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Editorial Results (free)

1. LeBron’s Contract: Best Bargain in Sports -

The money can drive you crazy, if you let it. Each day in Memphis we’re reading about “blue flu” and the city’s ongoing financial crisis.

With that as our local backdrop, it’s easy to become disgusted with the LeBron James sweepstakes that sort of looks like a steel cage (no, make that bank vault) death match between glitzy Miami/slick Pat Riley and hardscrabble Cleveland/thin-skinned Dan Gilbert.

2. A Wise Sports Fan Appreciates the Journey -

So what does Team USA’s soccer experience and the Memphis Grizzlies experience have in common?

You know, besides the obvious – playing against a bunch of floppers/whiners, be they from Portugal or Lob City?

3. Grizzlies Draft UCLA's Adams, Memphis Native Stokes -

Whether it will prove to be a telling remembrance or not, news of the Grizzlies selecting guard UCLA shooting guard Jordan Adams with the No. 22 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft was largely met with mild disdain, sweeping indifference and a dash of tilt-your-head curiosity.

4. Grizzlies Seek NBA Draft Night Magic -

Three years ago, you probably had never heard of Kawhi Leonard. He played at San Diego State, the same school from which the Grizzlies selected guard Jamaal Franklin in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft.

5. Finals Presents Intriguing Question About Coaching -

So if the Miami Heat win a third straight NBA championship, it’s all about LeBron James and a cast of future Hall-of-Famers that includes Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and, in a lot of people’s view, Chris Bosh.

6. Teeing Off -

Everyone was in a good mood. Not just normally affable Grizzlies players Mike Conley and Mike Miller, but former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown, a couple of hard-nosed throwback types.

7. NBA Fuels Fans’ Suspicion of Game Fixing -

Just so there is no misunderstanding, let me answer this question first:

Do I believe NBA Playoff games are actually fixed?

No, I do not. I don’t think that Commissioner Adam Silver now, or David Stern before him, is sitting in the rafters of NBA arenas and pulling strings that make puppets, er, officials, blow whistles when someone deigns to breathe on LeBron James or Kevin Durant.

8. Grizz Looking Forward to Next Season’s Grind -

Tony Allen, still believing, had “packed for a three-day trip to L.A.” and another playoff confrontation with the Clippers.

9. Z-Bo’s Future Dominates Grizz Talk -

If there was one thing that the Memphis Grizzlies’ seven-game playoff series with Oklahoma City didn’t lack, it was drama. There were four overtimes and several plot twists before the Thunder put the Grizzlies down in Game 7 as they played without Zach Randolph, who was suspended by the NBA for a hard push/punch in Game 6.

10. Thunder's 'Easy Points' Take Grizz Down 104-84 -

In a season dedicated to doing things the hard way, the Memphis Grizzlies are now face-to-face with a Game 7 on Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Able to survive blowing leads, able to win three of four overtime games to take a 3-2 series lead over the No. 2 seed Thunder, the Grizzlies could not stomach their fleeting prosperity. In fact, they could not even make Game 6 Thursday night on their home court anything close to competitive.

11. Heisley’s Legacy: Believing in Memphis -

It is said that the famous have their lives summed up in the first paragraph of their public obituary.

The first sentence from a recent obit in The New York Times read: “Michael Heisley, the billionaire financier, who bought the N.B.A.’s floundering Vancouver Grizzlies in April 2000 and soon moved them to Memphis, where he revitalized the franchise, died on Saturday in Illinois. He was 77.”

12. Grizzlies Look to Clinch Tight Series -

Through five playoff games, four overtimes and three wins in overtime, the Memphis Grizzlies have played fast and loose with opportunities.

Big leads have evaporated – see that 20-point advantage in the third quarter of Game 5 at Oklahoma City Tuesday night – and late leads have been squandered – see that five-point cushion with about a minute to go in the Game 4 loss at FedExForum.

