Tag Archives: memphis grizzlies

Spurs get "SWEEP" revenge to advance to the NBA Finals.

Two years ago, the San Antonio Spurs suffered a tough defeat in the first round against the Memphis Grizzlies, this year they got their redemption as they knocked off the Grizzlies in a sweep of the Western Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals for the fifth time in franchise history.

Photos ©NBA
The Grizzlies pulled off their best season in franchise history as they made the trip to the Western Conference Finals for the first time after knocking out the reigning West champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. Led by Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Tony Allen. The Grizzlies used defense to their advantage in making the trip this season. Unfortunately for them, they suffered a ton of setbacks that led them getting swept by the Spurs. Their offense struggled throughout the series as they struggled shooting the ball on all ends from three point shooting to free throw shooting. Randolph also got a handful against the Spurs defense which have gone back up to the level we used to see them of. Add to that, they suffered a couple of heartbreaking overtime defeats in this series. To put everything in place, they lost to a better team.
 
The Spurs came in the series after knocking out the Golden State Warriors in 6 games, and came out swinging in the series, blowing the Grizzlies in Game 1, then pulling off two straight overtime victories before sweeping the brooms in Game 4. The Spurs are a better offensive team than what we have seen from them in previous years as defense had been a staple for this franchise. Tony Parker shot magnificently throughout the series and the Spurs were able to dissect the Grizzlies defense apart with tough screens and great ball movement, something we haven’t seen from them most of the times. Add to that, the shot the free throws well throughout the series. Tim Duncan turned back the clock with his near unstoppable plays. Players like Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter have also contributed big in this run for them. Now they return to the NBA Finals where they won it all in four trips, the last one was in 2007. They’ll be ready to bring the title back to the Alamo City, six years after they last won it.
 
The Spurs will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. The series currently stands with the Heat leading 2-1.
 
As for the Grizzlies, their magnificent playoff comes to a tough and bitter end. Now the question looms on the players that will stay and go for this franchise. Even the fate of head coach Lionel Hollins is in question. They had a great run this year, but they lost to a better team.
 
Here are the scores from all games of the series:
GAME 1 @ San Antonio: Grizzlies 85-103 Spurs
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Pondexter 17, Gasol 15, Conley 14
Rebounds: Gasol 7, Randolph 7
Assists: Conley 8, Bayless 5
 
Spurs leaders:
Points: Parker 20, Leonard 18, Green 16
Rebounds: Duncan 10, Ginobili 5, Green 4
Assists: Parker 9, Duncan 4, Ginobili 3, Green 3
 
GAME 2 @ San Antonio: Grizzlies 89-93 Spurs (OT)
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Conley 18, Bayless 18, Randolph 15
Rebounds: Randolph 18, Gasol 14, Pondexter 9
Assists: Conley 4, Gasol 4, Randolph 3, Bayless 3
 
Spurs leaders:
Points: Duncan 17, Parker 15, Splitter 14
Rebounds: Duncan 9, Leonard 9, Parker 5, Joseph 5
Assists: Parker 18, Ginobili 4, Duncan 3
 
GAME 3 @ Memphis: Spurs 104-93 Grizzlies (OT)
 
Spurs leaders:
Points: Parker 26, Duncan 24, Ginobili 19
Rebounds: Leonard 11, Duncan 10, Ginobili 7
Assists: Parker 5, Duncan 5, Ginobili 5
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Conley 20, Gasol 16, Pondexter 15
Rebounds: Randolph 15, Gasol 14, Allen 7
Assists: Gasol 5, Conley 4, Bayless 4
 
GAME 4 @ Memphis: Spurs 93-86 Grizzlies
 
Spurs leaders:
Points: Parker 37, Duncan 15, Leonard 11
Rebounds: Duncan 8, Ginobili 6, Leonard 6
Assists: Parker 6, Ginobili 6, Splitter 3, Diaw 3
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Pondexter 22, Gasol 14, Randolph 13
Rebounds: Randolph 8, Allen 8, Conley 6, Arthur 6
Assists: Conley 7, Gasol 5
 
Spurs win series 4-0
 
K-Smoove
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Grizzlies dethrone the Kings of the West.

