Sunday, January 31, 2016

Grizzlies 121, Kings 117: Next Day Notes

Posted By on Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 2:20 PM

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

The Grizzlies won their third game in a row (and the seventh out of their last eight) in a way that is unusual for them: they scored a lot of points, beating the Sacramento Kings 121-117 after fending off a spectacular defensive collapse that saw the Kings put up 40 fourth-quarter points but fail to take the Grizzlies' lead. That the Kings had a 40-point quarter and still didn't win should tell you how the first three quarters went: lopsided.

The Griz came into the game seemingly determined to push the pace against the Kings, leaking out and running the break whenever possible, and it worked. They were up 20 points at multiple points in the contest, but the Kings always started to reel them back in. Finally, despite Jeff Green's big scoring night off the bench, Dave Joerger had to go back to the starting lineup (last night's was Mike Conley, Courtney Lee, Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol) to stop the Kings' comeback attempt and seal the Grizzlies win.

You want game notes? I have game notes.

Game Notes

★ Jeff Green had his 3rd straight 20-point game off the bench, finishing with 29 on 11/16 shooting. Green's offense was a big reason the Grizzlies were able to keep the Kings at arms' length for so much of the game, and when he finally went cold in the fourth, he wasn't the only one—the entire lineup seemed to turn back into a pumpkin at once. This is the best Jeff Green for the Grizzlies, and it's been pretty apparent since his first stint as a reserve last year—which was his idea in the first place, apparently. Coming off the bench keeps him from throwing off the chemistry of the starters, lets him run more with Mario Chalmers (whose improvisatory style of play suits Green better, I think), and keeps him from messing with the team's chemistry any more than he already has.

This is the Jeff Green that the Grizzlies want and need. It's a shame that he's finding this sort of a groove when time is running out on his tenure here, whether that's before the trade deadline or after the season is over.

★ Ryan Hollins played almost 10 minutes, and JaMychal Green got a DNP-CD. In terms of minutes at the 5, I understand it: Hollins couldn't defend DeMarcus Cousins at all without fouling him, and Green trying to do the same thing would've been an abject disaster. So, for once, I understand why Joerger let Hollins soak up all of Green's rotation minutes.

The larger trend is still troubling, though. Green's better as a rangy 4, and Joerger seems to be creating a false dichotomy between playing Hollins at the backup center and playing Green at the same spot. Green is one of the few young players the Grizzlies have actually developed in the last few years, and to see him molder on the bench behind a guy who—no offense is intended by this—is just as good as any other end-of-the-bench 10-day type while JaMychal Green could be out there getting better and smarter, learning through experience... well, that's a big reason I didn't like Lionel Hollins, and it's a big problem I have with Joerger. Playing some random vet because he's "your guy" to the detriment of a young player on a great contract with more upside is wrongheaded even if it helps win one or two extra games along the way. And besides, are the Timberwolves really going to care about those two extra wins on Joerger's regular season résumé?

(That last one was mostly a joke.)

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

★ Mike Conley was not playing well at all for most of the game, passing up shots to set up Tony Allen jumpers, all while shooting 0-3 for 0 points for himself. That turned in the last 8 minutes or so of the game, when he had a really lucky long jumper go in right at the shot clock buzzer. From there, Conley was 3-3 for 8 points and was a critical part of the Grizzlies' ability to hold off the Kings and escape with the win.

In this, a contract year in which he stands to get max money, or at least something close to it, Conley's struggles have been concerning. His injury history over the last two seasons hasn't been great, and the prospect of paying that much money to a guy who is struggling to approach career averages in every category is, well, frightening at best. But I still believe Conley can be as good as he's always been. This year has been weird for everyone, and if Conley is struggling, he's still not having as bad of a year as Marc Gasol is. One hopes this stuff will work itself out by the end of the year, and the Grizzlies do the right thing with all that money, whatever it may be. I have a feeling it will be going into Mike Conley's bank account, and that's probably fine.

Tweet of the Night

Up Next

On Monday, the Grizzlies travel to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans (and probably try to get them to give up some sort of pick for Courtney Lee or Jeff Green while they're down there, just for good measure—the deadline is approaching, after all). After that, a three-day break before a back to back at New York on Friday and home against the Mavericks on Saturday.