13. Grizz Players React to Sterling’s Comments -

Five years ago, for part of one NBA season, Zach Randolph was a Los Angeles Clipper and on the payroll of owner Donald Sterling.

14. Best of Three -

After the Game 3 victory in overtime, Tony Allen made it plain that the Grizzlies were all about stopping Oklahoma City stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

15. Grizzlies’ Conley Wins Sportsmanship Award -

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley has been named the 2013-14 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner.

16. Grizzlies’ Conley Wins NBA Sportsmanship Award -

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley has been named the 2013-14 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner.

17. Grizz Nation Rallies Around Entire Team -

It was a natural enough question, but if you’re a Grizzlies fan you had to love the answer.

On Wednesday, April 23, a day before Game 3 of the Grizzlies’ first-round series with Oklahoma City, a visiting reporter asked Tony Allen (who played at Oklahoma State) if he was finding extra motivation from playing the Thunder.

18. Allen, Grizz Ready for Thunder’s Adjustments -

If Kevin Durant is Superman then Tony Allen is … that’s right, kryptonite. At least that was the contention in at least one Internet headline after Allen rendered Durant mortal in the Grizzlies’ overtime win in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series at Oklahoma City.

19. Joerger Still Floating After Epic Game 2 -

About 12 hours after the Memphis Grizzlies’ epic 111-105 overtime victory at Oklahoma City Monday, April 21, in Game 2 of a first-round Western Conference Playoff series, coach Dave Joerger was still trying to find his voice.

20. No Bluffing -

Each season the last home game at FedExForum is Fan Appreciation Night and a Grizzlies’ player is charged with grabbing the microphone and walking to center court to say a few words before tip-off.

21. Grizzlies Share Similar Season with Champs -

When the Miami Heat came to town in early April, they were not the two-time defending NBA champions as much as they were the next obstacle between the Grizzlies and their desired destination: The Western Conference playoffs.

22. Tony Back to Being Tony in Key Win -

Someday a professor of sports science will write a book on the Grizzlies’ Tony Allen or the good professor’s head will explode in the trying.

23. Grizzlies Ice Heat in ‘Huge’ Win -

A day earlier, the Grizzlies had talked a like a team that had misplaced its identity. The coach spoke of the team losing its “swagger.” The players spoke of still having everything in front of them – “we control own destiny” was mentioned more than once – and yet the prevailing feeling was one of doubt.

24. Crunch Time -

The regular season is down to 12 games and the Grizzlies are a season-high 14 games over .500 at 42-28. They have a 10-game home winning streak.

As forward Zach Randolph said, “This is the best time to be peaking.”

25. Rested Grizz Prep for Playoff Push -

Historians, not to mention members of the 1985-86 Boston Celtics bench, will note that in the Grizzlies’ recent victory over the Utah Jazz the Memphis bench shot 42.9 percent: significant because it ended a stretch of 14 straight games of the bench shooting 50 percent or better, the longest such streak in the NBA since those Celtics did so in 15 consecutive games.

26. Grizz Players Also Have March Madness -

Point guard Mike Conley played in an NCAA title game with Ohio State. Mike Miller did the same with Florida.

27. Wins Come in Various Ways -

One night at FedExForum, the Grizzlies beat Portland by 10 points as they shoot a season-best 56 percent, three players score 17 or more points, and energizer James Johnson never gets on the floor.

28. Calathes Named West’s Rookie of the Month -

The NBA announced that Memphis Grizzlies point guard Nick Calathes has been named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February.

Calathes led all Western Conference rookies in steals (1.75 spg) and field goal percentage (.495), and ranked second in scoring (10.7 ppg), rebounds (3.6 rpg), assists (4.7 apg) and minutes (28.6 mpg) during February. He scored in double figures seven times to help guide Memphis to a 7-5 record during the month.

29. Sales Pitch -

For every professional sports team, there are at least two running narratives: the one on the court or field of play and the one at the box office.

