its still the 1st quarter and dj’s got 9 rebounds (4 off), 1 blk, and unfortunately 2 fouls…

    let’s see how powell does.

  11. Celtics lose, yay!

  12. Save us Kobe.

    • Not a pretty first quarter of shooting — Lakers not named Kobe were 5 of 14. And it wasn’t the Griz defense that did it.

  13. Farmar playing with a little more focus.

  14. we should never ever iso luke

    • Luke Walton gets in the air, without knowing what he wants to do far too often. But this last time he made up for it by not hustling back on defense.

      • Lakers shooting poorly, but they have grabbed 53% of their missed shots on the offensive glass.

        • The Grizzlies were by far the worst defensive team in the NBA coming in, but the Lakers shoot just 37.7% for the first half and trail by two at the break. Kobe shooting 50%, everyone else 33.3%

  15. Is it just me or does it look like the blind leading the blind on our bench?

  16. this could get ugly.

  17. Who let Luke touch the ball?

  18. sasha made a shot!

  19. any links for the game not named ? thx

  20. I am a little late to the party, but great job Warren Wee Lim, the game is almost tied, but I will not worry about the outcome anymore.

  21. Powell got a dunk to go down!

  22. Kobe should have fun tonight. No one on our team but him can score and they are playing matador defense.

  23. Powell threw one down, farmar showing hustle, sasha hitting shots! our reserves might not be blowing thre grizz’s away but they’re doing their job for once this season!

  24. my bad about the anonymous post.

  25. Powell almost had a second dunk, but didn’t want to push his luck and banked it in.

  26. haha. Nice Kurt.

  27. Ammo was wide open and kobe decided to shoot a j instead and missed. kobe just being kobe or kobe not trusting ammo?

  28. kobe just being kobe or kobe not trusting ammo?


  29. Mimsy’s right.

  30. meaning there’s no difference? or yes for both?

  31. @magic,
    Kobe being Kobe would not trust Morrison to make a shot. So yes for both, since there is no difference. 😉

  32. Besides Kobe, Sasha and Powell are the only ones shooting 50% or better from the field. We need just a solid 5 minutes playing 2-way ball and we win this game.

  33. did shannon play in that half?

  34. What happened to Drew?

  35. @Rodman,
    He hyper-extended his right elbow against the Rockets, and is out for this game. Nothing serious, just a sprain, and he’ll be back soon enough.

  36. links, anyone? 🙂 i’m bored by boxscore.

  37. Does this team remind anyone of the 06 Lakers and why Odom cannot be a 2nd banana?

  38. Gotta get a little run to begin the second so the Grizzlies don’t start believing. Artest needs to take dunk lessons from Powell….that can’t be good. link is working for me.

  39. marxter- great picture but kinda choppy

  40. Does this link work? It says the feed is from, but it ran nice on my laptop.

  41. Mayo, Gay, Gasol is a good nucleus. Get a good GM and Coach and they could be something. Conley is not as awful as I initially thought either.

    As far as this game, we need to get LO going in the 2nd half and let Shannon get some burn.

  42. it’s working, mimsy.

    thanks everyone :))

  43. dave in hillsboro November 6, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    37, no shannon brown in the first half.

    Good start to the second half.

  44. Good to see Kobe get two quick shots but then be quick to move the ball on the next set…

  45. kwame, last time i checked jerry west is the owner of the grizz that’s all the front office you need.

  46. if joel says “…. game” im gonna lose my mind

  47. OJ Mayo is a revolving door on defense

  48. Ouch, 4th foul on Lamar… that’s not good.

  49. jeremyLA24

    Last Time I checked jerry west never owned the grizz… That “distinction” goes to Michael Heisley.

    A general manager yes until he turned over GM duties to our beloved Chris Wallace

  50. dave in hillsboro November 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    54, with the way lamar is playing tonight, that 4th foul could be a blessing.

    On the flip side, Artest is having a solid game.

  51. i think that’s Powell’s 3rd 3 pointer this season. Powell following Ariza’s program?

  52. everything seems so much easier when 3’s go in

  53. @dave in h.
    Fair point. He has not quite lived up to what I hoped he would do. Ron is doing good though, Fisher is hitting important shots, Kobe is being Kobe again, and overall, with two starters out injured I can’t say I am miserable about the way this game is going.

  54. Those were the five minutes we needed. We got this now.

  55. I really thought Thabeet would get some burn tonight.

    I mean I don’t think They’d expect DJ or Powell to burn him or something

  56. Nice shot, Ron. Get us in double digits.

  57. All right, the Celtics lost their 1st game at home, woah… and the Lakers are pulling away now, with an Artest 3.

  58. Any reasons for why Shannon hasn’t been on the floor until now? Injury? Matchups? Something else?

  59. Mimsy you life saver you… 🙂

  60. Hmm, looks like Kobe’s turnaround over his right shoulder has changed a bit – he’s going straight up and releases quicker w/ his elbow in front instead of jumping backwards like when he turns over his left shoulder.. olajuwon effect?

