Sports

NBA’s Grizzlies Making History For Memphis

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Memphis Grizzlies - logo - basketball teamWhen the Vancouver Grizzlies basketball team moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 2001, not many people expected them to be very successful. However, they’re now making history.

They spent six years in Vancouver, and they didn’t do very well. Every season they lost more games than they won. After doing so poorly, the fan support in the city gradually decreased so the owner, Michael Heisley, decided the team would do better with a change of scenery. He moved them to Memphis, where they are known as the Memphis Grizzlies.

This year there were rumours that the owner of the Vancouver Canucks (the city’s hockey team) wanted to buy the New Orleans Hornets  basketball team to bring a basketball team back to Vancouver. However, that seems unlikely now.

The Toronto Raptors are now Canada’s only professional basketball team. The only member of the Vancouver Grizzlies still playing in the NBA is guard Mike Bibby, who plays for the Miami Heat.

Since moving to Memphis, the team has been doing a lot better than it did in Vancouver. They won 50 games in the 2004 season, twice as many games as they won in 2001. Currently they are in the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The series is currently tied at one win each.

Coincidentally, the Thunder was a team that has changed cities as well. The Oklahoma City Thunder used to be the Seattle Sonics until they moved in 2008.

The Grizzlies surprised everyone in the first round of playoffs by defeating the San Antonio Spurs, the team with the most wins in the Western Conference this year. What the Grizzlies have accomplished is historic: not only did the Grizzlies become only the fourth eighth-placed team in NBA history to upset a number one ranked team, they also won their first playoff game and their first playoff series since they were formed. In their previous three trips to the playoffs, in 2004, 2005 and 2006, the Grizzlies never won a single game.

If the Grizzlies can pull off another upset against the Thunder and advance to the Western Conference finals, you can be sure their fans in Vancouver will be cheering for their beloved Grizzlies to taste the success they never had in Vancouver.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Very few people predicted that The Vancouver Grizzlies would defeat The San Antonio spurs in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. When you watch sports, whom do you prefer to cheer for? The team that is expected to win (the favourite) or the team that is expected to lose (the underdog)? Why?

Reading Prompt
You may not be very familiar with basketball and this may have complicated your understanding of today’s article. In moments like this, it is helpful to know what strategies you like to use. So, what do you do when you get confused during reading?

Primary
Identify, initially with some support and direction, what strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading and how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Junior & Intermediate
Identify the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading and explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1 ).

Grammar Feature: Position of Subjects
When the subject of a sentence is located before the action word (verb) in a sentence it is in what is called the natural order. Below is an example of natural order because the subject, “The Toronto Raptors” are located before the verb “are.”

The Toronto Raptors are now Canada’s only professional basketball team.

The example below is in inverted order because the subject “the owner of the Vancouver Canucks” follows the verb “were”

This year there were rumours that the owner of the Vancouver Canucks (the city’s hockey team) wanted to buy the New Orleans Hornets basketball team to bring a basketball team back to Vancouver.

Write one example of a sentence with the subject located in the natural order and another with the subject located in the inverted order.