As Grizzlies fans watch the team finish out the season in pursuit of a playoff berth, everyone understands each victory is invaluable. But for the people in charge of filling the seats at FedExForum, so is every season-ticket holder.

30. Actions Should Speaker Louder Than Words -

The Sports Morality Police have pinned on their badges and are cracking down on athlete-on-athlete crime.

You know, those vicious moments where one millionaire calls another millionaire a name across the line of scrimmage in what amount to little more than a grunt.

31. Score-Watching Grizz Can’t Lose Sight of Opponents -

Two hours before the Grizzlies played the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at FedExForum, Memphis coach Dave Joerger talked about the last loss – at Charlotte – the game ahead, and that aggravating play that recently invaded Memphis living rooms, including Joerger’s own.

32. Hobbled Grizzlies Won’t Go Down Without Fight -

Two years ago, Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph returned from a torn MCL in his right knee and essentially finished out the season on one leg.

In other words, Randolph walked – or hobbled – in the high tops that center Marc Gasol now wears as he plays with a brace on his left knee after returning to the court following an MCL sprain that kept him out of 23 games.

33. Grizzlies Grit-n-Grind Way to Needed Win -

It took until Tuesday, Feb. 18, but with the Grizzlies’ 98-93 victory over New York, they raised their record at FedExForum (15-14) above .500 for the first time since they were 3-2 after a home loss to Toronto on Nov. 13.

34. Grizzlies Grit-n-Grind Way to Much-Needed Win -

It took until Tuesday, Feb. 18, but with the Grizzlies’ 98-93 victory over New York, they raised their record at FedExForum (15-14) above .500 for the first time since they were 3-2 after a home loss to Toronto on Nov. 13.

35. Grizz Look at Final 30 With Hope for Strong Finish -

As the Grizzlies took their leave from FedExForum, having won their last home game before the NBA All-Star break, forward James Johnson looked toward the next night’s game at Orlando. He made clear that the Grizzlies were not thinking of Disney World or any other fantasyland, but were committed to the work immediately in front of them.

36. Stretch Against East Teams Pivotal for Grizz Playoffs Push -

It wasn’t unthinkable that Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks would come into FedExForum and win. They were, after all, protecting a one-game lead over the Grizzlies for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, Nowitzki has been on a hot streak, Rick Carlisle is one of the NBA’s best coaches and the Grizzlies were without point guard Mike Conley.

37. Playoffs Implications -

The calendar says the Dallas Mavericks will be at FedExForum to play the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Just one game of 82 in the coast-to-coast marathon that is the NBA season.

But it’s a game that has the potential to weigh heavily on the Grizzlies’ ultimate playoff fate. The Mavericks come in sitting in the eighth and final playoff position in the Western Conference with a record of 28-21.

38. Grizzlies Add Guard to Roster -

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Darius Morris to a 10-day contract, the team announced Monday.

Grizzlies starting point guard Mike Conley suffered an ankle sprain in the Friday, Jan. 31, game at Minnesota. Rookie Nick Calathes started in the Feb. 1 game vs. Milwaukee and scored a career-high 22 points.

39. Grizzlies Making Key Strides -

Last Saturday, Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale was looking back at his team’s 88-87 loss at home to the Grizzlies the previous night.

The teams were about to play again at FedExForum, a quirk in the schedule that essentially created a 24-hour two-game series.

40. That’s Entertainment -

It was late in Game 6 of the Grizzlies’ 2013 playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers. Already, FedExForum was abuzz with anticipation. The hated Clippers were about to go down. Grizz, the team’s chest-thumping mascot, scaled a ladder inside the arena and unfurled a banner:

41. Grizzlies Fighting Odds to Make Playoffs -

It was only fitting that for the Grizzlies to finally crawl back over .500 at 20-19 on Jan. 17, they had to rally from a seven-point deficit in the last 4:01 of the fourth quarter at FedExForum to beat the Sacramento Kings 91-90.