These two teams battled each other two years ago and fought a nail-biting seven game second round series. This year, the fifth seeded Memphis Grizzlies get their retribution as the knock off the top seed in the West as well as the reigning Western Conference Champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Grizzlies also avengetheir loss in 2011 against the Thunder in empathic fashion taking four straight wins after dropping Game 1 on the road.

 Photos ©NBA
 
The Thunder who rode out the loss of their All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook in their first round series against the Houston Rockets managed to get into the second round after defeating the Rockets in six games. The Thunder had to rely more on Kevin Durant to score the basketball with Westbrook out for the rest of the playoffs. They managed to win Game 1 on their home floor with a clutch jumper by Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, it ended up as their only win of the series as the Grizzlies took the next four games including two games on their own home floor in Loud City. Their quest for redemption comes to a bitter and early end.
 
As for the Grizzlies, after getting redemption against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. They continued to play their style of Grit ‘n Grind in their series against the Thunder as they continued to play physical for the entire course of the series. After dropping Game 1 on the road, they responded emphatically as they won the next four games on their way to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. They also kept themselves undefeatedat “The Grindhouse” FedEx Forum as they are 5-0 at home in the NBA Playoffs. With a mix of defensive stalwarts like DPOY Marc Gasol, Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince as well as an offensive boost from Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless to name a few. These guys play great defense, and as quoted by Bruce Bowen once “Defense wins championships.” Now, the road to the championship continues for this team that loves to grind and play tough defense.
 
The Grizzlies will face the winner of the series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs currently have a 3-2 series lead over the Warriors and they got a shot of winning the series tomorrow.
 
As for the Thunder, their quest to return to the NBA Finals comes to an end. They will have Russell Westbrook back healthy next season. However, this team could undergo personnel changes along the way, as an eery silence will loom in Loud City as their off-season begins earlier than most people expect.
 
Here are the scores from all games of the series:
 
GAME 1 @ Oklahoma City: Grizzlies 91-93 Thunder
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Gasol 20, Randolph 18, Conley 13, Pondexter 13
Rebounds: Gasol 10, Randolph 10, Conley 5, Pondexter 5, Prince 5
Assists: Gasol 3, Conley 3, Pondexter 3
 
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 35, Martin 25, Jackson 12
Rebounds: Durant 15, Martin 7, Perkins 7
Assists: Durant 6, Perkins 3, Jackson 2
 
GAME 2 @ Oklahoma City: Grizzlies 99-93 Thunder
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Conley 26, Gasol 24, Randolph 15
Rebounds: Conley 10, Randolph 8, Allen 7
Assists: Conley 9, Gasol 5, Randolph 3
 
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 36, Fisher 19, Ibaka 11
Rebounds: Durant 11, Perkins 6, Ibaka 5, Jackson 5
Assists: Durant 9, Sefolosha 3, Jackson 2
 
GAME 3 @ Memphis: Thunder 81-87 Grizzlies
 
Thunder leaders: 
Points: Durant 25, Jackson 16, Ibaka 13, Martin 13
Rebounds: Durant 11, Ibaka 10, Jackson 10
Assists: Durant 5, Jackson 2, Sefolosha 2

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Gasol 20, Conley 14, Allen 14
Rebounds: Randolph 10, Gasol 9, Conley 7
Assists: Conley 6, Gasol 4, Randolph 2, Bayless 2
 
GAME 4 @ Memphis: Thunder 97-103 (OT)
 
