Memphis Grizzlies 104, San Antonio Spurs 86: Witnessing the unexpected

by

The San Antonio Spurs are a deeply misunderstood team. Over the last few years, people have referred to them as a “tough out,” a euphemistic term for a team past its championship potential but still capable of taking down a mightier foe. In reality, once they met the better team, the Spurs were sent packing in a prompt and tidy manner. They lost in five to Los Angeles, five to Dallas, and four to Phoenix.

People have often said they are a tough out, but the resignation with which they’ve packed their bags suggests otherwise.

Tonight’s 104-86 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies was different. The Spurs weren’t resigned, at least not for most of the game. People will point to Gregg Popovich’s willingness to sit the starters halfway through the fourth and, with wide, incredulous eyes, ask why the Hell the Spurs wouldn’t keep fighting. But the truth is, they did keep fighting. But they were caught in the undertow. The harder they fought to reach shore, the more tired they grew, as did the distance between them and the shore.

The Spurs lost, but they didn’t quit. They mentally collapsed. And that collapse may have started at the very top.

The Spurs have lost — and quit — plenty of times. They’ve genuinely collapsed few times, if at all. And I’m not sure I’ve ever even thought the fourth of those statements.

But the truth is, I believe the reason the Spurs are losing this series is because Gregg Popovich has been outcoached.

Let’s take a step back, and view things from a wider angle: If I had to choose, I’d take Tony Parker over Mike Conley. I’d take Manu Ginobili over Tony Allen. I’d take Richard Jefferson over Sam Young. I’d Take Tim Duncan over Marc Gasol (although, after the last few games, some might not). And I’d take Zach Randolph over Antonio McDyess. Although slightly debatable, it’s not an overstatement to say the Spurs have the match-up advantage at four of the five starting positions in this series, and they are down 3-1. When that’s the case, I start to look past the guys in the jerseys, and focus my gaze on the men in the suits.

What’s even stranger is that Gregg Popovich might agree with me. He may admit it. He may not. He flexes back and forth between humility and stubbornness in a way that is difficult to predict. But I think he agrees with me, and I was horrified to realize that when Tiago Splitter checked into the game.

I am glad Splitter finally saw the court. Given both his play during the last third of the season, and the specific dynamics of this series, I thought he should have seen minutes in the first three games as well. But after choosing to hold him out, Popovich’s decision to play Splitter in Game 4 didn’t come as a welcome relief, although I may have falsely claimed so at the time. It was a harbinger of doom.

When Popovich starts buckling to the pressure to make major rotation changes part way through a series, it isn’t an example of the flexibility Spurs fans have long sought-after. (A flexibility which actually exists in spades and the absence of which has far more to do with our own blind spots than any stubbornness we perceive in Popovich.) It’s a sign that he no longer believes the players who have carried the team to this point have the ability to win on their own. It’s an act of desperation. It’s a decision made with the hope that an unexpected player will have a meteoric moment, and instead of falling prey to a Darrell Arthur or a Goran Dragic, the Spurs will miraculously possess one of their own.

However, if San Antonio does go on to lose, Gregg Popovich didn’t cost the Spurs this series when he pulled the starters in the fourth quarter. There were a number of decisive plays on the part of the Grizzlies, and Popovich let Duncan, Parker and Ginobili play on. The final straw came when Shane Battier, wide open in the corner, caught a pass from Mike Conley. He relaxed, set his feet, focused his eyes and calmly sank a 3-pointer. He was completely unhurried. Not a single Spur moved in his direction, much less attempted to chase him off the line.

That’s the moment the Spurs went down by 20. That’s the first moment all game they looked like they had quit. And that’s the moment Popovich pulled the starters.

If they weren’t even gonna try, why waste their energy. You might as well rest them, and pray that, over the next three games, we will bear witness to an even more unexpected outcome than we did this evening.

  • Nima K.

    We mmmight win game 5, but we’ll be out in 6. This style of play that the Spurs have adopted is not sustainable. Thats for sure.

