April 30th, 2011

The Grizzlies’ win didn’t have the prophetic tinge of the 2007 Warriors. There wasn’t that sense that a new form of basketball had arrived from a far-off moon, or that style was unraveling and reconstituting itself before our very eyes. Golden State taking it to Dallas like they did, in the way they did, was so improbable that there was no choice but to take a leap of faith. Paradoxical as it may sound, it was the only rational response. BELIEVE! was an imperative, not a plea. Memphis, on the other hand, were radical only for their deficiencies. The heart of this team is Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, a tandem of skilled big men who could have existed at any point in the last four decades of the game. Tony Allen may be a miscreant web icon, and a horrendous decision-maker with the ball. But he’s an uncanny defender, with instincts that are nearly the inverse of his clap-trap on offense. Most players who play the lanes and gamble with football-style coverage end up getting burned. Allen not only converts more than anyone in the league—he’s also never struggling to get back into position. It’s only a gamble if one day they impale you with it.

What makes the Grizzles so special is that they beat the Spurs with good, old-fashioned basketball. They made the Right Way grimy, and dispatched with San Antonio on its terms. That Memphis could do this while remaining true to their personality—their terms—makes them at once more remarkable and more durable than a blinding cosmic event like the Warriors.

April 27th, 2011

oakleyandallen:

#JrueDown.  Inspired by @freedarko. 

I wish I had thought of this sooner.

Reblogged from Oakley & Allen