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 27, Martin 18, Ibaka 17
Rebounds: Ibaka 14, Durant 7, Martin 5, Sefolosha 5
Assists: Jackson 8, Durant 7
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Conley 24, Randolph 23, Gasol 23
Rebounds: Randolph 12, Gasol 11, Allen 6
Assists: Conley 5, Prince 5, Randolph 3, Bayless 3
 
GAME 5 @ Oklahoma City: Grizzlies 88-84 Thunder 
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 28, Conley 13, Allen 11
Rebounds: Randolph 14, Conley 7, Gasol 7
Assists: Conley 11, Randolph 2, Allen 2, Bayless 2
 
Thunder leaders:
Points: Durant 21, Ibaka 17, Jackson 16
Rebounds: Jackson 9, Durant 8, Ibaka 8
Assists: Durant 6, Jackson 5, Fisher 3
 
Grizzlies win series 4-1
 
K-Smoove

Grizzlies "Grit-n-Grind" themselves to Round 2.

In a battle of two contrasting styles, the “Grit-n-Grind” fifth seeded Memphis Grizzlies advance to the second round after knocking out the team that knocked them out of the first round last season, the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers as a second team playing at the Staples Center bows out of the first round this season.

Photos ©NBA
 
The Clippers finished a franchise season as they won the Pacific Division title for the first time in franchise history and had their best winning season in franchise history. Led by the Lob City duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers were poised on following up their nice playoff run from last season. Joining the duo are Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, Matt Barnes, Ryan Hollins and Eric Bledsoe to name some. The Clippers looked good when they won the first two games at home including a Paul game winner in Game 2. However, the series went down for them afterwards as they lost the next four games (including one at home) to drop the series and ending a promising season for these men from Lob City.

The Grizzlies haven’t missed a beat, even after trading away their star forward in Rudy Gay to the Raptors during the season. In fact, they have played better without Gay as the main focus went to their big men in Zach Randolph who had an All-Star worthy season for the Grizzlies and Marc Gasol who won the Defensive Player of the Year this season and putting up All-star numbers. They also had a big spark from Mike Conley who has been vital in running the “Grit-n-Grind” offense. The players the got in the Gay trade like veteran Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis made their impact on this Grizzlies team. As well as players like Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless, Darrell Arthur and Quincy Pondexter. Now, these “Grit-n’-Grind” Grizzlies continue their chase for a shot at the championship this season.
 
The Grizzlies will face the top seeded team in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder who survived against the eight seeded Houston Rockets after being up 3-0 in the series and allowing the Rockets to take two games afterwards before the Thunder finally wrapped them up in six games. Thus, it sets up a rematch of their 2nd round battle in 2011.
 
As for the Clippers, it was a bitter finish to a promising year. In one of those seasons where they came up better than their Staples co-tentants. The spotlight will be on their head coach Vinny del Negro, whether or not he’ll continue to coach the Clippers or someone else would come and coach these men from Lob City.
 
Here are the scores from all games of the series:
 
Game 1 @ Los Angeles: Grizzlies 91-112 Clippers

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Bayless 19, Gasol 16, Randolph 13
Rebounds: Davis 6, Randolph 4, Prince 4
Assists: Gasol 7, Conley 5, Bayless 3, Prince 3
 
Clippers leaders:
Points: Paul 23, Billups 14, Crawford 13, Butler 13
Rebounds: Jordan 8, Butler 7, Odom 7, Griffin 5
Assists: Paul 7, Bledsoe 4, Griffin 3, Odom 3

Game 2 @ Los Angeles: Grizzlies 91-93 Clippers

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Conley 28, Gasol 17, Allen 16
Rebounds: Allen 10, Randolph 8, Gasol 7
Assists: Conley 9, Gasol 2, Bayless 2
 
Clippers leaders:
Points: Paul 24, Griffin 21, Crawford 15
Rebounds: Griffin 8, Jordan 8, Odom 5
Assists: Paul 9, Griffin 4, Odom 2
 
