Tony Speaks, Z-Bo wins and Shane Flops? Grizz around the web

Even after the depressing and moronic loss to the Clippers Tuesday, things remain good in Grizz country and the world is noticing. Probably to compete with MemphiSport’s own massive magazine interview with Tony Allen (available FREE at Kroger, Huey’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Central Barbecue and any other location that carries MemphiSport), writers and list-makers around the country are showing the Grizzlies some much-deserved love. With a playoff clinch almost a certainty, it’s about time.

Here are some highlights from the week.

April 4
Zach Randolph wins NBA Player of the week.
Old news by now to be sure, but still good news. The award was Z-Bo’s third of the year. Only one other player has earned the award more times this season, and that player is not Tim Duncan or Kevin Love. All-Star committee – learn something. moves Grizzlies up to #7 in weekly power rankings.

USA Today says Tony Allen is “All about Effort”
A nice one-on-one with Allen by J. Michael Falgoust. But really Falgoust, you asked Tony why he “rarely smiles?” Guess that reporter didn’t pay attention to his play with the Grizz this year.

If Tony Allen rarely smiles, what is this? Picture by Chase Gustafson.

For a one-on-one with a writer who is more aware of Tony’s propensity for facial expressions, check out this month’s MemphiSport magazine, available for FREE all over town.

Sports Illustrated’s player poll ranks Shane Battier as #6 “flopper” in the NBA
This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, it’s been well-documented since his Duke days. Battier is great at forcing calls for offensive fouls, and that’s not going to happen regularly without a little embellishment.

It's been going on for a while is the point.

The beautiful thing about this kind of attention, is it shows that not only are basketball writers, players and fans from around the country taking notice of the Grizz, they are starting to become afraid to the point of frustration.

How often have Memphis fans used the term ‘Grizzly killer’ to describe an opposing player? Those guys who the Grizz just can’t do anything about? Robert Horry, Chase Budinger, Kyle Korver – the list is pretty big.

But now the Grizzlies have a few players that can make opposing teams’ fans think the same thing. Allen and Randolph always, Battier, Arthur and Gasol sometimes. The Grizzlies have guys that play well enough to inspire opposing fans and players to add expletives before their names.

April 6
John Hollinger writes about Tony Allen in his All-Defensive team article
This article requires an ESPN insider subscription, so enjoy another link to a free article with a nice excerpt. (Note: MemphiSport’s content is always available free, including the latest and greatest issue, which you may have forgotten has an awesome interview with Tony Allen inside.)

The link above gives you a chance to vote Allen into ESPN’s TrueHoop Scrappers starting five, so it may be worth a look.

April 7
Chris Herrington makes a case for every good Grizzly for every award
A set of really fun write-ups yesterday from Chris Herrington at the Memphis Flyer’s Beyond the Arc blog. Herrington argues Tony Allen for Defensive player of the year, Darrell Arthur for the sixth man award, and Z-Bo for the all NBA team.

April 8
Bill Simmons ranks Grizzlies #11 in NBA, can’t make compliments without adding a backhand
It’s no secret that the Sports Guy has it in for Memphis, and it’s all because of Chris Wallace. Simmons love of the Celtics and hatred of the way Wallace ran the Celtics prohibits him from ever saying anything outright nice about the local blue bears.

In part two of his end-of-season NBA ranking column, Simmons chalks every player move that has worked for the Grizzlies to good luck – calling them the “Bizarro Good Management Team.” In between explaining why none of Memphis’ personnel moves should have worked, he talks about how they did.

Simmons does admit to a growing league-wide sentiment however: “I would not want to play Memphis in Round One. At all.”

All in all a fun week, not even Violet Palmer could spoil it completely. Playoffs are looming and the league is genuinely afraid to play the Grizz. BTW Playoff tickets go on sale Sunday.

Doug Gillon covers the Grizzlies for MemphiSport. You can follow him via Twitter@douggillon. For more live tweets during Grizzlies games follow  @memphisport@cerrito, and @chasingphoto.

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