Saturday, November 04, 2006

Grizzlies 96, Bobcats 83

Memphis! I’m excited to see Rudy Gay, Pau Gas—oh wait…Well, there’s also…ah…Anyway, Rudy Gay is supposed to be something else. Speaking of which, if Gay, teammate Randy Foye, Kyle Lowry, and Brandon Roy all turn in awesome rookie years, will we end up referring to the tandem as “Generation Y”?

News14 found it in their hearts to broadcast this game, and Matt, Adrian, and Stephanie Ready were back! It was like being reunited with old friends (especially when I don’t have any actual friends). I’m also relieved to see Matt hasn’t gone the feathered, mid-80s look—way to not sell out, Matt! Stick with the classic moussed-up commentator look that got you there. Matt also wasted no time in getting down to jive, dropping a “G-Dub” on Gerald Wallace at a breathtaking 30 seconds into the pre-game report.

Programming note: there’s some weird show coming to town that they kept advertising during the commercial breaks called the “Blue Man Group.” The BMG appears to be one of those “Stomp”-esque theatrical music improvisers, except for some reason they dress like blue Darth Mauls, and they bang around those red fluorescent sticks that airport traffic guides use to direct planes around the runway. Is this for families? They seemed a little on the creepy side...

I was happy to see “G-Dub” back in action tonight, although it made for an awkward pre-game interview when Stephanie asked him the old “what was going through your head when you got injured” question. Considering this injury actually happened to be a serious blow to the head, it was difficult to discern whether she meant her question in a literal or physical sense. While I was hamstrung at home, Gerald went the literal route and answered, “Major pain.”

As for the on-court action, it took me exactly one game to get as upset over this team as I do with the Yankees and Panthers. I always joke about how after cheering for those two perennial contenders, it’s kind of nice to cuddle up with the Bobcats in the comfortable Fortress of Low Expectations. No more. Were this the postseason and/or either of these two teams any good, the Bobcats had the kind of collapse that journalists typically describe as “epic.” After trailing most of the way, in the fourth quarter the Grizzlies incinerated a 12-point deficit in 3 minutes. And I was in a full-fledged temper tantrum.

Although he’s starting nowadays, Mike Miller still played last night like he was fresh off the bench. Except for an utterly atrocious haircut that makes him look like Mandy Moore in Entourage, Miller was largely invisible for three quarters, but then he exploded for 21 in the fourth quarter. Charlotte certainly hastened their own downfall; although their 19 turnovers was technically an improvement from the opener, it seemed like they all came with 10 minutes left in the game. They also went 16-29 with their free throws, and Wallace (2-6) and Emeka Okafor (2-8) at the foul line are quickly approaching a “10” on the Painful-to-Watch meter. We needed someone to step up when the wheels suddenly fell off, but Okafor was on the bench with foul trouble and Felton didn’t seem to have anything in his bag of tricks. I guess by definition that’s why “the wheels fall off.” Question: is that a phrase from the early days of automobiles? I know I’ve seen old Charlie Chaplins where all four wheels suddenly going flying away and the car collapses, but was that an actual common occurrence back then?

Anyway, a couple of positives were Adam Morrison, who cracked the 20-barrier for the first time, getting 21 off the bench and hitting 3-5 three’s. Okafor also had four blocks (but missed his usual ton of inside put-backs—does Scouts, Inc. keep track of that one? EO has got to be leading the league there), and the defense as a whole held the Grizzlies to 35% shooting from the field (except for Miller, who shot 243%). Voskuhl also did a decent job in extended play, collecting 6 rebounds—which reminds me, where did Sean May go? I don’t even really remember seeing him in the second half.

I guess the best thing to do is to try and put this one behind me. But with Bron-Bron in town tonight, I don’t see a victory this weekend in my crystal ball. Plus I’m probably going to have nightmares of Mike Miller dressed like a member of the Blue Man Group, chasing me around with one of those fluorescent sticks.

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