Game 3 @ Memphis: Clippers 82-94 Grizzlies
 
Clippers leaders:
Points: Griffin 16, Barnes 12, Billups 11
Rebounds: Jordan 8, Paul 6, Hollins 4
Assists: Paul 4, Crawford 3, Bledsoe 3

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 27, Gasol 16, Allen 13, Pondexter 13

Rebounds: Randolph 11, Allen 9, Gasol 8
Assists: Conley 10, Randolph 2, Gasol 2
 
Game 4 @ Memphis: Clippers 83-104 Grizzlies

Clippers leaders:

Points: Paul 19, Griffin 19, Crawford 12
Rebounds: Griffin 10, Odom 3
Assists: Paul 6, Bledsoe 5, Griffin 2

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 24, Gasol 24, Prince 15, Conley 15

Rebounds: Gasol 13, Randolph 9, Prince 6
Assists: Conley 13, Gasol 4, Prince 3

Game 5 @ Los Angeles: Grizzlies 103-93 Clippers

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 25, Gasol 21, Conley 20

Rebounds: Randolph 11, Gasol 8, Allen 8
Assists: Conley 6, Allen 4, Gasol 4
 
Clippers leaders:
Points: Paul 35, Crawford 15, Bledsoe 7
Rebounds: Barnes 9, Jordan 8, Paul 5
Assists: Griffin 5, Paul 4, Crawford 3
 
Game 6 @ Memphis: Clippers 105-118 Grizzlies
 
Clippers leaders:
Points: Barnes 30, Paul 28, Butler 14
Rebounds: Barnes 10, Jordan 4, Paul 4, Hill 4
Assists: Paul 8, Bledsoe 3
 
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 23, Conley 23, Allen 19
Rebounds: Gasol 7, Allen 7, Prince 6
Assists: Conley 7, Allen 6, Prince 5

Grizzlies win series 4-2

K-Smoove

Rajon Rondo’s season is over after ACL injury. Rudy Gay sent to Toronto. Popovich to coach the West at the All-Star Game. Award winners for January.

Another point guard suffers the ACL injury, a big trade where every team involved wins, and one coach for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game has been named, here are some of the highlights from Week 14 of the 2012-13 NBA season:

