Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Obligatory Schedule Announcement Post

Posted By on Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 9:31 PM

The NBA released its schedule for the 2013-2014 season earlier this evening. I'm not going to waste too much time and space “breaking it down.” You can see the full Grizzlies schedule here. (I'm using ESPN.com rather than the team's own site, because the latter doesn't have the national television info there yet.)

A few quick observations, though:

Notable games/sections

Opener: Wednesday, October 30th — at San Antonio

Home Opener: Friday, November 1st — vs. Detroit

Rudy Gay Return: Wednesday, November 13th

MLK Day: Monday, January 20th — vs. New Orleans

Miami game: Wednesday, April 9th

Four-game West Coast trip: November 15-20

Four-game homestand: January 7-14

Five-game West road trip: March 26-April 2

Six-game homestand: November 30-December 11

National Television Games:

Friday, November 22nd — vs. San Antonio (ESPN)

Thursday, December 26th — at Houston (TNT)

Friday, March 7th — at Chicago (ESPN)

Wednesday, March 26th — at Utah (ESPN)

Friday, April 4th — vs. Denver (ESPN)

Wednesday, April 9th — vs. Miami (ESPN)

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Scrum: Handicapping the West's Top Tier

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 10:42 AM

The Grizzlies could be chasing the Spurs again in a deep, close Western Conference playoff race.
  • The Grizzlies could be chasing the Spurs again in a deep, close Western Conference playoff race.

With the free agency period all but over, here' s my early read on how the Western conference's now-crowded elite will finish in 2013-2014. These prognostications are for the regular season only, and are subject to change when the leaves do the same.

1. San Antonio Spurs
Last Season: 58-24, #7 offense, #3 defense
The Case: Was last season a last hurrah? Why should it be? Tony Parker is still in his prime. Kawhi Leonard is emerging as a true two-way star. Danny Green and Tiago Splitter are plus-size role players still on the upswing. And Gregg Popovich still manages his regular-season rotation with the big picture in mind, while still piling up wins, better than any coach in the league. And this is still as balanced, versatile, and battle-tested a roster as any in the conference.
The Caveats: The Spurs aren't actually that old anymore, but age is a question mark with two core contributors. Can Tim Duncan, at age 37, really have another All-NBA season? Can Manu Ginobili, at 35, stave off what seemed to be a swift decline this past spring to remain a quality sixth man if no longer a third “star”?

2. Los Angeles Clippers
Last Season: 56-26, #4 offense, #9 defense
The Case: The Chris Paul/Blake Griffin fulcrum of last year's 56-win team returns, now with a major upgrade on the sideline (Doc Rivers) and an improved two-way wing combo in JJ Redick and Jared Dudley. A decent bet to field the NBA's best offense this season.
The Caveats: The Clippers have not yet addressed their issues of frontcourt depth, toughness, and gravitas, with the callow starting combo of Griffin and DeAndre Jordan currently backed by finesse centers Ryan Hollins and Byron Mullens and undersized swingman Matt Barnes. How much will this hurt in the regular season? Probably not too much, thus this placement. But it's the reason the Clippers' post-season hopes come with an asterisk until further notice.

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