    Unless the Gods suddenly prove me wrong by some freakish miracle. Like Manu’s kids suddenly start speaking to Manu giving him divine guidance, or Bonner eating a sandwich of defense, or Tony getting some energetic texts from some intruiging character….

    Anyway,

    The way things are going now, the trophy is going back to Chicago.

  • Bob

    Duncan does play well against big and long defenders like Gasol. I am sure he can still abuse Randolph but Grizzlies realize that. That’s why they had him defend Splitter. I thought Spurs could have attacked that by have Splitter throw some hook shots over him. Duncan made one high low pass I think resulted in a foul. Randolph hasn’t had to play one on one defense all series. Spurs are not really winning any matchups at this point. Gasol’s is outplaying Duncan or at best it’s even. Even Sam Young’s contributing. I hate to think what would happen if Rudy Gay was healthy. The series might be over.

  • Bob

    I meant to say he doesn’t play well against long defenders.

  • SpursTR

    Spurs were a mediocre offensive/great defensive team while winning all those championships. This new good offense/zero defense mentality doesn’t and won’t get us anywhere in the playoffs. Our chances of winning a game is solely based on the perfomance of our shooters on that particular day. If they’re having an extraordinary game, we’re unbeatable. If they’re having a regular game, getting the W is about the opposition’s offensive performance, because we have NO DEFENSE AT ALL. If our shooters are having a bad day, as they have been for a while, we get blown out. As simple as that.

  • SpursTR

    Spurs were a mediocre offensive/great defensive team while winning all those championships. This new good offense/zero defense mentality doesn’t and won’t get us anywhere in the playoffs. Our chances of winning a game is solely based on the perfomance of our shooters on that particular day. If they’re having an extraordinary game, we’re unbeatable. If they’re having a regular game, getting the W is about the opposition’s offensive performance, because we have NO DEFENSE AT ALL. If our shooters are having a bad day, as they have been for a while, we get blown out. As simple as that.

  • Nima K.

    I think we started going downhill when Bowen left. He was the anchor of our defense.

  • TD BestEVER

    TD is the anchor of our D…….but our problem is we can no longer DISRUPT opposing teams Offensive sets…….Because we don’t have a player on the perimeter to do this for us……..

    I’m sure everyone remembers all those years where we would be loosing late in a game only to See Steve Nash/Dirk/Terry or any other really good player fold and commit 2-3 silly plays down the stretch and allow us to pull out a victory……..That’s what we lost when we lost Bowen and POP thought we could survive w/o it……..

    We lost those Steve Nash TO’s when normally he was so careful with the basketball, Those Dirk air balls when he had been HOT for quarters……When we lost Bruce Bowen, we lost the ability to DISRUPT the other teams number 1 option on the perimeter. Allowing Conley to be in equal terms with Parker, OJ MAYO to abuse Hill and so forth………

  • tradeTP…after 2 more rings

    Pop is worthless. Let him go already. Oh yeah, great job McDyess, you were outplayed by a rookie.

    Would like to point out the following:

    Pop is a bad coach
    McDyess is worthless
    Bonner is worthless
    Tony is not a good PG
    We need more Splitter
    We need more Blair

    SEE THE FORMULA. STRANGE THE TIMES IVE SAID THIS NO ONE ON HERE WOULD LISTEN.

    Its 3-1 time to listen.

    Im sure the writers think that POP is doing grreeeaat!

    Pop needs fired if we lose this series.

  • Colin Rigney

    What year did they lose in 5 to Dallas? It wasn’t ’06. They lost in 5 to the Lakers in ’08 and 0-4 to Phoenix last year.