Rajon Rondo’s season ends with ACL injury.
Photo ©The Guardian
Last season, two point guards had their seasons end with the ACL injury. First it was the Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio in which the injury derailed Minnesota’s chances of making the playoffs that season, then it was the Bulls‘ Derrick Rose who suffered the injury on the 1st game of the NBA Playoffs, and derailed Chicago‘s title pursuit as they got eliminated in the 1st round by the Philadelphia 76ers. This season, another point guard‘s season is derailed by a torn ACL in the Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo’s ACL injury was confirmed before their battle against the Miami Heat at home as they stated Rondoplayed hurt during their loss against the Hawks in Atlanta. The Celtics however have won 3 straight after the loss of Rondo as well as the season-ending back injury of rookie forward Jared Sullinger. Rondo, in 38 games played this season finished with averages of 13.7 points per game, a league-leading 11.1 assists per game, 5.6 rebounds per game and 1.8 steals per game. Losing the man who will be the face of the franchise in the future is indeed a huge blow on any team, now the question is how will the Celtics respond with this adversity they are facing right now. That we will have to find out soon.
Also with Rondo‘s injury, he will also sit out the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston this month where he was voted in as a starter for the Eastern Conference. Replacing Rondo will be Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez who will make his All-Star Game debut.
Rudy Gay sent to Toronto in three-team trade.
Photo ©NBA/Raptors.com
In a radical franchise move, the Memphis Grizzlies dealt their star swingman Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors as part of big changes the new ownership of the Grizzlies franchise has brought in town. The Grizzlies then got Ed Davis and Jose Calderon from the Raptors. They would eventually send Calderon to the Detroit Pistons for Tayshaun Prince, the last guy from the Pistons’ championship team in 2004 and Austin Daye. 
Gay would make an instant impact with his new team as he led the Raptors to a 98-73 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers at home. Coming off the bench, Gay scored 20 points in his debut with the Raptors. Prince also made his presence felt in Memphis as he scored 14 points off the bench in the Grizzlies’ 85-76 victory against the Washington Wizards. While Calderon was in attendance for the Pistons-Cavaliers game in Detroit, but did not play due to visa issues.
In a dubbed win-win trade for all three teams involved in the trade, there are questions on how these players will make an impact to their teams. Like how will the Grizzlies continue to contend in the West with the radical lineup change? Can Gay lead the Raptors to the playoffs? and how will the trade help the Pistons as they go along with the season. That we will find in the days to come.
Popovich named West coach in 2013 NBA All-Star Game.
Photo ©NBA/Spurs.com
For the third time in his coaching career, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovichwill call the shots for the Western Conference at the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston thanks in part to the Spurs’ league leading performance in the first half of the season as they are riding a 10 game winning streak, Popovich coached the West at the All-Star game on two separate occassions, one was in 2005 in Denver, while the other was in Los Angeles, 2 years back.  
The head coach of the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Gamewill be determined in the game between the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors in Toronto. If the Heat win, head coach Erik Spolstera will coach the East, while if the Raptors win, New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson will call the shots.
Meanwhile, here are the award winners for the month of January:
LeBron James of the Miami Heat wins his 3rd consecutive Eastern Conference Player of the Month Awardwhile Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs wins in the Western Conference.
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers wins his 3rd consecutive Western Conference Rookie of the Month Award while Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards wins in the Eastern Conference for the 2nd consecutive mark.
Meanwhile for Coach of the Month we have 2 new winnerswith George Karl of the Denver Nuggets taking the honors in the Western Conference, while Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls took the honors in the Eastern Conference.
Also Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers took home the Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award in Week 13, while Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs took the honors in the Western Conference.
Here are the standings from across the association:

Western Conference:
1. Spurs (38-11), 2. Thunder (35-12), 3. Clippers (34-14), 4. Grizzlies (30-16), 5. Warriors (30-17), 6. Nuggets (30-18), 7. Jazz (26-22), 8. Rockets (26-23), 9. Trail Blazers (24-23), 10. Lakers (21-26), 11. Mavericks (20-27), 12. Timberwolves (18-26), 13. Kings (17-32), 14. Suns (16-32), 15. Hornets (15-33)
Eastern Conference: 
1. Heat (29-14), 2. Knicks (30-15), 3. Bulls (29-18), 4. Nets (28-19), 5. Pacers (28-19), 6. Hawks (26-20), 7. Bucks (25-21), 8. Celtics (23-23), 9. 76ers (20-26), 10. Pistons (18-29), 11. Raptors (17-30), 12. Magic (14-33), 13. Cavaliers (14-34), 14. Bobcats (11-35), 15. Wizards (11-35)
Stay tuned as another edition of the NBA weekly blog comes your way next week!
K-Smoove

Tight race in the West. Heat retake control atop the East. Kevin Love returns in Minnesota.

We are now four weeks into the new NBA season, plenty of things have happened since. Now here are some of the highlights of Week 4 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

 Three teams, fighting atop the West.
Photos ©ph.nba.com
 
On top of the Western Conference Standings, it has been a three-way race featuring teams that are no strangers to lead the conference. Sitting on top the West at the moment are the Memphis Grizzlies who are at 92 and holding on with the best record in the NBA. Then they are followed by the San Antonio Spurs who are at 10-3, and in third are the reigining West Champions Oklahoma City Thunder who are at 10-4. Other teams in the mix in the West include the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. 12 of the 15 teams out West have more than 6 wins so far this season, which makes the conference more unpredictable on who will end up with playoff berths. Once again, the West has been proven as a wild, wild conference in the NBA.
 
