Sat04192014

Sports

Grizz grit can’t overcome Spurs’ grip

IMG-Tony 600When the game is over and your team's players and coach are saying things like the other team is smart, they stick to their system and they hit some tough shots, well, that sounds like a loss.

And it was: San Antonio 102, Memphis 86. The Spurs won both halves, going into the locker room at halftime with a 14-point lead that grew by two points by game's end.

Despite those point gaps, the Grizzlies were not pushovers. Absorbing the loss of center Marc Gasol, who left with a strained left knee in the second quarter, Memphis battled back to tie the game in the second half.

 

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Tigers try to stir Stillwater, instead get drowned

IMG-Coach-Josh-Pastner 600As the No. 11-ranked University of Memphis Tigers headed into Stillwater, Okla. to take on the No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys, the spread on the game opened with Memphis a 6.5 point underdog.

Vegas is usually pretty close on their predictions, but the spread grew to 9.5 before tip-off. When a spread jumps by three points, it's usually a good indication that the gamblers are all betting one way and in this case it was on the Cowboys.

With that information in mind, no realistic True Blue fan should have had expected a win from the Tigers on Tuesday night. The real question would be how Memphis would respond to its first real test of the season against a top-ranked opponent.

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Tigers blow by ‘close’ in roll past USF

IMG-B-Hayes 600Followers of University of Memphis football this season have become accustomed to close games. Unfortunately, most of those have been punctuated with a collapse by the Tigers and an eventual loss.

This past weekend, Memphis (2-6) was poised to win its first conference game, traveling to Tampa to take on the University of South Florida Bulls. After beating UT-Martin the previous week, the Tigers were looking to string together wins for the first time this year.

The storyline headed into the game was that both teams would be starting a freshman quarterback. So the question was not which QB would win the game for his team, but which one would make fewer mistakes.

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Pow! Tigers break out strong against Austin Peay

IMG-Pregame-600IMG Tigers_Ball_9171Whether you were headed to the FedExForum, the couch in front of your TV or a seat at your favorite sports bar, don't worry about missing the Tigers' slow start in their first official game of the season.

It didn't happen.

IMG looseball_9889IMG Dunked_on_9286The University of Memphis jumped out of the gate in a hurry. Austin Peay was down by 8 points right from the beginning and the Tigers were just getting going en route to a 95-69 blowout.

GRIZZ TRACK

ZBoHand 600As the Grizzlies work to find a 2013-14 team identity that will yield consistent wins and fan satisfaction, reminders that things can change in a heartbeat in the NBA rolled into town recently.

Last Saturday (Nov. 9th) former Grizz reserve big man Marreese Speights stepped in to the FedExFourm with his new team, the Golden State Warriors. On Wednesday, longtime Memphis star forward Rudy Gay returned with the Toronto Raptors.

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Back-to-back losses have Grizzlies frustrated

IMG-Frustration 600Frustration has set in with the Memphis Grizzlies and eight games into the season fans are growing increasingly nervous.

The frustration was evident on Wednesday as the Grizzlies welcomed former teammate Rudy Gay back to the FedExForum along with his new team, the Toronto Raptors. The result was another disappointing Grizzlies lost, 103-87.

The Grizzlies (3-5) ended the first quarter down by six points, with Toronto's Demar DeRozan leading all scorers with 13 points. By halftime, Memphis was down by 11 (55-44).

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‘Old’ Grizzlies show up and show out against Golden State

IMG-Tony--scores 600The Memphis Grizzlies were five games into the season and experiencing a major identity crisis until Saturday night at the FedExForum when the team Grizz fans know and appreciate showed up.

The Grizzlies got back to defense and pounding the ball inside the paint, beating the Golden State Warriors 108-90. The contest marked the Grizzlies' 10th win in a row against the Warriors.

The hard-working, grind-it-out team found its way back. The Grizzlies dominated play in the paint 54-18, outrebounding Golden State 44-33.

 

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Titans hand Jaguars first win of season

11defenseplease 600After a road victory over former coach Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams last week, many figured a Titans victory over the winless Jacksonville Jaguars was automatic. That turned out to be bad math.

Thanks to four Tennessee turnovers, Jacksonville finally got its first win of the season overcoming a late rally by the Titans to win 29-27.

The Jaguars (1-8) had been outscored 70-15 in the first quarter this season but found themselves ahead 7-0 early after Titans running back Chris Johnson was stripped of the ball by Paul Posluszny on Tennessee's first offensive play.

 

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Redskins: More than a name

R Jackson-160I was once told that the only bad thing about being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it. So it is with democracy; you have to have the freedom to disagree to prove that it works.

This brings me to the issue of the Washington Redskins. They are one of the oldest teams in the National Football League (NFL). Lately, they have come under unrelenting pressure from certain quarters to change their storied name from the Redskins. Some are suggesting that the name is offensive to Native American. The Oneida Indian tribe has been at the forefront of this controversy.

They have been making the argument that the name Redskins is racist and insulting to Native Americans. One thing I have learned in life is not to argue with a person's feelings. Feelings are not always logical nor are they always based on facts. Feelings have everything to do with emotion.

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Grizzlies peck away at deficit but can’t catch the Pelicans

IMG-Mike-Conley 600The disappointment from the crowd was evident, with a few boos oozing from the 15,209 in attendance as the Grizzlies fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 99-84 at FedExForum on Wednesday night.

It was a lack of effort and seemingly lethargic attitude that disappointed the crowd most. The reaction sent Grizz guard Mike Conley into flashback mode.

"It hurts a lot because we've come a long way," Conley said. "We've come a very long way in my six years here. I remember the boos as a rookie, second year and third year and I don't ever want to go back to it."

 

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‘Close’ not what Tigers are aiming for, says Fuente

Tigers 600Over halfway into the 2013 campaign, the University of Memphis football team has been competitive in each and every week. Yet through seven games, the Tigers have only been able to tally one win.

So is head coach Justin Fuente satisfied with their improvement?

"In a lot of ways, we should sit back and say 'look at the progress.' It's encouraging to get close. It's a lot better than where we were last year. We were getting our doors blown off left and right," said Fuente during his weekly press conference.

 

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Bayless rhythm helps Grizz keep Boston winless

grizz-Tony-Steals7149-600Memphis Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless was scoreless for three quarters. Suddenly, he couldn't miss.

Bayless and the Grizzlies rallied, got in a defensive mindset and erased a six-point deficit late fourth in the quarter. The cohesiveness down the stretch led to a 95-88 victory on Monday night at FedExForum against the winless Boston Celtics. Bayless poured in 15 points in the final quarter.

"I got rhythm," Bayless said. "I played so bad I missed three layups in the first half. I had to figure something out. You know it just kind of worked out and I was able to make some shots and make up for the bad stuff I did in the first half."

 

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3-game home stand for Grizz

grizz-Foul-6544-600The Grizzlies (1-2) begin a three-game home stand tonight when the Boston Celtics (0-3) visit the FedExForum.

On Wednesday (Nov. 6), New Orleans marches into Memphis, with Golden State challenging the Grizzlies on Saturday (Nov. 9).

 

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