Monday update

The Grizzlies lost to the Toronto Raptors yesterday, 108-89, but let’s look at the bright sides.

First of all, with 2 seeding games remaining, the Grizzlies still sit atop the 8th position in the Western Conference, and control their own destiny. The Portland Trail Blazers are 0.5 games back, followed by the San Antonio Spurs at 1 GB and seeding game Cinderella team the Phoenix Suns at 1.5 GB. That’s close, but if we take care of Grizzness the last two, we won’t need help from other teams to advance to the postseason.

Secondly, the New Orleans Pelicans lost to the Spurs yesterday, and Portland won. Mathamatically, that puts the Pelicans out of reach of a play-in series. The NBA will be denied of its wet dream of Zion in the playoffs, and the Grizzlies are safe from the nightmare of Zion in the play-in series.

That play-in series for the Western Conference is now guaranteed to happen, involving two of the four of the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, Suns, and Spurs. According to ESPN, the play-in game happens Saturday, West #8 vs. West #9. If the #8 team wins, they advance to round 1 of the playoffs where they’ll have a date with the Lakers. If the #9 team wins, they play again Sunday, winner of that game advancing to the playoff spot.

Game of interest today:

  • Oklahoma City at Phoenix, 1:30 PM, no national TV. As much as everyone loves an underdog, as impressed as we all are with Phoenix battling from 6 games back to remain in the playoff conversation, we need the Suns to lose today. Three teams competing for two play-in spots is better than four teams, plain and simple.

Tony Manard will make his way to South Main Sounds for a livestream event Friday night from 6:30 to 9. There’s an online tip jar if you feel inclined to support live music in our city in the middle of a pandemic.

Cover story from today’s Daily Memphian: This year the “ghosts” of Elwood Cemetery can visit you at home. The “residents” of the haunted cemetery will give virtual performances you can watch from the safety of your home beginning October 10.

I’ve been trying to track the spread of COVID-19 on the Shelby County Health Department’s data dashboard over the weekend, but most of the charts aren’t there, reading, “No data is available for this selection.” This is not the first time I have seen that message, or even the fifth or tenth. How are we supposed to track how far or close we are from the new tripwires if the data page isn’t working half the time?

A man is dead after a shooting near the Hughes Nightclub in North Memphis. Wait, how are nightclubs even open right now? A Facebook discussion indicated that the club is BYOB and therefore there was no liquor license to pull, but still, shouldn’t the Health Department have some kind of monitoring authority? I guess maybe Code Enforcement doesn’t want to work the wee hours of the AM.

WREG has coverage of the debate whether or not to reopen Riverside Drive to vehicular traffic 24/7. Closing Riverside has diverted the problems that previously happened their onto neighborhood streets full of homes and businesses.

Kamala the Ugandan Giant, a professional wrestler played by former truck driver James “Sugar Bear” Harris, died over the weekend at the age of 70. The Kamala character was created by Jerry “The King” Lawler in 1982 and enjoyed success in the Memphis, Mid-South, and Dallas territories before making his way to the WWF in the late 1980s. The storyline was that Kamala was a former bodyguard of dictator Idi Amin. Growing up in Little Rock, I watched many memorable battles between “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Kamala, managed by General Skandor Akbar, on the weekly Mid-South Wrestling TV show.

Local musician John Paul Keith hosts Mondays in Memphis, a virtual concert from his home, tonight at 8.

Grilled brochette of chicken and seared salmon are this week’s entree choices for the Monday night 3-course dinner for $19.99 at Paulette’s this evening.

There’s a Beating Procrastination event for writers and artists this morning at 9. If I didn’t have somewhere to be, I would sign up.

Today is a good day to stay indoors!

That’s it for now. Stay cool, wear your masks, keep your distance, and I’ll see you tomorrow.