Breaking: Michael Beasley in the Bluff City

It’s been a while, Grizz Nation. With this first post of the 2014-2015 season, I bring some breaking news.

Michael Beasley will join the Memphis Grizzlies at training camp on a non-guaranteed contract.

Michael Beasley

There’s been a good bit of speculation around Michael Beasley as he’s made his way around the Western Conference this offseason. The free agent has openly worked out with the Spurs, Lakers and while less publicized, also the Grizzlies.

An anonymous, very close source filled in some of the missing pieces to the story. In classic Memphis fashion, Beasley met with Chris Wallace at Gus’s Fried Chicken today. But, it wasn’t his first time in the Bluff City. In fact, it’s the second time he’s worked out with the Grizzlies in the last 30 days. Beasley landed in Memphis again one week ago, but somehow, it remained underwraps.

Beasley chose Memphis because he will have a good opportunity to join the Grizzlies roster as a backup power forward.

I’ll know more details as the story develops, and you’ll be the first to know.

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Six Games

The playoffs have already begun for the Grizzlies.

The Rundown

Let’s jump right into it. Of the four Western Conference teams jockeying for the final spots in the playoffs, Memphis has the easiest remaining schedule. The much needed win last night against Denver leaves six games standing between us and our post season dreams. Fascinatingly enough, our next two games are versus the two best teams in the NBA (according to playoff seeding, not wins).

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 5.51.53 PM

(ESPN.com)

First we head to San Antonio to play our archenemies. Then we’ve got Miami at home on Wednesday. I hate to say it, but I think honesty is the best policy- I’m not naïve enough to think we’ll win both of these. Let’s just be realistic and shoot for one victory. Once we fight past those juggernauts, we’ll face the 76ers and the Lakers. Now, the real test will be the final two games of the season. These two are must wins, and I have no doubt in my mind that the Grizzlies will be clawing at a playoff spot in the final moments of the regular season. Would we want it any other way?

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 5.52.15 PM

(ESPN.com)

Best Case Scenario

We end up dodging San Antonio and clinching the 7th spot in the West.

We haven’t defeated the Spurs this year. Actually, we haven’t beaten them since before last year’s playoff embarrassment when they swept us in the Western Conference Finals. Popovich and Duncan aren’t going to let anyone keep them from getting that final championship ring of their illustrious career together. We definitely want to play the Thunder. Sure they’ve got the likely MVP, Kevin Durant, but they’ve been slightly inconsistent since Westbrook’s injury. We showed our stuff against them in the second round of the playoffs. It’s not ideal at all; just a more comfortable position.

Hypothetically, if we get past the Thunder we would play the Clippers or Golden State, both ideal match ups for this Grizzlies team. So, let’s just say we make it to the Western Conference Finals. Aaaaaand, that’s where my speculation ends. From what I deduce, no one, anywhere can challenge the Spurs this season (except maybe the Thunder who have been successful against them in the regular season).

 Worst Case Scenario

After skimming through my “Best Case Scenario,” you can probably figure out what the worst case will be. If Memphis lands in the 8th spot and faces the Spurs, we’ll be in a pickle. I don’t like to get too negative on here, so I’ll refrain from sharing the nasty details of this scenario. We just really really REALLY don’t want to play the Spurs.

Travis and I will have lots more to say as the story unfolds.

And, just so you know…

 

 

(Jack Dempsey)

(Jack Dempsey)

Wish Tayshaun the best. Now, let’s take care of Grizzness.

-Casey Black

The New ROI?

For the second and final time (most likely), I’ve got something besides basketball on my mind. There’s a new trend lately for bloggers and social media geeks.

It’s called “social scoring.”

Mark Schaefer, one of the most highly regarded bloggers in America and an authority in the realm of social media, wrote ROI: Return on Influence to explain the conceptScreen Shot 2014-03-29 at 4.37.03 PM and secondly to support it. I’ve mentioned Schaefer previously for his Twitter handbook, The Tao of Twitter.

I just can’t get enough of this stuff. I think social media is already the most effective advertising for college students and younger, and brands not exploiting it are nuts. As companies and brands look to social media to expand their promotions and connect with consumers, many argue a measurable form of advertising is more beneficial. So, TV, billboard, magazine… basically traditional media. Soooooo original. Well those people are going to have some catching up to do in five years when digital is the new norm. Honestly, isn’t it already?

Klout is my newest obsession. It’s this site that measures your “social influence” across all your accounts: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, FourSquare and Google+. It puts all likes, favorites, retweets, shares, etc. into some fancy algorithm , and bada bing bada bang, you know whether your social media accounts really matter or not. This means that YOU CAN measure the effectiveness of social media advertising. And not to mention, the free perks. Yeah, you can get free stuff from companies just for having a high Klout score. Facebook and Google both have their own super effective analytics tools, but Klout is great for an overall measurement.

So, are you wondering what my Klout score is? (Drumroll, please.) 53. Not too bad for a college student. Not going to lie, I’m wondering if I spend too much time on Twitter and Instagram.

Sorry Grizz Nation for straying from the usual sports fan commentary we usually harp on. I’m just trying to remain a well-read college student after all.

-Casey Black

 

Doing Some Research

urlI’m going to throw y’all a quick curveball.

Bears of Beale is Memphis Grizzlies all day, everyday, and Travis and I intend to keep it that way. But for just a minute I want to  reflect on recent discoveries and think about the future of sports blogging. Long before Bears of Beale was dreamt up, I thought blogging was for amateurs; a way for the average person to feel like their voice was being heard. While this is kind of true, blogs are more often hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Websites like Grantland and SB Nation have become the source of breaking news for sports fans, and now, you will be hard pressed to find a sports team or organization that does not operate some type of blog along with Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Social media reporters have become the insiders.

I recently read The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer, an incredibly reputable source for social media news. The book was fascinating, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the subject, along with the rest of Mark Schaefer’s books. The Tao of Twitter guides the reader from the moment of registration to maintaining a successful account. As a blogger, I tried to apply his Twitter advice. One thing really stood out to me.

Posting Meaningful Content

It’s crucial for maintaining a successful blog. Bears of Beale was started for two main reasons: 1. To put our ridiculous love of the Memphis Grizzlies to good use. 2. To become better writers. As I reflect on the NBA season so far and the way the bog has progressed, I have to say I’m pretty proud.

Here’s to many more amateur blog posts, Grizz Nation. Thanks for sticking around!

(NBA.com)

(NBA.com)

 

-Casey Black