Heat retake control atop the East.
Photo ©NBA/Heat.com
 
The Miami Heat have silently retaken control on top of the Eastern Conference Standings, after then leaders the New York Knicks suffered back-to-back defeats in Texas against both the Mavericks and Rocketsto fall at 8-3 in the standings as compared to the Heat who are at 10-3. For the Heat, they have been doing it with their usual protagonists in tow with their Big Three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. James, the reigning Season and Finals MVP is averaging 26.2 points which is tied for 4th best in the NBA alongside Rockets guard James Harden, as well as 8.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1 block per game on 53% shooting from the field and 43% shooting from three point range. Bosh is averaging 20.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per outing on 56% field goal shooting. Wade is averaging 18.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per outing on 47% field goal shooting. The Heat have also been getting help from players like Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole to name a few. With most of the pieces from their title run last season intact, the Heat are well poised to defend the title this season.
 
Kevin Love returns in Minnesota.
Photo ©NBA.com
 
After sitting out the a month with an injury, the Minnesota Timberwolves got a boost with the return of their all-star foward Kevin Love. Love, a member of the gold medal winning US team in the 2012 London Olympics returned to action in their game last Thursday (Wednesday Minneapolis time) against the Denver Nuggets where he made his presence felt scoring a double-double 34 points and 14 rebounds. Unfortunately, the Timberwolves lost the game 101-94 against the Nuggets. As well as losing the next two games against the Trail Blazers in Portland and the Warriors in Oakland, despite Love scoring double-double outings in both games. It has been an unfortunate start to the season for the Timberwolves as they have suffered injuries to players like Love, and recently players likeBrandon Roy and Chase Budinger. Now with Love back in the fold, we’ll see if these men from the north regain their groove and contend for a playoff berth in the West.

Meanwhile last week, LeBron James of the Miami Heathas won his 2nd Eastern Conference Player of the Week award. While out West, a third winner of the Western Conference Player of the Weekthis season has been named in Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Here are how things look in the NBAas of today.

Western Conference:
1. Grizzlies (9-2), 2. Spurs (10-3), 3. Thunder (10-4), 4. Clippers (8-5), 5. Warriors (8-6), 6. Nuggets (7-6), 7. Jazz (7-7), 8. Mavericks (7-7), 9. Trail Blazers (6-6), 10. Lakers (7-7), 11. Suns (6-7), 12. Rockets (6-7), 13. Timberwolves (5-8), 14. Kings (4-9), 15. Hornets (3-8)

Eastern Conference:
1. Heat (10-3), 2. Knicks (8-3), 3. Hawks (8-4), 4. Bucks (6-5), 5. Nets (7-4), 6. Bobcats (7-5), 7. 76ers (7-6), 8. Celtics (7-6), 9. Bulls (6-6), 10. Pacers (6-8), 11. Magic (5-7), 12. Pistons (3-10), 13. Raptors (3-10), 14. Cavaliers (3-10), 15. Wizards (0-10)

So we got a few teams who have garnered 10 wins this season, the race has been tightly contested out West where a win can give a big boost in the standings, while a loss can be costly. Meanwhile out East, the Atlanta Hawks have silently gone up the ladder and are now in third behind the Heat and the Knicks. While the Charlotte Bobcats have already matched their win total last season 12 games in to the new season showing signs of significant improvement from last season where they finished 7-56 which was the worst finish by any team in NBA history. While the Washington Wizards have yet to pick up their first win of the season after 10 games.

Stay tuned, as a new edition of my NBA weekly blog comes out next week.

K-Smoove

Grizzlies streaking atop the West. Fear the Deer in Milwaukee. Mike D’Antoni, new coach for the Lakers.

