Random thoughts: Iron Man 3 and why the Grizzlies could be the next 2004 Pistons

As promised I have been seeing more movies this summer and I just caught Iron Man 3. Here’s what I thought. First things first, the movie was incredible. If you see it, make sure to see it in 3D.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Things I liked:

  1. Don Cheadle was a badass in this one. The culminating scene where he and Tony Starks are battling it out with the Extremis soldiers shows that, when no suits are involved, Colonel James Rhodes is the tough guy.
  2. The Mandarin terrorist videos were genuinely scary. They were so reminiscent of Bin Laden’s terror videos from earlier this decade. The scene where he gives the president 30 seconds to save the accountant’s life and then shoots him anyway was so cold blooded. The preceding speech he gave him about his “final lesson” truly made you fear the Mandarin. Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin voice and Bane’s voice from The Dark Knight Rises are one and two on my eloguent-yet-terrifying voice list.

Things I didn’t

  1. Since I loved the Mandarin’s videos in the first half of the movie I couldn’t wait for him and Tony Stark’s first dialogue. That’s why I was incredibly disappointed when he turned out to be an actor. A beer drinking, weird accented, goofball. Not the interaction I was hoping for.
  2. So many one-liners. You kind of have to expect an influx in one-liners in any part three of a trilogy but at times that’s all there was. Fortunately Robert Downey Jr. is perfect in these movies so they pulled it off. One of them stuck out to me though. Stark is clearly pissed off when Pepper “dies” yet when she comes back I think the first thing he says is “I got nothin’”. C’mon, that one was cheesy.

 

On to things that really matter though….

The Spurs advance to their 8th WCF in the last 15 years while the Grizzlies are in their first in franchise history. Just based on playoff experience (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Pop) the Spurs are favorites but I think people need to stop sleeping on the Grizzlies. They’ve been the underdog (according to betting lines) in each of their first two series and again in this one. Here’s the main reason they will prove the doubters wrong again.

They are the 2013 version of the 2004 Detroit Pistons. Check this out

The Pistons had elite defenders at 3 of 5 starting spots with C Ben Wallace, SF Tayshaun Prince, and PG Chauncey Billups all making multiple All-Defensive Teams.medium_ben wallace

The Grizzlies have elite defenders at 3 of 5 of their starting spots with C Marc Gasol (Defensive POY and 2nd team All-Defense), SG/SF Tony Allen (1st team and leading vote getter), and PG Mike Conley (2nd team).

This means that the Grizzlies have a lock down defender each for Parker (Conley), Ginobili (Allen) and Duncan (Gasol) which is terrible news for the Spurs. Last series Ginobili struggled mightily and now he has to deal with Tony Allen, an absolute dog of an on-ball defender. Also, quietly, Duncan didn’t have any “great” games last series either. Yes he had four doubles doubles but, I mean, were any of them memorable? He wasn’t exactly the model of efficiency in getting any one of them, shooting below 50% in all but one game last series (and two games this entire playoffs). If that’s what Andrew Bogut can do to Duncan, what is Gasol, a slightly bigger, more mobile defender going to do to him?

Mike+Conley+Memphis+Grizzlies+v+Oklahoma+City+AMPL0odCREdxThe Pistons spread the ball throughout the game but had a late game go to scorer in the front court (Rasheed Wallace) AND back court (Chauncey Billups).

The Grizzlies spread the ball throughout the game and then have PF Zach Randolph or PG Mike Conley to go to late in the fourth quarter.

Late game scoring was the (alleged) knock on this team going into the playoffs but Mike Conley has more than proven himself to be up to the task. And, despite some late missed free throws, Randolph has a reputation as someone who can step up and give you a much needed basket.

The Pistons were great at home, going 10-3 in the playoffs (with one loss coming in triple overtime)nba_g_grizzfans_576

The Grizzlies are undefeated in their five home games so far.

Memphis, like Detroit did, has a loud, passionate fan base and a great home atmosphere. They have rode this to five straight wins at home with their closest loses being by six points. They have to keep this trend alive if they’re going to beat the Spurs, who have home court advantage. But this is status quo for the Grizz, who haven’t had home court advantage yet in these playoffs.

 

In the end, the Grizzlies’ defense will be too much for the Spurs. Pondexter and Bayless need to hit some big threes though. Grizzlies in 7

 

 

Oh, one more thing about the 2004 Pistons. They went to the Finals with no stars and beat an “unbeatable” Lakes team loaded with them…..I’m just saying.

AAGC014  miamiheat3

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