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Game Thread: Knicks vs. Grizzlies- 3-21-08

Hey kids. We've got the Knicks and Grizzlies tonight, a game that should be uglier than you're average 8-9 NCAA matchup. I did a little Q&A with 3 Shades of Blue, but some communication problems leave me without anything to post 45 minutes before the game. I'll make sure to update if I get the chance, but head over to that blog for excellent coverage of a similarly miserable team (makes me look really bad). Get them W's.

UPDATE: For what it's worth, Josh from 3SoB's answers to my questions:

1. The Grizzlies are logjammin' a bit at point guard with Juan Carlos Navarro, Javaris Crittenton, Mike Conley, Jr., and Kyle Lowry. You're the GM (apologies). Start one, bench two, and get rid of one. Go.

For me, this is easy, because Javaris Crittenton is not a PG or even much of a combo guard - he's a SG. I would be willing to start Conley and use Navarro as the primary backup and get rid of both Crittenton and Lowry. I love the energy, intensity and tenacity that Kyle has, but he does not have the mindset of a facillitator and probably never will. Conley and Navarro are both playmakers -- both for themselves and their teammates. That's what I want my point guards to do.

2. Rudy Gay is keeping my fantasy team afloat, but I hardly ever get to see the Grizz. Is this a guy a future all-star? Is he someone to build around?

Rudy is definitely a future All-Star, in my admittedly biased opinion. The leap he has made from his rookie year to this year is astronomical and he can still improve in a lot of areas. That has to be frightening to contemplate for the other GM's in the league who passed on him due to concerns about his "drive". I am not completely convinced that he is a true "franchise player", but in a team concept like the Spurs or Pistons, where any of 3 or 4 different players can lead in scoring on any given night, he'd be a monster. That's what I'm hoping the plan is for the Grizzlies in the future.

3. The Grizz are actually worse than the Knicks, and are currently projected at the third draft slot. Two questions: A. Beasley or Mayo? and B. Who else?

For me: neither. I know, I know, that is contradictory to every single "expert" in the known universe, but I foresee problems with each of these guys in the future. Both are great players, but I don't think either of them are the "Superstar"-level talent that they are being labeled because of what is between their ears. I'm calling it now: O.J. Mayo is the next Steve F*****s.(censored by editor)

The player I'm actually hoping the Grizzlies target if they get a Top 5 pick is Nicolas Batum (France). He's a solid young swingman with great athleticism who is being compared to Rudy Gay, only with better handles. Of course, if they get the top pick, they have to take Beasley.

4. I totally forgot Marc Iavaroni was coaching Memphis. That was supposed to be a big deal before the season started. How's that going?

I'm in the minority, but I think that Ivy has done a good job to this point in the season, given all the turmoil that this team has seen. There are some concerns about just what playing style it is that he is implementing, but I think that some clarity is forthcoming. Everyone expected to see the Phoenix Suns, but I think that Iavaroni's time spent under Riley and Fratello, as well as D'Antoni has made him realize that both offense and defense are vital. That's why I expect to see a chameleon style, such as what the Spurs and Pistons have used with great success. Why bother being predictable when you can change pace and beat teams at their own game?

5. Did you know that in NBA Live 2004 there's a glitch that makes the announcers refer to Rasual Butler as "Brian Cardinal"? What do you think Brian would say about that?

I had no idea. This is the kind of information that I pay my crack research team to find out. (You're all fired!!!) Having spoken to BC before, I'm pretty sure that he would be very amused by it. In fact, I think that he probably already knows and rubs it in Butler's face every time he sees him. The Custodian can be vindictive when given the appropriate ammo. You should see what he did to Bonzi Wells in his return to the FedEx Forum this preseason after being banned by Fratello a few seasons ago. I can't go into details, but it involved some rather frightening modifications to The Bonzi's headband. You just don't cross a Purdue graduate.