Surprise! Surprise! Teams that people least expect to lead their conferences are now doing so right now, and a coaching change completed in Tinseltown. Here are the happenings from Week 3 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Grizzlies streaking out West.
Photo ©NBA/Grizzlies.com
After starting the season with a loss against the team that booted them out last season in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers in L.A., the Memphis Grizzlies are right now the hottest team in the NBA as they have won the next seven games after their opening night defeat against the Clippers. Yesterday, they gave the then undefeated New York Knicks their first defeat of the season with a 105-95 victory at home. Now the Grizzlies, have taken the reigns from the San Antonio Spurs as the best team in the Western Conference. For the Grizzlies, they are led by a four-man machine led by Rudy Gay who leads the team in scoring at 19.8 points per game (together with 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per outing), Zach Randolph who leads the team in rebounding at 13.9 rebounds per game (alongside 17.2 points per outing), Spaniard Marc Gasol who leads the team in blocks at 1.3 per outing (together with 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per outing), and Mike Conley who leads the team in assists at 6.4 per outing as well in steals at 2.0 per outing (alongside 14.8 points per outing). The Grizzlies also have other good players to back up these four men like Tony Allen who is the defensive dynamo for this squad, together with Quincy Pondexter, Jerryd Bayless, Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington. Things are looking bright from this squad from Tennessee, who knows? We could see them atop the league at the end of the season. With a stacked lineup and team that quote themselves as “We Don’t Bluff City”. These Grizzlies are there to make some noise in the ever-always “Wild Wild West”.
 
Fear the Deer!
Photo ©NBA/Bucks.com
 
It has been a long time since this team was relevant in the NBA, but this season, there are more reasons to say Fear the Deer!” The Milwaukee Bucks, who are currently in 2nd in the Eastern Conference behind the New York Knicks have found their groove at the same time surprising everyone in the Eastern Conference, as right now they are ahead of more popular teams like the reigning champions Miami Heat as well as the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and division rivals the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers. Led by one of the best backcourt duos in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, the Bucks are in early position to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. Jennings, the face of these new look Bucks team is averaging 17.5 points per outing, he leads the team in assists at 8.0 per outing as well as steals averaging 3.3 per game. Ellis, who joined the Bucks from Golden State mid-season is leading the team in scoring at 20.3 points per game (together with 5.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game). Aside from the explosive backcourt duo, the Bucks have a lot of players who can step up like Mike Dunleavy Jr., Larry Sanders, Tobias Harris, Ersan Ilyasova, Beno Udrih and Samuel Dalembert to name a few. Every player on the Bucks roster can contribute. Especially in a division where favored teams like the Bulls and Pacers are going through injury issues. These guys from Wisconsin have the capability to steal the Central Division crown. Like they say there, FEAR THE DEER!
 
Mike D’Antoni, new coach of the Lakers.
Photo ©NBA/Lakers.com

Days after Mike Brown was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Another “Mikewill take over the coaching reins for the purple and gold, by the name of Mike D‘Antoni. D’Antoni who was notable for his coaching stints with the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knickswas named the new head coach for the Lakers and was selected over the more popular choice among Laker fans in the name of “The Zen Master” Phil Jackson.
 
D’Antoni’s coaching record in the regular season stands at 388-339 (53.3%) in 10 seasons as head coach (Denver, Phoenix & New York) and is 26-29 (47.3%) in 5 playoff appearances (4 with the Suns, 1 with the Knicks.) D‘Antoni will also reunite with Steve Nash whom he coached to two MVP trophies in 2005 and 2006 with the Suns.
 
Right now there are a lot of questions for the franchise, will D’Antoni’s hiring as coach bring the Lakers out of the flux in the Western Conference and into contending for a championship where many pundits wrote about them especially with the arrivals of both Nash and Dwight Howard to join forces with Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol. We’ll see if a proud franchise can make a large fan base happy about this season with D’Antoni calling the shots. He will make his coaching debut in Los Angeles as the Lakers will face the Houston Rockets tomorrow.
 
Meanwhile, LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week respectively.
 