  • Colin Rigney

    Nevermind. Dallas ’09.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    Great post Graydon. I was thinking the same thing last night. This team should not be losing to the Grizzlies. They’re totally getting outcoached. Unfortunately, just like Dallas going down to Golden State, we’re matched up against a young and hungry team that wants it more. They get to more loose balls, their defensive rotations are good, their long and quick, they’re just everywhere. It’s shocking to see the Spurs not know what to do in the half court offense.
    I think everyone agrees playing Tiago this late in the series was a mistake. He should have been thrown in before last night, but he alone can’t make the difference. The Spurs lost by 3 points in each of those two losses. The same logic would mean Tiago is responsible for an 18 point loss.
    This season will be chalked up as smoke and mirrors, the Spurs didn’t get better during the regular season. They’re just not prepared for playoff basketball, grinding out possessions. Scoring over 100 points a game is fun, but it doesn’t translate to the playoffs.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    I was thinking the same thing last night. This Grizz team is good, and Gay isn’t even playing. This might be really ugly if he was. I’ll take Jefferson over Young, but Gay over Jefferson.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    Splitter would not have come over in 2007. He was making, 4-6 times more playing in Europe because of the rookie salary cap and where the Spurs draft.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    Really? Fire Pop? Tony isn’t a good PG? More Blair?

    I’ll take Tony Parker over Mike Conley 7 days a week. He’s trying to do too much. Like they were saying on the TNT broadcast, he should stop passing because of the turnovers and keep scoring. He was the only consistent player out there and scored 30% of their points. Your post is worthless just by your post about TP.

  • Mark B

    Well, I think it’s gotta be the pink, teal and orangey color scheme. The Spurs haven’t been the Spurs since 48 MOH changed from the silver and black and the day of the dead motif. I blame Timothy Varner. Heh.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    Not getting Cory Brewer was a mistake. He’s warming the bench for the Mavs and he could have been the perimeter defender the Spurs were looking for. He doesn’t fit in the Mavs scheme but would be really good here. A trade deadline mistake.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    Good point. Another thing is the Grizzlies are shooting with people running at them and in their face. I cringe at the Spurs lack of confidence to do the same thing. I don’t know how many times that’s happened to Hill and Bonner in this series, but the hesitation and pump fake just gives the defense the ability to adjust and rotate. Their defense is good.

  • Doggydogworld

    They’re a lot better without Gay, IMHO. He’s their biggest problem going forward because he doesn’t fit their style and his new contract makes him unmovable.

  • Doggydogworld

    Splitter was not covering anyone on the perimeter on that play. He was jogging back looking around for Arthur. Meanwhile Arthur was sprinting to the rim. When Tiago finally saw him he was too far behind and too vertically challenged to disrupt the play.

  • Bob

    The Spurs didn’t have appropriate fear/respect for their opponent as Pop likes talk about. Ginobili should have played game 1. He couldn’t have made his injury any worse. There’s good chance it would only be tied 2-2 now. Grizzlies got too much confidence with the game 1 win. The away record against playoff teams hasn’t been that great since at least All-Star break. Plus Grizzlies are an excellent home team. Not getting that last shot up in game 3 makes it worse. They’ve spotted the Grizzlies too much.

    I think the Spurs confidence is shot. They really need to get that back if they want to win. It starts at the top. Pop has to find a way to inspire them with confidence. They need to know they’re the better team. That’s why it pays to be a good defensive team. It’s something you can rely on. If you’re just an offensive team it’s easy to quit when shots are not falling. If you pride yourself on defense you will continue competing. In fact the defense will be able to fuel the offense. When the shots are not falling for the Spurs they hang their heads and play even worse defense.

    They also need to jumpstart the offense. The Grizzlies are gambling in the passing lanes and winning. They have to mix it up. The corner 3’s are being taken away but the top of the key and wings are available. The 15-18 foot jumpshot has been there. Someone needs to knock it down. They have to attack Randolph’s lack of defense on the inside. If they can get Randolph to defend Duncan he can have a field day. Splitter can shoot over him if he gets a good entry pass. Spurs can also make alot of hard cuts into the paint. Bonner got a few easy baskets that way.

  • Doggydogworld

    Baloney. The Spurs had more respect for Memphis than they had for us. It was Memphis tanking games to get the Spurs, not vice versa. The Spurs knew they were a tough matchup and would have preferred to play someone else.