  61. Um, what did I do…? :S

  62. Come on Kobe, that’s not even fair.

  63. I wonder why Kobe’s shots don’t even make the Top 10. I guess everybody’s used to Kobe. Makes that easy.

  64. thanks for the correction mike, i thought when jerry left the lakers front office it was for ownership, not another gm spot… since he left they are in need of some good management.

  65. That last Kobe falling down shot was amazing. great hustle.

  66. I just have to reload every 15 seconds though… VERY annoying!

  67. Mitch Kupchak sent Kwame Brown away in a trade that brought in Pau Gasol. My Suns and Celtics fan co-workers were openly disgusted when they found out. I of course gloated openly. 🙂

    if nothing else, give Mitch some credit for that, and for not trading away Andrew Bynum when the whole world wanted him to.

  68. Is it just me, or did the blog suddenly stop working? 🙁

  69. @ Mimsy, not just you the site stopped working for some time. Great win tonight, Kobe being Kobe as usual and is just killing it when he goes to the post. Ron had a good game tonight same with Powell. Can’t wait to see this team at full strength!

  70. Maybe this will get all those talking heads off of the Carmello MVP bandwagon and get Kobe back into the discussion.
    AMMO the only Laker tonight with a negative +-.
    Even though it was against the Grizzlies nice win without our second and third best players. Gonna be a beast of a team when everyone is healthy and clicking.
    San Antonio with another loss. I am wondering if they are just too old and small?

  71. These past two games, I haven’t ever seen Kobe’s fadeaways more lethal and destructive. He’s taking everyone to the block and embarassing anyone guarding him. Is it just me or is he being that much more efficient down low? He is a scary scary man.

  72. Kobe obviously was huge in the win, but for what it’s worth Ron was a ridiculous +28. Walton didn’t shoot too well but had 7 rebs and 7 assists. I’m pleased with most of our guys tonight.

  73. not only was kobe’s post game amazing but he was also so agressive at the basket too. i can’t remember the last time i saw him throw down like that that many times in just one game.

  74. Kurt,

    That Daily Dime live chat box is just great. Especially on a night with a bunch of games like tonight or last Tuesday. I can really get the flavor of the entire night of games, while still focusing on the Laker game.

  75. Woah, Kobe over 40 points for the 3rd time this year in just 6 games and 99 times in his career! Artest was just great tonight also. Glad the site is back up…

  76. correct me if i’m wrong, kobe has 3 41-point games this season? are they all on consecutive games?

    that man is golden.

  77. I remember some chat about Lakers assists per fg down from last season… tonight they had 35 assists on 48 fgs (73%). Not too shabby. Memphis had 13 total assists by the way.

  78. josh powell did a poor job of not getting a body on zach randolph. otherwise, the other lakers did a good job of securing defensive rebounds.

    they’ll need the same kind of effort against the resurgent suns, who’ll take more than 7 3pt shots. the key to the game will be wrangling those long rebounds.

  79. @Kurt: but he did take a lot of contested turnaround fadeaways from 10-15 feet. Not exactly high percentage looks. Is kobe going to rely on that all year? If so, he better hit with the same success he had tonight.

    • nomuskles, it depends on where he takes them from. The Grizzlies let him get to the elbow all night long, and that is one of his favorite spots on the floor. His turn around from there is like the Duncan bank shot, it’s just going in. Kobe was getting to his spots on the floor, so his shots didn’t bother me.

  80. No worries about the blog Kurt. I do got two questions for the smarter basketball fans out there. Will Kobe be able to continue taking it to the post once Drew and Pau come back due to them possibly clogging the paint? Also does anyone think Kobe is more effecient going into the post by learning from Kareen or was this simply soft defense and no real double teaming by Memphis?

  81. nomuskles,

    Just being in Kobe’s space isn’t contesting the shot. Mayo isn’t tall enough to disrupt Kobe’s shot. It is a high percentage shot for Kobe.

  82. rich, its very easy for kobe to run those clear out iso plays w/ pau and drew on the floor. picture kobe posted up in an isolation situation 10-15ft out; pau clears out while getting ready to set up for the 17ft. kick out he loves, and drew stays on the weak side under the basket. if kobe spins off and drives drew’s man leaves him so kobe dishes it for the open dunk, or he can command the double team so pau has the open look, OR kobe can be left in a 1on1 like was he was tonight and do what he does best. if i was pj that would be the core of my offense with a ron post up/ spot up play here or there. you asked for a smart nba fan but i felt like chiming in anyways… yeah, but it sounds accurate to me.

