2008-09 Game 45: Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies Game Thread

The Memphis Grizzlies are in the midst of a league worst nine game losing streak.  Even the Washington Wizards only have a three game losing streak.  They will have their third head coach in their last four games as Johnny Davis filled in for two games while newly hired head coach Lionel Hollins could psyche himself up enough to jump onboard a sinking ship.

The only thing that worries me is that the Grizzlies will put forth a strong effort to welcome their new leader.  Denver has done a great job of not taking the bottom dwellers of the league too lightly and the only loss to a sub .500 team this season remains their defeat at Golden State in the fourth game of the season which was after they acquired Chauncey BIllups, but before they could get him in uniform.

The reports out of Memphis (thanks to TrueHoop for the link) are that Hollins wants Mike Conley to once again play a major role in the offense as he has been marginalized by the play of O.J. Mayo. 

Should the Nuggets start Dahntay Jones and J.R. Smith together the two of them will be responsible for guarding O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay.  I would probably assign Rudy to Dahntay and let J.R. try his luck with O.J.  Mayo does not shoot very many free throws and plays more of a perimeter game.  He has not shot more than six free throws in his last 19 games and he has nearly as many games where he played 30 or more minutes without shooting a free throw (two) as he has games with more than four free throws (three) during that span.  I trust J.R. can hang with Mayo without getting into foul trouble.  Likewise Gay does not get to the line much.  In his 11 January games he has six games where he has shot either zero or one free throws and he has attempted more than five only once. 

As long as the Nuggets play with the defensive focus and intensity they brought against the Jazz on Sunday night they will be just fine tonight.

Offensively Denver has advantages all over the floor.  Chauncey is too much for Conley.  J.R. can score on anyone.  Nene should be able to blow by Marc Gasol at will and Kenyon should be able to overpower and out-quick Darrell Arthur. 

The Nuggets did have a monkey wrench inserted into their travel plans though as their plane experienced mechanical problems delaying their departure from 2:00 PM yesterday until 9:00 PM.  As a result they cancelled their shoot around this morning.  They still got into Memphis before they would have if it were a back to back night so I do not think the flight delay will cause much of a problem.

Denver Nuggets Game Notes

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  • BeefySwats

    Dahntay can’t drive for shit.

    ALso, great start to the third quarter, Denver – 3 missed FGs and 4 turnovers.

  • Josh Hopp

    Tardy to the party again. I got a great stream at ATDE if anyone is interested.

    Great pull up 3 by Chauncey. Been a while since I seen the boys in the dark blue. Looks good.

  • Josh Hopp

    Welcome to the Chauncey Billups show

  • Josh Hopp

    Grizz on a bit of a run and Bird may have hurt his hand on the fast break. Need to shut it down and get a good look.

  • Josh Hopp

    Andersen you MORON.

    And switching is hurting us. 3 free throws for Lowry.

  • markph

    Marlowe is especially annoying tonight

  • markph

    He said Karl was gonna get thrown out of the game for a 2nd period technical called on GK

  • markph

    put em up Klieza ana… one. ana………

  • Josh Hopp

    Grizzlies fumings about the flagrant called on Lowry. Fortunately for them LK can’t hit any f***** free throws

  • markph

    I think the Homeless have started to fill some of the seats tonight. The seats down low are starting look full

  • markph

    no maybe not

  • Josh Hopp

    Man I love it when Nene’s midrange game works. It makes us so, so much better.

  • markph

    Nuggets playing better here to the stretch

  • markph

    a dollar for a turnover tonight

  • UnarmingMermaid

    Anybody hear word on Melo’s return? I thought I heard somebody say he might play on Friday.

  • UnarmingMermaid

    “Going to a hip hop concert and a Bluegrass band breaks out”…what the hell does that mean?

  • markph

    yeah that’s the plan

  • BeefySwats

    50 turnovers combined for the teams.

    Pickup games don’t turn the ball over this many times.

    So much sloppy, sloppy play and the Nuggets looked absolutely lost on the offensive end for much of the game.

    Chauncey, apparently, cannot pass on the fast break. It’s as though he has a mental block against throwing alley oops or something.

  • markph

    since Camby has left alley oops are all but over for the Nuggets

  • UnarmingMermaid

    Beefy…it’s winning games like this that distinguish a good team from a bad one.

  • UnarmingMermaid

    Weems has been getting some playing time the last couple of games…and that is a GREAT sign.

  • markph

    a throw away win. UM you’re right, last year we may have gave this one away

  • Stumbleweed

    RIP Alley Oop

    It’s a very efficient play when you have a team full of high-flying finishers like we do, and I really don’t know what Chauncey’s problem is with throwing it. That play on the break last night where he had K-Mart would’ve been an EASY dunk, and the only way to make the pass would’ve been an alley-oop. I’ve noticed lots of situations like that this season where Chauncey (or AC) didn’t take the opportunity and we ended up settling for a jumper out of a set play after they backed it out.

    That’s the one thing I really miss about Marcus — his passing from the top of the arc to K-Mart and others making the baseline cut… so pretty. FreeDarko had a good post a few days ago about the alley-oop that is a recommended read. Don’t know why we’ve gone so far away from that, especially with Birdman around this year — seems like he’s finished every oop he’s been thrown, but they’re just rare.