42. Gasol’s Return Has Hoop City Joyful Again -

Kevin Durant is a nice guy. He’s also a cold-blooded competitor.

“I usually don’t talk to the opposing team at all,” Durant said after he dropped 37 points on the Grizzlies. “But I saw him flagging me down. I told him, ‘Welcome back.’ He is one of those players. I don’t ever want to see a guy get injured.”

43. ‘Under the Radar’ Conley Carrying Grizzlies This Season -

Already, the national conversation has started. Who deserves to be on the NBA’s Western Conference All-Star team?

In Memphis, that question has become personal as fans and players stump for point guard Mike Conley. After Conley scored 31 points with seven assists (his second straight 30-point performance) in a five-point win over Phoenix, Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph pretty much spoke for everyone with a vested interest on this topic.

44. Grizzlies Look to Build Momentum -

Their winning streak is a modest two games. But don’t tell the Grizzlies they’re the same team that they were a month ago.

Since a five-game losing streak from Dec. 11-18, the Grizzlies have gone 7-4. They have added forward James Johnson, who has injected them with energy, athleticism and an ability to contribute numbers all across a box score. They have exchanged a disappointing Jerryd Bayless for shooting guard Courtney Lee, who in the Grizzlies 108-101 victory over Atlanta Sunday, Jan. 12, at FedExForum scored 15 points in his first start since being acquired from Boston on Jan. 7.

45. Grizzlies’ Gutsy Comeback Falls Short -

Fans had reason to cheer when the Grizzlies’ overtime game with the San Antonio Spurs ended Tuesday, Jan. 7, at FedExForum.

The home team had rallied from a 16-point deficit with 5:25 to play, and made up a 12-point gap in the last 1:59 of regulation. During a wild 14-2 run in those last two minutes, point guard Mike Conley scored nine of his season-high 30 points.

46. Grizzlies Trade Bayless to Celtics for Lee -

While the Grizzlies were flying back from Detroit Sunday after beating the Pistons, they knew that combo guard Jerryd Bayless soon would be leaving for Boston and that Celtics shooting guard Courtney Lee would be coming to Memphis in a trade.

47. NBA Notebook: December 20, 2013 -

The Grizzlies’ Nick Calathes Experiment, if you want to give it a name, continues. Brought in after playing four years in Europe to be Mike Conley’s backup at point guard, he has been playing more minutes in the wake of Conley’s bruised thigh.

48. Grizzlies Now the Team Getting Kicked Around -

It is no longer too early to determine the highlight of the Grizzlies 2013-2014 season.

It happened on Nov. 18 in Los Angeles when Tony Allen jumped and inadvertently kicked Clippers guard Chris Paul in the face.

49. Grizz Games Ending in Predictable Fashion -

Point guard Mike Conley stood at his locker after the Grizzlies had lost their third straight game, seen their home record drop to 5-9 (they were 32-9 at home last season), and their overall record fall to 10-13.

50. Shooting Woes, Injuries Piling Up for Grizzlies -

Even open shots, depending on who is taking them, are not necessarily a good option. So says coach Dave Joerger and, yes, that’s how bad the Grizzlies’ offense has become.

The Grizzlies mustered just 82 points in a 26-point loss to Golden State on Saturday, Dec. 7 at FedExForum, and it was most notable for the fact that, well, such losses are no longer notable.

51. Grizz Bigs Taking Advantage of Opportunity -

Not so long ago, forward Ed Davis entering a Grizzlies game cued a barrage of negative tweets and even a few scattered boos.

Some were directed at Davis for what, at the time, had been a portfolio of poor play. Some were directed at Grizzlies management because, as the popular narrative went, they were desperate for Davis to play and play well because he was considered the biggest piece of the Rudy Gay trade.

52. Grindhouse Now House of Horrors for Grizzlies -

The Grizzlies just started a six-game homestand with a loss – their fourth in a row at FedExForum.