  83. Who knew our whole problem this season was Bynum being on the floor?

  84. Agreed, no worries about the blog. The way I see it, if it wasn’t on my end, it’s pointless for me to stress over it, especially when the blog owner knows abut it and is working on it. After all, it’s a computer based thing, it’s bound to break down once in a while. 😀

  85. I play basketball and iso- post fadeaways are about the easiest shots I can make. Unless I’m guarded by someone who is either much taller than me or so athletic that he can block the shot regardless, a bump followed by a fadeaway is 90% for me. Or if they start to anticipate it, I throw in a few pivot pump fakes/spins to change up the pattern for a some easy buckets (learned from watching 24, of course).

    This is by no means a boast of my abilities (which I have none), but just to really, really emphasize that those shots are practically automatic for Kobe. You can’t imagine how defenseless your, uh, defenders are when you have an inch on them in the post.

  86. I love Ron Artest!

    “We don’t really know the identity of the team right now,” Artest said. “We’re driving without a license—no identity. We’re like ‘The Bourne Ultimatum.”’

  87. Do y’all think they’re trying to show farmer on the court to shop him with Ammo? I find the fact that they’re playing him this much a little strange. Why is Shannon getting so little burn?

  88. Kobe is doing things we’ve never seen before. He’s getting post position like its fed funds. The dream shake is all about the intricacies, and that’s what Hakeem taught Kobe. The way he gets position now – it’s like he’s a new player. Watch the tape, he used to struggle sometimes getting position even against smaller defenders. Now? Piece of cake. The article earlier said a lot about it. It’s phenomenal what a drive to be great leads people to

  89. The top three big guys on the Lakers are clearly Andrew, Pau, and Lamar. Two of them didn’t suit up. Number three fouled out after a less than sterling effort. And . . .the Lakers won easily!

    Why? Maybe we should call it the revenge of the goats. Let’s start with Derek Fisher, AM710’s player of the game, who did everything that a veteran point guard should do and more: determined defense, great assists, and timely shooting–even a PUJIT three!

    Let’s add in third string center DJ Mbenga, who played great defense, blocked shots, and made critical rebounds against a better than average Marc Gasol.

    Then we need to consider Josh Powell, who drained a three and made an unexpectedly authoritative interior dunk to complement an overall impressive effort at forward and center.

    We can’t forget the solid offensive and defensive play of Jordan Farmar, who made steals, shots, and helped defuse AI, or the energetic play and outstanding assists that Luke Walton provided. All of the other reserves did their parts without exception in limited minutes.

    For those of us who still grieve for Trevor, that game leading +28 by Ron Ron should make us feel a little better.

    There are some inhouse critics and skeptics who should eat a big serving of crow. This great Laker team is coming together before our very eyes–one challenge at a time.

  90. Kareem, its because with all things being equal, Farmar SHOULD be our starting PG… over Aaron’s favorite guy, Fish. He has the speed, the quickness and the shot to be a very effective TRI PG… however, what I question more is his heart. He doesn’t seem to have it.

    Farmar and Shanwow will each be given their shot at “claiming” the PG spot… but until each one gives us consistent performances, Aaron’s guy, Fish is still the defacto PG.

  91. “We don’t really know the identity of the team right now,” Artest said. “We’re driving without a license—no identity. We’re like ‘The Bourne Ultimatum.”’

    Is anybody compiling Ron Artest’s quotes? We’ll want a record of these for posterity sake at the end of the season.

  92. Warren, I realize that; but Farmar might require a payday if he plays too well. ShanWOW is coming cheap for the next two years (most likely). I realize this might be speculative, but I figure that eventually the point guard question marks will come to a head. How long can we ignore that Fisher is getting older and that there is no player to take over. If this year isn’t his last, then next year should be. And he will become more and more of a liability as time goes on.

    Now, Ammo is a big payday to some team looking to free or save some money. If we pair Farmar with him, other teams might be willing to part with a decent player. I don’t know how it works or if it works, but I hope it works. I’m with you Warren. I’ve wanted to celebrate Farmar’s successes since the beginning. But we’re four(?) seasons in, and he keeps showing flairs of immaturity and feet dragging when he’s called out for his (noticeable) flaws (of heart and consistency).

    • Shannon Brown’s contract for next year ($2 mil) is a player option — if he had a spectacular year he could opt out and be a free agent demanding more money as well. Less likely, I suppose, but possible.

      I said this before, but one other Brown thought: Right now he has the “backup quarterback” syndrome working in his favor. He’s had some spectacular dunks, but this season he has not had as much burn so he has had fewer chances to make mistakes and see weaknesses in his game exposed. Farmar is much more of a known quantity to us, and we love the idea of the potential of the guy we don’t know. But if the coaches, who see Brown on a daily basis in practice, are squeezing him out a little, what does that say?