    The Spurs have played with intensity but have been out of sync and declining since Duncan’t injury. Memphis, meanwhile, has been building momentum since Rudy Gay got injured. Tony Allen sets their defensive tone and their bigs dominate us inside. Right now they’re just the better team.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Gordian,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your insight on the Spurs the last few years, you and Buck Harvey (SA express) are the best on this.Right now its tough for us Spurs fans – but I’m more frustrated at the Spurs “Brain Trust” of POP and RC – I really believe they “wasted” the last few years of Duncan’s career. Can you please help me understand why they “felt” that Scola could not play alongside Duncan thus trading his rights – how they felt justified to reward Bonner with a 3 year contract after continously disappearing in the playoffs – why the need to re-do Jeffersons’s contract after seeing he just wasn’t fitting in like they thought he would. I believe that managment is satisfied with the 4 rings they won on the “low-end” of team salary during that time, instead of locking themselves in a room and trying to figure out the best way of finding the front-court help for Duncan these last few years. I’m also getting tired of POP getting a free pass since he is the Coach and GM and I dont think he feels any pressure from HOLT. So Mr Gordian, can you please provide your perspective on my comments – thanks.

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  • John T.

    As Simon and Garfunkel put it, “time hurries on and the leaves that are green turn to brown”. No amount of adjustment or coaching is going to overcome what the writers of this site pointed our during the season. That Tim Duncan once one of the brightest stars in the NBA universe has transitioned into a fading white dwarf. It is not his fault just like Manu getting hurt is not his fault it just happens. If it wasn’t Memphis it would be hard to imagine the Spurs having any more success against the Thunder, Bulls, or Lakers.

    It is a sobering issue but this is probably the final act for Duncan, esp with a lockout looming. No one really knows what this team will look like going forward, but we can probably expect a lot of losing for a while.

    So all I can suggest is to watch Duncan, Manu, and Parker together as a unit for what could be the end and just try to appreciate the small victories they might have left. There will always be time for criticism and wanting heads to roll but that can be held off for a day or two.

    No one else in the league has appreciated or enjoyed their historic run through the NBA at the very least we should now that it is most likely over. And if the Spurs lose at home, I sincerely hope that those at the game stick around and send Duncan off with a standing ovation or acknowledge his great career as a player instead of arguing over Matt Bonner’s contribution.

  • Mark B

    Thank you for your serious reply to my jokey post. I kind of hope they can win on Thursday, just to give a little more to the San Antonio fans who have received so much already. I’m so appreciative of what Tim, Tony and Manu have given us over the years, but I’m also cognizant that they can’t do it forever. I’m confident that the fans in San Antonio will cheer the big three as the great champions they are, Tony Parker stated it at the beginning of the year. This is the last dance, let’s enjoy it Thursday, no matter what the outcome is.

  • Colin Rigney

    The 3rd quarter by Memphis was the dagger. As much as Memphis deserves credit here (and they deserve A LOT), the Spurs are as equally culpable with the turnovers, lack of defensive execution, and overall carelessness not synonymous with Spurs b-ball over the past decade.

    By the way. Splitter played too in a decent first half. However, like most level-headed fans noted previously, it didn’t and wouldn’t matter.

    As promising as the first half was for a fight similar to games 1-3, I do not understand how this team could come out in the 2nd half the way they did. Truly confusing actually that we couldn’t sustain the precedent set in the first half.

    As a Spurs fan for the past 25 yrs, it was pretty disheartening to see this game all the way through. It was obvious we had no answers or heart to sustain any sort of comeback in the 4th.

    Game 5 is on Wednesday. I will watch like a true fan and still hold some hope a 3-1 deficit can be surmounted.

  • John T.

    Hey Mark B.

    Sorry I was not paying attention when I went to reply I did not realize I was responding to your post specifically. Obviously I need to get used to the new site as well….

  • http://twitter.com/graydongordian Graydon Gordian

    Yes, the FO has made some questionable decisions, but I still have lots of faith in Popovich and Buford. By saying he got outcoached in a single series does not mean I have lost faith in him. If anything, we should be incredibly impressed he whipped this group into a 60-win team.