Seems The Grindhouse has turned into a fun house for visiting teams this season as they have gone 5-3 against the Grizzlies.

53. NBA Uses More Ways to Prove ‘Numbers Don’t Lie’ -

Walk up to an ATM, and you’re on camera. Walk into a convenience store, and you’re on camera. Walk onto an NBA court during game time, and you’re not only on camera but every movement you make – or don’t make – will be tracked, sifted, analyzed.

54. Looking for Last Season’s Grizz to Make Appearance … Now -

The Grizzlies are going out on a four-game road trip that starts with a Friday, Nov. 15, game in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Maybe a change of scenery will do them good. After a 3-5 start to the season that feels even worse than the record, a change of scenery is as good an idea as any.

55. Rudy Gay Makes Memphis Return -

The Toronto Raptors had just finished practice on the main court at FedExForum. Rudy Gay, long-time Grizzly and current Raptor (for now), sat in a folding chair courtside with a bag of ice on each knee. It was Tuesday afternoon, and less than 24 hours after a two-overtime loss at Houston in which Gay had played 49 minutes, put up 37 shots (making 11) and scored 29 points with 10 rebounds.

56. Grizz Proving They Have a Lot to Prove -

To the question, how patient are Grizzlies fans willing to be, we now have a definitive answer.

Their patience broke as the third quarter ended Wednesday, Nov. 6, at FedExForum. Their Grizzlies – that gritty, lovable bunch that won 56 games last season and went to the Western Conference Finals – trailed the New Orleans Pelicans by 22 points.

57. One Game Way Too Soon to Panic -

Outright panic or complete denial? That seems to be the choice.

You can be in the camp that is convinced the Grizzlies will miss the playoffs because – drum roll, please – they lost the first game and had one horrid, putrid, disgusting quarter!

58. Troubling Trends Emerge as Grizz Begin Season -

First-year coach Dave Joerger had two goals heading into the Grizzlies’ eighth and final preseason game: “Don’t get anybody hurt, get better.”

The Grizzlies came through their 92-73 loss to the Houston Rockets at FedExForum Friday, Oct. 25, without injury. But they did not get better. Rather, they followed up their dreadful showing in Toronto two nights earlier – a 108-72 defeat – with a performance that raises many more questions than it answers.

59. ‘Intertwined’ -

In 2007, the Grizzlies were no longer a novelty in Memphis. They also were no longer a playoff team. Rather, they were a punch line lost in the expansive blue and gray shadow of the University of Memphis and a fast-talking operator/coach named John Calipari.

60. Grizz Desperately Seeking Strong Finish to Preseason -

Seven practice tests down, one to go. So far, the results have been mixed as the Grizzlies under first-year coach Dave Joerger at times have looked more dynamic, but also more erratic on offense and less devoted to playing defense.

61. Miller: Toughness Key to Continued Success -

In a way, it’s almost as though Mike Miller went abroad on a special internship. I mean, really, that’s how big the gap is from playing for the Grizzlies in small-market Memphis to going to South Beach to play a defined role on a Heat team that would win two NBA championships behind LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

62. Leuer, Davis Provide Bright Spots in Preseason Loss -

October makes for some great postseason baseball. But the preseason basketball? Not so great.

The Grizzlies were, at times, flat-out ragged in their play while losing 95-90 to the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday, Oct. 9, at FedExForum. It was especially rough in the early going as in the first half the Grizzlies made 13 of their 17 turnovers while running first-year coach Dave Joerger’s new offense aimed at moving the ball sooner in the 24-second shot clock.

63. Calathes Poised to ‘Surprise’ People in Rookie Season -

If rookie Nick Calathes turns out to be that long-coveted, legitimate back-up point guard for the Grizzlies, then count Mike Conley as the first one to have said, “I told you so.”

