14 Grizzleaneous Thoughts (12/31/14)

1. Packed house at FedExForum on a cold, nasty Tuesday night for the Spurs.  Very impressive.

2. Even though everyone always said that Memphis would support a winner – I’m not sure I ever actually believed that the Grizzlies could put a legit 17k + in the stands on a frozen Tuesday night in December.  Memphis is, in fact, supporting a winner.

3. The Grizz are absolutely winners – as they controlled this one against the defending champs from start to finish.  Spurs cut it to 5, but it never seemed in doubt.

4. Mike Conley was just outstanding – hard to imagine he’s not an all-star.

5. Seemed as if Spurs head man Greg Popovich decided about halfway through the 2nd quarter that it wasn’t the Spurs night – or maybe he was afraid of arguing with the officials and getting ejected. Either way, it was weird seeing him totally withdrawn from the game in the 2nd half. He never really got out of his chair in the 2nd half.

6. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s not a bad seat in FedExForum. There aren’t alot of bad seats, but as it turns out, in section 112A, the seats against the large wall that divides the section from the terrace level seats – those are bad seats (especially if your neighbor is plus sized). My friend and I had those seats for this game and were quite disappointed.

7. We tried the “find better seats” strategy – which is simple:  (a) We spotted a few completely empty rows in Section C5, then (b) waited until halfway through the second quarter when all late arrivals typically have shown up, (c) walked over to said rows, past the lady checking tickets, like we owned the place, (d) sat down in empty rows, and (e) declared victory.

8. Again, these rows in C5, 2 of them, with 16 seats each, were COMPLETELY empty with about 8 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. That’s 32 empty seats.

9. After my friend and I sat in the seats for about 5 minutes, approximately 32 people (but maybe as many as 100,000), mostly children, showed up together to claim their seats and we were confronted awkwardly by the usher who sent us back to 112A – against the wall – with a reprimand.

10. This was reminiscent of a time that @FlashGordonNY and myself were flying standby on a red eye flight from Las Vegas to Memphis and about 5 minutes before the conclusion of boarding there were 50 open seats.  We thought we had made it on standby. With about 2 minutes to go – a metaphorical clown car of about 50 (but maybe as many as 100,000) people ran to the gate, claiming our (their) spots and stranding us without a seat.

11. Was good to see Jarnell Stokes get some PT against – though he didn’t try to do too much. Knowing the kind of guy he is, and watching his demeanor, it’s easy to envision him being a contributor one day.

12. The Grizz offense was moving quickly – and Joerger mentioned in the postgame that playing quicker in the halfcourt continues to be a point of emphasis.

13. He (Joerger) insists that the quickened pace will help the Grizz in the long run. He’s probably right. Either way, it’s an aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball the Grizzlies are playing these days.

14. The Grizzlies now have 2 days off before a 2 game trip out west @LAL, @Den.  Then they return home to face the Knicks. A much gentler stretch than what they’ve just been through.