    Some of the specifics you mention — Scola, Bonner, RJ — are most certainly the decisions I’m the least enthusiastic about, but I don’t think Popovich’s job security has affected his desire to win. I think the declining abilities of his star players has affected his ability to win.

  • Junierizzle

    Even with the close outs our shooters still had time to launch a three. You’re telling me Bonner can’t shoot over Randolph? Dude can’t even jump. I lost count of all the times the SPURS had time to pull the trigger and they didn’t.

  • DD bb fan

    The Spurs won games this year because they pushed the ball up the court. Scoring up from last year and wins up. How many times this series have we done that in the shot clock? Not many. Spurs wait for defense to get set. No easy buckets. Pushing ball up court speeds the Spurs tempo up. Playing fast with passes once defense is set is totally different. Our players are still stationary, sometimes with hands on knees (aka RJ). In game 2 Spurs went up quickly bc they pushed, got open shots and hit them in rhythm. Standing around is not in rhythm. PUSH the ball.

    Spurs are so concerned about Memphis offensive rebounds that all 5 players are on defensive glass. That needs to change and get back to our running. Duncan and MD can handle boards.

    Spurs defense is tentative. First half Parker put pressure in back court. 2nd half below 3 point line. Why not pressure the guards. At least make the entry pass into post more difficult. Playoff defense should be more aggressive not less. Dallas even trapped Portland to change the game. Oh yea. Memphis cause a turn over bc they pressed. The Spurs lack of defense allows Memphis to run any play they want. They should over play some passing lanes. I would rather see Spurs play aggressively and give up some Offensive boards.

    Tiago played fine. His youth showed when running the floor.

    Most sports come down to who is the more aggressive team wins. Spurs are not aggressive.

  • Mark B

    Well, you mentioned colors in your post, so I figured it somehow fit together, even though it was a bit of a non sequitur. Serendipity.

  • Anonymous

    So this is how Dallas fans feel.

    Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t completely given up. But after witnessing last night’s travesty, I’m not sure the Spurs can recover.

    If they lose this series, or at least don’t make it competitive, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of roster blowup. I know a lot of people have been pining for that already, but it’s going to be really sad.

    Sorry if this is so downbeat. I’m trying to not think about it too much. I just keep telling myself it’s just sports, and move on. Doesn’t make it the least bit less disappointing, though.

  • manufan

    If you were watching the game you would know that we got beat mostly because of Allen and Artur play. It’s energy and momentum that matters in playoffs.

  • DCSpurs

    I turned off the TV in disbelief right after that dagger 3 by Battier. I felt like the Spurs were fighting to stay alive, fighting to come back, so it just really stung to see it all go down like that. I just couldn’t bear to see their faces anymore. My heart just goes out to the guys. There is passion and there is heart still there. I still have hope and will be rooting for the Spurs like a mad man tomorrow. Stay strong Spurs fan.

    Where is ITGuy? He knows what to say right now.

  • DCSpurs

    I turned off the TV in disbelief right after that dagger 3 by Battier. I felt like the Spurs were fighting to stay alive, fighting to come back, so it just really stung to see it all go down like that. I just couldn’t bear to see their faces anymore. My heart just goes out to the guys. There is passion and there is heart still there. I still have hope and will be rooting for the Spurs like a mad man tomorrow. Stay strong Spurs fan.

    Where is ITGuy? He knows what to say right now.

  • Rickla

    totally agree. Every time they cut to a shot of Pop he looked shell shocked. He knows he doesn’t have the horses to win this race.

  • betsyduncan

    We couldn’t get Splitter any sooner—remember Tau Ceramica not releasing him? Nice thought, though.

  • NYC

    Actually, that would be Corey Brewer’s mistake. It’s not like the Spurs didn’t go after him, offering all that we could to him. He chose to sign with the Mavs.

  • betsyduncan

    I’m with you, Colin. I love this team and I want to see them do well. But they have to want to do well, themselves. I haven’t seen a consistent effort from EVERYONE, AT THE SAME TIME, AS A TEAM, yet!