64. City Auto Fights Sickle Cell Disease -

City Auto helped in the fight against sickle cell disease in September, holding its inaugural Madison Hargrove Memorial Blood Drive. City Auto collected 21 units of blood at the event, enough to help up to 63 local patients.

65. City Auto Fights Sickle Cell Disease -

City Auto helped in the fight against sickle cell disease in September, holding its inaugural Madison Hargrove Memorial Blood Drive.

City Auto collected 21 units of blood at the event, enough to help up to 63 local patients.

66. Good Feelings Abound as Grizz Open Camp -

The immediate past features a franchise-best 56-win season, a first-ever trip to the Western Conference Finals and a declaration from ESPN The Magazine that the Memphis Grizzlies are the No. 1 pro sports franchise in North America.

67. Events -

The fifth annual Mike Conley Bowl-n-Bash, benefiting the Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes, 1576 S. White Station Road. Individual tickets are $125; teams of four are $500. Visit methodisthealth.org/bowlnbash to register.

68. Mike Conley Bowl-N-Bash to Fight Sickle Cell -

This weekend you can rub shoulders with Memphis Grizzlies stars while helping to strike a blow against the deadly sickle cell anemia disease.

Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is hosting his fifth annual Bowl-N-Bash benefit to raise funds to help fight sickle cell.

69. Anthony Praises Progress of City, Hoops Teams -

As a point guard at UNLV and in the NBA, Greg Anthony understood that job No. 1 was pleasing those around him.

70. Levien Discusses Grizzlies’ Accolades, Offseason Focus -

A day after the news broke that ESPN The Magazine had crowned the Memphis Grizzlies the best franchise in North American pro sports, team CEO Jason Levien sat down for a one-on-one interview with The Daily News.

71. Organic Education -

Bethel Grove Elementary School of Memphis marked the opening of its American Heart Association Teaching Garden recently with a Plant Day Celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony that included garden crafts, music and physical activity education.

72. Miller: Grizzlies ‘Right There’ on Path to Winning Championship -

Mike Miller had several teams interested in his 3-point shooting as a possible missing link for a long playoff run. It didn’t take him long to figure out where he wanted to be: Memphis.

73. Grit ‘N’ Grind Lives On in Memphis -

With apologies to the Rolling Stones, the Grizzlies’ off-season is its own lesson on the difference between what you want and what you need.

As yet, that much-desired pure 3-point shooter has not parachuted into Memphis. But the Grizzlies did what they needed to do, retaining free agent guard and fan favorite Tony Allen; reportedly, they have agreed in principle to a four-year, $20 million guaranteed contract.

74. Coaching Hire Presents Risk/Reward for Grizz -

So the Grizzlies finally made it official and promoted lead assistant Dave Joerger to head coach. This qualified as breaking news about as much as reporting that barbecue has been discovered in Memphis.

75. NBA Playoffs Serve as Reminder: Players More Valuable Than Coaches -

Game 6 of the NBA Finals was a lot of things, including epic and unbelievable and an instant classic. But it was also something else: a vivid reminder that players matter more than coaches.

From TV to Twitter San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, roundly recognized as the best coach in the NBA, took much criticism for the Spurs letting go of a 5-point lead with 28.2 seconds remaining as their fifth NBA title vanished – at least for a night.

76. Hollins Move Latest In New Grizz Plan -

Lionel Hollins repeatedly said more than he should have. So it is only fitting that the end of Hollins’ tenure as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies was marked by deafening silence from franchise CEO Jason Levien and then, finally, a press release saying the franchise was going to “move in a different direction.”

77. Hollins Move Latest in New Grizz Plan -

Lionel Hollins repeatedly said more than he should have. So it is only fitting that the end of Hollins’ tenure as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies was marked by deafening silence from franchise CEO Jason Levien and then, finally, a press release saying the franchise was going to “move in a different direction.”