      That said, Brown will get his chances this year. We’ll see if he can grab them.

  93. That was an absolute joy of a Kobe game to watch. That’s the kind of Kobe dominating game I love to watch. He’s getting the ball in spots where he can go straight to work. He’s not expending a ton of energy pounding the ball on the perimeter and working to get to a spot for his shot.

    Catching it a lot deeper and his energy is spent on putting his moves and fakes. I love seeing him get the ball anywhere from elbow down as part of the offense. I would love to see some stats on how high of a percentage he scores when he gets it in that spot. Heck even if he doesn’t score good things happen in the offense.

    That was the good kind of Kobe domination, not just because he was making shots but because of how he was getting them.

  94. Notice that even on the fine nights we fall into the ‘talking heads’ crap of talking about good Kobe or bad Kobe?

    Let’s just stop defending/attacking him and just sit back and watch.

  95. 99 – Josh Powell dunked>? Be still, my beating heart.

    I agree with Adam completely. And the thing I love most is how Kobe pays his respects to the legends before him. I won’t name names, but there are other superstars in the league today who aren’t nearly as secure:

    “You think back on all the years I’ve been here, all the mentors I’ve had,” Bryant said. “I’ve learned everything from other guys that have been here. There’s nothing original in my game.”

    Loved that Bourne Ultimatum quote from Artest. He’s the best quote machine we’ve had since the Diesel.

  96. Craig W,

    I agree. For me, Kobe has earned a pass that will last a long time. What else does he have to do? We’re all too sensitive to what the naysayers *might* think about Kobe, so it leads to these discussions. Pro or con.

    There is no good Kobe or bad Kobe at this point. Just “winning” Kobe, and right now, it’s something he does better than any player in the L.

  97. That was beautiful. All I wanted was a “W” considering the circumstances. We got it. I am satisfied. Let’s get Drew back for Sunday and Pau back for Thursday.

    We are only getting started.

  98. Regarding “contested” jump shots by Kobe, that game was further proof that you cannot guard Kobe with a smaller player. He simply ignores the defense and shoots his turnaround without a care in the world.

    I maintain that the best way to guard Kobe is with tall rookies: tall to contest jumpers (even smaller players need help on drives anyway), and a rookie to get Kobe into “how dare they” mode and start forcing shots.

  99. Really that was talking heads crap? Wow, who’s being sensitive now? We’ve been talking about watching the team and seeing how it grows and gets better.

    This was a good kind of growth. *sheesh*

    I love Kobe game and attitude and will defend him to naysayers. But c’mon we can’t even put things in context of that kind of Kobe play is great for the team because it’s within the offense? Versus the ball being stagnant? The Lakers would win either way if Kobe was on fire. But what’s going to help the growth of the team.

    I loved watching Kobe last night. It was beautiful basketball. I love watching the lakers win and even more when it’s beautiful basketball. But when it’s slow stagnant ugly basketball, I still enjoy the win and effort but it’s not as beautiful. There are shades of gray you know.

    Isn’t that the kind of critical thinking we’re here for instead of Kobe ROOLS or Kobe SUCKS? kind of

  100. Kobe does ROOLZ though

  101. I love this site (thanks Kurt and other regulars). I come here first. I come here during games for the insights, silliness and commiseration when things aren’t going well. I come here for the informed perspectives (and some, like mine that are not so much) The past couple of years, this site has increased my enjoyment of the Basketball season.

    It does seem that so far this season there seems a little more edginess or snippyness (is that a word?) than in the past. Can I make a plea that we continue to not just tolerate, but embrace dissenting opinions ? If it goes overboard or gets obnoxious a corrective is in order. But if we want to have good and interesting discussions – it means handling disagreements well.

    The even keel on this blog has been one thing that sets it apart.

  102. Kareem (102):

    Brown will require a big payday, just like Farmar, if he plays well this season.

    Keep in mind that he has a player option after this year, so he can simply opt out.

  103. Nevermind Kurt beat me to it.

  104. I’m aware of Shannon’s player option, and I’m not in the camp that thinks he’s a starter yet. But I’m wondering if anyone has a feeling whether Farmar is bait or in grooming.

  105. Farmar in grooming?, has not he been doing that for the last few years now, since he was a rookie?, maybe he is the best PG that the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers can get. Great, great game last night, without our 7 footers, btw.

  106. After seeing only a couple of games this season so far, I am already tired of the bad calls the refs make. When are they going to be held responsible for their bad calls? Who died and made them gods that no one can control? Someone should be watching the replays, and, based on how many bad calls they make, demote them down, as far as what games they can referee, or even put them on probation. Maybe then they will stop being so anti-Lakers.