Greatest debut you’ll never see

10.29.09 8 years ago 72 Comments

Allen Iverson

For a franchise that supposedly doesn’t have any money, the Grizzlies went all-out for their home opener. After introducing the Pistons to the theme from Beverly Hills Cop (cute), the Jumbotron showed a dramatic over-the-top video where Allen Iverson and Rudy Gay talked about “Grizz Nation” and defending homecourt. Then the DJ put on a Michael Myers/Halloween-inspired track, and the Jabbawockeez appeared at midcourt to dance. THEN they brought out Three Six Mafia, wearing Memphis jerseys and performing “Stay Fly” to bleed into the player intros, complete with smoke machines and everything else. The Grizzlies also debuted their new alternate shiny jerseys. We’re thinking somebody planned this whole party under the assumption that Iverson would be in uniform … You couldn’t even deny it was a dope setup, but of course when it was over, you barely heard any reaction from the Memphis crowd. Maybe it’s because they knew what was coming next. On the opening tip-off, Zach Randolph was busy tying his shoes and took a few seconds before he even realized the game had started. On the first possession, an alley-oop intended for Gay sailed out of bounds, then Tayshaun Prince cruised through the defense for an easy dunk. Next time down, Z-Bo shot an airball. If there had been any energy in the building after that intro, it was gone by then, as the Grizzlies were on their way to a 25-point L … What’s going on with the Hornets? There’s a lingering aura of stink and depression around the team that surfaced in the latter stages of last season, got real ugly in the playoffs, didn’t go away in the preseason, and last night was still there as N.O. got smashed by the Spurs … One play summed up the entire night: Tony Parker (17 pts, 6 asts) fell down on a drive and lost the ball, and eventually it made its way to Manu Ginobili, who fired a pass to Parker on the baseline, who hit DeJuan Blair (14 pts, 11 rebs) with a touch pass for a layup. So even when the Spurs had a broken play, they made it look like that’s what they were supposed to do and scored off it. By the end of the third quarter it was a 20-piecing, and the fourth was just a formality … And can you believe the amount of panicking over the 0-2 Cavs? Falling to Paul Pierce‘s clutch shooting in a close game is one thing, but last night the Cavs looked like they were caught in letdown mode, losing by 10 to the Raptors. LeBron had a triple-double with 23 points, 11 boards and 12 assists, but it was really just a bad matchup for Cleveland, reminiscent of the Eastern Conference Finals loss to Orlando. Their bigs aren’t athletic enough to keep up with Chris Bosh (21 pts, 16 rebs) and Andrea Bargnani (28 pts). It also didn’t help that Mo Williams and Anthony Parker shot a combined 8-for-26 … Shocker of the night: Not Marcus Banks seeing the court (25 seconds!), but Jose Calderon bricking his first two free throws … Meanwhile, the Magic looked like the same unstoppable force they were in the preseason, handing the Sixers an ass-whupping. Dwight Howard posted 21 points and 15 boards, and Vince Carter added 15 points. Not that anybody in Philly was paying attention since they had the World Series to worry about, but you knew it was going to be bad when the Sixers’ first play resulted in Sam Dalembert getting a clear-out and throwing up a hook shot that put a ding in the backboard …


There was an addition to the extended Dime family this week, as longtime reader “POPPI GEE” welcomed his new bundle of joy into the world. He sent us this photo (right), which we had to share with you guys … Two days into the season, your Rookie of the Year front-runner is Ty Lawson. Coming off the bench and logging crunch-time minutes, Lawson had 17 points and six dimes in Denver’s win over the Jazz. And yes, his speed translates to the pro game; Lawson can turn on another gear and get from halfcourt to the rim in the time it takes you to say his first name … In a physical game that had a playoff atmosphere, Carmelo scored 30 (and unleashed a wicked dunk on Paul Millsap), while Deron Williams had 28 points and 13 dimes in the loss … Other standout stat lines from Wednesday: Kevin Durant had 25 points and 11 boards in OKC’s win over Sacramento; Ray Allen scored 18 in Boston’s blowout of the Bobcats, while the Celts’ D held their nemesis to just 59 points; D-Wade dropped 26 and Jermaine O’Neal had 22 and 12 boards in Miami’s win over the Knicks; Brook Lopez put up 27 points, 15 boards and five blocks on the Wolves, but the Nets lost on a Damien Wilkins buzzer-beater; Trevor Ariza scored 25 in Houston’s win at Golden State; and Steve Nash put up 24 points and eight dimes as Phoenix edged the Clippers … Pacers/Hawks had an interesting clash of styles matchup with Josh Smith (athleticism) and Troy Murphy (skill) guarding each other. Josh could obviously outrun Murphy all night, dunked on him a few times, and swatted one his shots from behind simply by leaping over Murphy’s head. But Murphy (14 pts, 10 rebs, 7 asts) held his own by catching Josh (18 pts, 8 rebs, 5 stls) slipping on defense, fooling him on some pump-fakes, and burying accurate jumpers. And of course Troy had the advantage of wanting to win first, look good second, while Josh wanted to look good first, win second … It was nip/tuck in the fourth quarter Mike Bibby hit a couple daggers and the Pacers killed themselves with bad decision-making. With Atlanta pulling away, Larry Bird was shown in the stands looking like he wanted to drink a tall glass of Windex. Case in point: One time Dahntay Jones was triple-teamed and still tried a jumper that was predictably blocked. Just ’cause you can guard Kobe, doesn’t mean you can mimic Kobe … We’re out like ridiculous pieces of philosophical bullshit …

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