As I gear up for the final stretch of season-preview material — both here and in next week's print edition of the Flyer — let's pause to toss out a few recent notes and links of potential interest to Grizzlies fans:
For starters, if you missed it, we're giving away a couple of pairs of tickets — choice seats! — to Wednesday's home opener. Check that out here.
The Grizzlies waived free agent roster invites Damien Wilkins and Josh Davis yesterday. The Davis move is disappointing. The team had one open roster spot and Davis had performed well in the preseason. He also could have filled a situational role — a frontcourt floor-stretcher — that no-one on the current roster could fill. The sense I got was that Davis was highly regarded throughout the organization. I don't know for a fact that the team wanted to keep Davis and the owner vetoed spending the extra money to keep him, but that's what I suspect. I also have a hunch — and only a hunch — that if Lionel Hollins had his way the team would have kept Davis and Wilkins, even if it meant buying out a current player (such as Hamed Haddadi). This team needs more solid veterans, even if those veterans are only on the back end of the rotation. If Davis was cut loose as an ownership mandate, then you have to ask: How can you demand playoffs and not do minimum things to give your coach the tools he wants to make that happen?here for the full lineup. Also, if you want Chris Wallace and Lionel Hollins to bag your groceries, then check this out.
NBA.com's John Schuhmann points out that the last 11 teams to go through preseason with one of fewer losses have made the playoffs — potential good news for the Grizzlies, who are 7-0 heading into their final preseason game tonight against the Detroit Pistons. Schuhmann also shows that the Grizzlies have looked good defensively in the preseason.
This 82Games.com article from a few seasons ago backs up the assertion that there's a correlation between a really good preseason record and regular-season success.
Sports 56's Peter Edmiston has gained temporary access to the Synergy Sports database and has taken that opportunity to Tweet out a bunch of interesting statistical nuggets, many of them Griz-related. If you don't follow Peter already, check him out here.
Basketball Prospectus' Kevin Pelton ranks two Grizzlies players among the 10 most likely to have breakout seasons. Basketball Prospectus is a great read and you can buy book either in hard copy or PDF format. Find out how here.
ESPN Magazine has the Griz finishing just outside the playoffs.
The ominous word "contraction" has popped up in regard to the NBA's looming labor talks. This smells like a bargaining ploy to me — "You don't want shorter contracts and lower salaries? Then how about cutting jobs entirely?" — but we'll see. I wouldn't get too worked up about, but it's something to file away.
In that spirit, Griz fans will definitely want to check out next week's installment of Sports Files with Geoff Calkins, which will feature Grizzlies minority owner Andy Cates talking about the franchise's 10-year local history and future prospects. The show airs next Tuesday, October 26th, at 6:30 p.m. on WKNO Channel 10.
Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer offers some culinary advice to Griz rookie Xavier Henry.