I got to FedExForum last night with the intention of getting some quick video with Tony Allen, now with the New Orleans Pelicans. I was on my way to the court, when I bumped into TA in the hallway.
We did that handshake/half-hug thing black men do. I asked if he was talking to media in the locker room. He said he wasn’t, but he promised to make time for me before the night was up.
I didn’t get close to him the rest of the night.
And after the second quarter, the Pelicans didn’t get close to the Grizzlies. Memphis finished the preseason with a 142-101 blowout in which the Grizzlies put up more than 70 first-half points and seemed to score at will.
While it was fun to watch all the scoring, but the high point was when the Grizzlies arena DJ played “Go Harder” by Future — a Tony Allen anthem if there ever was one. They put him on the new jumbotron where you could see him mouthing the lyrics. As the crowd cheered, Allen eventually rose to his feet and waved at the crowd. There will certainly be a more elaborate salute to the Grindfather when the teams meet again for the regular season opener Wednesday, but this was a nice impromptu appetizer.
Three quick thoughts about the Grizzlies’ dominant 142-101 preseason victory over the New Orleans Pelicans:
- Can’t read too much into that score. It can happen to any team, that almost anything you throw up goes in. At one point, Memphis was 10-12 from the three-point line. But it was encouraging to see chemistry seeming to develop.
- Dillon Brooks was on fire. The rookie shooting guard made all five of his shots, all from the arc, for 15 points. The Grizzlies are overdue to luck out on a rookie who can contribute right away. I hope Brooks is for real.
- Jarell Martin deserves a roster spot. If you’ve wondered if this kid was a squandered pick because of his injuries, his preseason has been a welcome sign. Right now, he’s clearly better than Deyonta Davis and it’s not really close. Here’s hoping the team agrees.
I expect Wednesday’s game to be much more competitive than this was. But it was a good sign. Check out the following videos: Mike Conley’s thoughts about the team’s new versatility; Fizdale’s postgame remarks; and what Pelican’s head coach Alvin Gentry says about having Allen on his squad.