Here’s how the teams are faring right now in the NBA:
 
Western Conference:
1. Grizzlies (8-1), 2. Spurs (8-2), 3. Clippers (7-2), 4. Thunder (7-3), 5. Warriors (5-4), 6. Timberwolves (5-4), 7. Mavericks (6-5), 8. Jazz (5-6), 9. Trail Blazers (4-5), 10. Lakers (4-5), 11. Rockets (4-5), 12. Nuggets (4-6), 13. Hornets (3-5), 14. Suns (4-7), 15. Kings (2-7)
 
Eastern Conference:
1. Knicks (6-1), 2. Bucks (6-2), 3. Heat (8-3), 4. Nets (5-2), 5. Celtics (6-4), 6. Bulls (5-4), 7. 76ers (5-4), 8. Bobcats (4-4), 9. Hawks (4-4), 10. Pacers (4-6), 11. Magic (3-5), 12. Cavaliers (2-7), 13. Raptors (2-7), 14. Pistons (1-9), 15. Wizards (0-7)
 
All teams have tasted defeat this season, only the Washington Wizards have yet to taste a victory this season. We have some surprise teams on in the early hunt like the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves (they’re doing it without stars Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, as well as some players who are also out with injuries and are playing hurt)out West, while the Brooklyn Nets are living up to the hype since their move from New Jersey, while the Charlotte Bobcats are at .500 as of the moment. 
 
Watch out for the next edition of my weekly NBA blog next week.
 
K-Smoove

NBA Daily Blog Playoff Edition: First round comes to an end. Clippers advance to the 2nd round, defeats the Grizzlies in Game 7 82-72. Heat take Game 1 vs the Pacers 95-86.

The Clippers celebrate their Game 7 victory as they advance to the second round
Photo ©NBA.com
The First Round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs have come to an end. The Los Angeles Clippers became the last team to advance to the second round as they take a stunning road victory in Game 7 against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum 82-72. The Clippers almost blew the series after taking a commanding 3-1 series lead and losing the next two games which forced this match. But they held their grip in this slugfest in Game 7 and will now face the top-seeded team in the West, the San Antonio Spurs who are coming off a first round sweep of the Utah Jazz. Game 1 of that series will be on May 16 in San Antonio.
Chris Paul led the Clippers with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Nick Young off the bench scored 13 points. Kenyon Martin finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds with 2 blocks. Mo Williams scored 9 points. Blake Griffin, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe each scored 8 points.
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Marc Gasol also scored 19 points with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Zach Randolph added 9 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Conley and Tony Allen each scored 7 points.
In Miami, the Miami Heat begin the second round taking Game 1 of their series against the Indiana Pacers at the American Airlines Arena 95-86. Game 2 will still be in Miami on May 16. Recently crowned MVP LeBron James led the Heat with a double-double 32 points and 15 rebounds with 5 assists and 2 steals. Dwayne Wade added 29 points and 4 assists. Chris Bosh added 13 points and 5 rebounds. Joel Anthony off the bench added 9 points and 7 rebounds. David West led the Pacers with a double-double 17 points and 12 rebounds. Roy Hibbert also finished with a double-double 17 points and 11 rebounds. George Hill and Darren Collison each scored 10 points. Leandro Barbosa off the bench scored 9 points.
2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 12:52 PHT)
WESTERN CONFERENCE
#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz
SAN ANTONIO SPURS WINS SERIES 4-0
#1 Spurs vs #5 Clippers
Game 1: May 16, 9:30 am PHT Channel TBD
#4 Grizzlies vs #5 Clippers
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS WINS SERIES 4-3
#2 Thunder vs #3 Lakers
Game 1: May 15, 9:30 am PHT Channel TBD
EASTERN CONFERENCE
#4 Celtics vs #8 76ers (Celtics lead series 1-0)
Game 1: May 15, 7:00 am PHT Channel TBD

#2 Heat vs #3 Pacers (Heat lead series 1-0)
Game 1: May 16, 7:00 am PHT Channel TBD

K-Smoove