The best NBA column of the week belongs to grouchy TJ Simers, who took a blowtorch to the poor city of Memphis this week. Simers is at his best when he’s going after cities/fanbases:
I was a Memphian. I worked in this Mid-South sweatbox 32 years ago, never returning until forced to do so now. But I can tell you after all these years the place still smells like no one showers.
Never been to Memphis. Odds I’ll ever spend a night in the city? Roughly 4.7 percent.
The city’s highlight is Beale Street, a rundown slab of bars with police running a wand over anyone wanting to enter the area Saturday night. It’s a nice reminder to folks coming downtown that not everyone is likely to make it home safe.
The closest I’ve ever come to Memphis was watching the CW show “Hellcats.” It purportedly took place in Memphis (but was shot in Vancouver).
Due to a scheduling quirk, the Clippers got an extra day of rest following game one, when they expended every ounce of energy they had to rally from 24 down in the fourth quarter to stun Memphis, 99-98. The Grizzlies are favored by 6.5, but it’s anyone’s guess what the impact will be. Will LA be content to have the split and get blown out? Will Memphis come out in a fog and still stunned, three days later? I had the idea to talk to Brandon Roy about it – he was part of Portland’s incredible rally last year against the Mavericks – but his agent never called me back.
Two injuries of note: Tony Allen of Memphis (knee) may not play. Caron Butler of the Clippers is out for a month due to a broken hand suffered in game one. [LA Times]