  • betsyduncan

    Bob: The most cogent analysis I’ve read here so far today.

  • betsyduncan

    Bob: The most cogent analysis I’ve read here so far today.

  • NYC

    These same issues have been discussed ad nauseum during the regular season. Unfortunately, you will have to go back in time to dig them up if you want the full details. The short answers to your questions are as follows.

    1) Scola was traded away due to financial reasons, not because he was perceived to be incompatible in the front court

    2) Bonner was re-signed because he possesses a specific skill set the Spurs want, a stretch 4. We can debate whether the Spurs have overvalued/overcommitted to that game plan, but it doesn’t change the fact that they decided to follow such a strategy and Bonner was the best option available to them. Also, we have Bonner’s Bird rights and re-signing him did not take away from our MLE. Re-signing him was a no brainer and correctly so.

    3) Jefferson did the Spurs a huge favor by opting out of his contract. If he did not do this, this entire issue is moot. Spurs hands are completely tied: the only thing they could have done was to trade him, and there was no way they were going to get equal value back given how poor RJ had played. No other team wanted him with the contract he had. Due to this and the looming lock out, RJ opted out so as to get longer term financial security via a new contract.

    The Spurs could now either re-sign RJ for a much reduced price and hope he will improve over the summer, or they can let him walk and get nothing in return. Being over the limit, the most they could offer to a free agent SF replacement would have been the MLE, whereas re-signing RJ allowed them to use a different exception. (Someone please correct me if I am wrong here.) Preserving the MLE meant they could now finally bring over Splitter. If they had let RJ walk and let Bonner walk, they are still over the limit and the best they could offer to free agents is the MLE. That means one MLE and veteran exceptions to replace two starting positions–yes, Matt Bonner was a starter the previous year–and no Splitter. You do the math.

    As it happened, Spurs brought back the best available starting SF in RJ, brought Bonner back to the bench, brought over Splitter with a portion of the MLE, and signed a Gary Neal from overseas. (I’m not sure if they used an exception, part of the MLE, or just straight up signed Neal to a low salary. Someone please jump in here.) I think the FO did pretty well.

    Basketball is both a business and a game played on the court. We can disagree with the decisions regarding the on-court product, but I don’t see how anyone can fault the FO’s savvy business decisions. They did not “[waste] the last few years of Duncan’s career.”

  • Brandon in LA

    It seems like the players have tuned out Coach Pop. He keeps pleading with them to pick up the defense, and the players keep making the same mistakes. Any chance we can hire Mike Brown next season to revitalize the defense, like Tom Thibodeau did for Boston? Apparently, the organization loves Brown, and vice versa. Even though people in Cleveland derided Brown’s offense, they praised his defensive schemes.

    On another note, it’s strange to say it, but I miss Jacque Vaughn. Even though he couldn’t score to save his
    life, Vaughn could steady the offense and settle the team down when Paker went his periodic turnover frenzies. We haven’t had a true backup point since he retired. Hill is a combo guard, and that doesn’t cut it in the playoffs against an active defense. Vaughn could at least make safe passes and run plays properly. Perhaps it’s time to free Chris Quinn?

    Lakers are disappointed in Steve Blake, maybe we could take him off their hands. Or target Ramon Sessions. Heck, Luke Ridnour would be helpful.

  • Brandon in LA

    It seems like the players have tuned out Coach Pop. He keeps pleading with them to pick up the defense, and the players keep making the same mistakes. Any chance we can hire Mike Brown next season to revitalize the defense, like Tom Thibodeau did for Boston? Apparently, the organization loves Brown, and vice versa. Even though people in Cleveland derided Brown’s offense, they praised his defensive schemes.

    On another note, it’s strange to say it, but I miss Jacque Vaughn. Even though he couldn’t score to save his
    life, Vaughn could steady the offense and settle the team down when Paker went his periodic turnover frenzies. We haven’t had a true backup point since he retired. Hill is a combo guard, and that doesn’t cut it in the playoffs against an active defense. Vaughn could at least make safe passes and run plays properly. Perhaps it’s time to free Chris Quinn?

