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Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies Overtone: Grizzlies? Cubs, more like

Young franchise tries to beat one of its older brothers

Olden Polynice #0/Stromile Swift #4/Briant Reeves #50

The Memphis Grizzlies are babies.

There, I said it.

Sure, there are franchises that are even younger (Charlotte Bobcats, for one), but compared to some other institutions, it’s a young franchise. Even their Vancouver team isn’t much older than a toddler in NBA franchise years.

The first time the Utah Jazz played them was in 1996. By that time, the Jazz were fine-tuning their team for a final run, one that would happen the year after.

In their first meeting the Jazz, not too surprisingly, won. Despite the Jazz having played (and lost) the day before.

But in 1996, time had yet to have an effect on the Mailman, with Karl Malone netting a 30+ game. Stockton had a double digit assist outing, with Big Dog Antoine Carr helping out from the bench.

Stockton apparently, after wins in Canada, would bust out the Canadian national anthem in the bus. Hopefully his vocal prowess was well impressive these years, because that happened a lot.

Antoine Carr

Big Dog played for the Jazz during their Finals runs, but his last season in the league he spent with the Grizzlies (yet to be Memphis). That year they ended 7th in… the Midwest Division, with a team still featuring Bryant Reeves, but also Mike Bibby, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, and an 18.2 ppg averaging Michael Dickerson.

Even during a toddler’s life span, there are already waves to be endured. Bibby was traded for White Chocolate the year they moved to Memphis. Jason Williams was still on the roster when, under Hubie Brown’s lead, they appeared in the play-offs in 2003-2004, led by the other Gasol. After that, there would be yet another wave, the one that natural observers called the Grindhouse.

That, too, is seemingly coming to an end, with Randolph already moved to the bench, though they are still led by Conley and Marc Gasol.

The Jazz’s new wave is finally gaining some height, and maybe what we see here are two teams on the cusp of crossing each other in their vertical flight/fall.

Then again, the Grizzlies are grinding (…) out the wins even without Mike Conley, so there’s that. Some waves don’t/won’t fall as low as others have.