78. Grizzlies Confident Despite Odds Against Them -

The Grizzlies have to win four of five to beat the San Antonio Spurs and advance to the NBA Finals. In other words, if reality itself could hold up a towel it would read: “I don’t bluff.”

The Grizzlies dropped the first two games in San Antonio and, historically speaking, a fool would soon part with his money if betting on the Grizzlies to come back and win the series. Because when a team wins the first two games of a seven-game series, it goes on to win that series 93.7 percent of the time. The Grizzlies already have upset these odds once, falling behind the Los Angeles Clippers 0-2 in this year’s opening-round playoff series before rallying to win four straight.

79. Grizz Win With Tony Being Tony -

Had things turned out differently, we would know too well Rule 12, Section V, item a, from the NBA rulebook:

“An official may assess a technical foul, without prior warning, at any time. A technical foul (s) may be assessed to any player on the court or anyone seated on the bench for conduct, which in the opinion of the official, is detrimental to the game. The technical foul must be charged to an individual.”

80. Grizz Claw Into Conference Finals -

His team had just overcome a 17-point first-half deficit and beaten Oklahoma City in overtime to win Game 4 and take a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series. So someone asked Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins if he was impressed.

81. Grizzlies Take Down Thunder in Overtime -

Moments before Game 4 of the Grizzlies-Oklahoma City playoff series tipped off at FedExForum Monday night, Tony Allen, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol stood at midcourt to be recognized for making the NBA’s All-Defensive teams (Allen first-team, Gasol and Conley second-team).

82. Grizzlies Must Maintain ‘Thirsty Dog’ Mentality -

As the Grizzlies’ series with the Oklahoma City Thunder shifted to Memphis for Game 3 on Saturday, May 11, the Grizzlies found themselves in much better position than during the Clippers’ series.

Instead of staring up at a 0-2 deficit, their Game 2 victory tied the series 1-1 and has allowed them the possibility to advance to the Western Conference Finals just by winning three games at FedExForum.

83. Grizzlies Trying to Create Season to Remember -

Disappointments past can set up unmitigated joy in the present. At its best, that’s how this whole sports fandom thing works.

You invest yourself emotionally (yes, perhaps financially, too) and if you hold the stock (your loyalty) long enough, there’s a nice payoff.

84. Z-Bo, Defense Bolster Grizz in Win -

In Game 1 in Los Angeles, the Grizzlies were missing in action. In Game 2, they were just good enough to lose by two points.

So Game 3 Thursday night at FedExForum provided a choice: win or try to become the first team in NBA history to rally from a 0-3 deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff series.

85. ‘Old School’ Gasol Feted As League’s Top Defender -

The NBA’s new Defensive Player of the Year was remembering another ceremony, more than a decade ago at The Pyramid.

“I was just a little kid watching my older brother be happy to be recognized,” center Marc Gasol said.

86. ‘Real Big Decisions’ Looming for Grizzlies -

The Grizzlies returned from Los Angeles down 2-0 to the Clippers, the idea of “Believe Memphis” being put to the test.

Thursday night, April 25, the Clippers and Grizzlies were to play Game 3 at FedExForum, and then Saturday, April 27, Game 4.

87. Clippers’ Bench Spells Trouble for Grizzlies -

The Los Angeles Clippers may or may not prove to be serious Western Conference title contenders. Count TNT analyst Charles Barkley as their No. 1 doubter, having called them “fool’s gold” and compared them to a pretty girl that steals your heart only for you to discover she is “dumb as a box of rocks.”

88. Grizzlies Shift Gears Into Playoff Mode -

Center Marc Gasol is never happy after a loss. Sometimes, he is not in a good mood after a victory because, like a coach, he sees the potential for future failure if the Grizzlies don’t play hard, focused and together.

89. Grizzlies Clearly Eager for Playoffs to Begin -

As the Grizzlies check off the last few days of the NBA’s regular-season calendar, the records continue to pile up.