    Lakers are disappointed in Steve Blake, maybe we could take him off their hands. Or target Ramon Sessions. Heck, Luke Ridnour would be helpful.

  • Brandon in LA

    It seems like the players have tuned out Coach Pop. He keeps pleading with them to pick up the defense, and the players keep making the same mistakes. Any chance we can hire Mike Brown next season to revitalize the defense, like Tom Thibodeau did for Boston? Apparently, the organization loves Brown, and vice versa. Even though people in Cleveland derided Brown’s offense, they praised his defensive schemes.

    On another note, it’s strange to say it, but I miss Jacque Vaughn. Even though he couldn’t score to save his
    life, Vaughn could steady the offense and settle the team down when Paker went his periodic turnover frenzies. We haven’t had a true backup point since he retired. Hill is a combo guard, and that doesn’t cut it in the playoffs against an active defense. Vaughn could at least make safe passes and run plays properly. Perhaps it’s time to free Chris Quinn?

    Lakers are disappointed in Steve Blake, maybe we could take him off their hands. Or target Ramon Sessions. Heck, Luke Ridnour would be helpful.

  • Grizz Bias

    A tautological premise: “The Grizzlies are winning this series, and the Grizzlies aren’t losing this series.”

    If “the Grizzlies are winning” is restated as “Wg” and “the Grizzlies are not not winning” (more simply: “the Grizzlies aren’t losing”) is treated as “~~Wg,” we can state the premise Wg & ~~Wg…or the equivalent Wg & Wg, which is tautological.

    My point was that your original sentence is a conjunction of two entirely different arguments. Above, it seems to me that you are offering Wg & ~~Ws.
    However, you argue that “not not winning” and “losing” are not interchangeable. That’s fair, I suppose, but if winning/not winning (W/~W) and losing/not losing (L/~L) are different terms, you would symbolize your statement as Wg & ~Ls.

  • Grizz Bias

    A tautological premise: “The Grizzlies are winning this series, and the Grizzlies aren’t losing this series.”

    If “the Grizzlies are winning” is restated as “Wg” and “the Grizzlies are not not winning” (more simply: “the Grizzlies aren’t losing”) is treated as “~~Wg,” we can state the premise Wg & ~~Wg…or the equivalent Wg & Wg, which is tautological.

    My point was that your original sentence is a conjunction of two entirely different arguments. Above, it seems to me that you are offering Wg & ~~Ws.
    However, you argue that “not not winning” and “losing” are not interchangeable. That’s fair, I suppose, but if winning/not winning (W/~W) and losing/not losing (L/~L) are different terms, you would symbolize your statement as Wg & ~Ls.

  • Grizz Bias

    A tautological premise: “The Grizzlies are winning this series, and the Grizzlies aren’t losing this series.”

    If “the Grizzlies are winning” is restated as “Wg” and “the Grizzlies are not not winning” (more simply: “the Grizzlies aren’t losing”) is treated as “~~Wg,” we can state the premise Wg & ~~Wg…or the equivalent Wg & Wg, which is tautological.

    My point was that your original sentence is a conjunction of two entirely different arguments. Above, it seems to me that you are offering Wg & ~~Ws.
    However, you argue that “not not winning” and “losing” are not interchangeable. That’s fair, I suppose, but if winning/not winning (W/~W) and losing/not losing (L/~L) are different terms, you would symbolize your statement as Wg & ~Ls.

  • Bob

    I am starting to belief Phil Jackson’s statement about coaches having a shelf life has some value. 50 win seasons are great but maybe you need some new blood to energize the players. But your right the defense has been horrible. I could take the missed shots if they were playing great defense. I know they used to funnel the defensive player into Duncan in the paint. That seemed to work pretty well. It might be better than getting killed by jumpshots all year. At the beginning of the season it may have seemed like a fluky shooting but it’s now clear the Spurs are just not playing good enough defense.

  • http://twitter.com/drizzy_dreday Andre Manning

    The Defense from the Grizzlies wasnt impressive?