With four games left, starting with the Friday, April 12, game at Houston, the Grizzlies already have won a franchise-record 53 games, are a franchise-best 28 games over .500 (53-25), have set a new record for wins at FedExForum (31), and clinched their first winning road record in team history.

90. Conley Proving Adept at Stealing the Show -

The question came at Lionel Hollins as a compliment, the way many questions after dramatic victories do.

The Grizzlies had just beaten the San Antonio Spurs, 92-90, at a rowdy FedExForum on a driving layup by point guard Mike Conley for the team’s 50th win – tying the franchise record. So the coach was asked to explain his team’s “resiliency.”

91. Grizzlies Proving Their Brand is Winning Games -

The long-term benefits of the Grizzlies’ 90-89 overtime win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, if there are any, won’t be known for a while. The Western Conference playoff standings are ever-changeable.

92. Post-Trade Grizzlies Finding Identity -

When Rudy Gay talked to Yahoo Sports about needing a change, about the trade from Memphis to Toronto being good for him, all the focus fell on the following quote about Memphis’s new ownership group:

93. Grizz Showing Scrappiness as Final Stretch Awaits -

Ever notice how the view from the winning and losing locker rooms is never the same, even though the teams played in the same game?

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, at FedExForum, the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks conspired, perhaps unwittingly, to set or match several season and franchise records (we’ll get to the numbers in a moment). But the shorthand for what happened is that the Mavericks won the first quarter, 38-19; the Grizzlies won the third quarter, 24-5; and ultimately Memphis overcame a 25-point first-half deficit to steal a 90-84 victory.

94. Grizzlies Must Reset Season’s Shot Clock -

In the NBA, everyone’s used to living with the tight deadline that is the 24-second shot clock. Players and coaches are always turning the page from last possession to next possession.

And so it must be for this Grizzlies’ season.

95. Nothing Too Absurd With These Grizz -

Trade 40 percent of your bench to Cleveland, play the Lakers the next night, and everything will be just fine. The Fakers are so bad they might not beat El Segundo Middle School at their gym.

But so what? Teams that make trades to avoid the luxury tax – small-market beggars – can’t be choosers. So the Grizzlies graciously accept the 106-93 victory, marvel at the 27-14 record and No. 4 spot in the Western Conference standings, and do all they can do to keep it going.

96. Tony and DJ: The City’s Basketball Game-Changers -

The supreme talents – the All-Americans, the All-Stars – can take possessions off and still score their 25 or 30 points a night. They can pick their spots to play defense, which in reality means going for a steal here and there, and then mostly defer on the hard work. You know, staying with their man step-for-step, cleaning the glass – sorry, I don’t do windows – or risking humiliation by contesting potential dunks – sorry, I’m not ending up on somebody’s poster.

97. Pre-Grizz Comments Show Change is Coming -

Deadspin.com has been getting a lot of publicity for breaking the story about the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax. But the site also compiled a list that is of far more relevance to local NBA fans:

98. Is Grizzlies’ Best Behind Them or Yet to Come? -

Is the Grizzlies’ potential not-yet-realized or grossly overestimated? That’s the only relevant question in the midst of Rudy Rumors, speculation about coach Lionel Hollins’ long-term future with the team, and the level of commitment new ownership is or isn’t willing to make in the here and now to this particular roster.

99. Gay Must be Traded Either Now or Later -

The time will come – after this season, if not before the Feb. 21 trade deadline – when moving Rudy Gay will be the only sensible thing for the Grizzlies’ new ownership to do.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave – or The Pyramid – you know that Rudy rumors are rampant. Pick a media outlet – from ESPN to Grantland to USA Today – and you can find any number of possible trade scenarios.

100. By the Numbers -

John Hollinger is a familiar sight at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the event Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has jokingly described as Geekapalooza.

Hollinger was a panelist this past March at the most recent conference, when he was still an ESPN columnist and a few months away from being offered a job in the Memphis Grizzlies front office.