We're almost to the All-Star Break, which last year was just long enough for guys to get a little bit lazy and out of shape, and seemed to coincide with the beginnings of the team's on-again, off-again malaise that has carried through to this season (well, until this recent stretch of games against losing teams). With any luck, the Griz can make it through the break and come back more focused instead of less focused, and we won't have to write any more posts about whether Marc Gasol is slowly losing his mind.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Grizzlies 103, Bucks 83: Next Day Haiku

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 9:42 AM

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

Last night, the Grizzlies beat the Milwaukee Bucks at FedExForum, and it was not a close game. The first half was mostly just ugly, with neither team shooting particularly well, but in the second half, the Grizzlies came out and started moving the ball—helped by some good lineup decisions, which I don't often praise Dave Joerger for making—and showed flashes of really good offense with a two point guard lineup (which is a lot more fun with Mike Conley and Mario Chalmers than it was with Conley and Nick Calathes or Beno Udrih).

Bottom line is this: the Bucks aren't very good. They've regressed from last year, and they were also missing three rotation players last night.

It was more fun to write about this one than watch it—especially since OJ Mayo, who will always have a place in my heart (and in the Ovinton J'Anthony Mayo Lionel Hollins Memorial Doghouse) was hurt.

I used to do this more often, and I had more fun when I did. So here we are. IT'S HAIKU TIME.

afc.gif


#1

Young but flailing Bucks,
A regression to the mean
A deer dream deferred.

#2

The trade deadline comes
Once a year for expirings.
Who will become gone?

#3

M. Carter Williams,
The dread curse of the Sixers:
Is he really good?

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

#4

JaMychal's minutes—
Have you seen them anywhere?
Ryan Hollins has.

#5

Trades will come and go.
Get a second for Jeff Green
Or, well, anything.

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

#6

Giannis got kicked out
Because he was frustrated
What a pottymouth

#7

Will the Griz make moves?
Can they acquire young talent?
Time is tight, you know.


Friday, January 22, 2016

What If Marc Gasol Was Always Aggressive?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 10:51 AM

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

Note: I'm out of town at a conference this week, so I asked my good friend Andrew Ford if he wanted to guest post. Andrew was on my staff at Grizzly Bear Blues and you can find his stuff at Grizzly Bear Blues, Upside & Motor, Today's Fastbreak, and InRecruit these days. (He stays busy, obviously.) He's got a great basketball mind, and I've learned a lot about hoops just by bouncing things off him. —KL

Passivity is a dirty word uttered in many situations — often about Marc Gasol — over the course of Grizzlies games. When used, the word is certainly not meant to compliment Gasol’s play on the court. Rather, it implies that he is not doing what he should be doing, or more accurately what he is capable of doing.

There still might not be a better two-way center in the NBA than Gasol despite his struggles this season, but balanced performance on both ends is not always sexy nor is it what people believe to be the limit of his capabilities.

It’s not as if Gasol doesn’t have ample opportunity to impose his will on games. Nobody in the league averages more elbow touches per game (13.4) and only two players average more post touches per game (8.2) per NBA.com’s player tracking database. With those touches comes great responsibility though, and Gasol knows it. The offense flows through him more now than it ever has given the slow, steady decline of his frontcourt partner Zach Randolph and a backcourt constantly hamstrung by lack of creativity.

Serving as the fulcrum of an NBA offense is no small task, but Gasol fills the role as well as anybody in the league. He directs traffic with ease, guides teammates into good positions, and essentially hands the ball to them on a silver platter to get buckets.

However, playing that pivotal role might have unintended consequences. This is strictly speculation, but it could be putting Gasol in the wrong state of mind to dominate. An inherently unselfish player, Gasol has proven countless times that he is going to look to pass first when given the opportunity.

He knows the team needs his court vision and passing ability, which makes it difficult for him not to think of passing as his first option when the ball is in his hands. It’s not always a bad thing for Gasol to play the role of a pass-first focal point, but it can frequently be a problem because shooting often seems like a very distant second choice for Gasol even as he has reached the height of his offensive powers. A mental shift is long overdue.

To be completely fair to Gasol, he has posted more dominant stat lines over the past two seasons than the rest of his career combined. Eight of his nine thirty-point outbursts over the course of his career came in the 2014-15 season and the current 2015-16 campaign. These recent displays of scoring prowess are why more is desired — almost expected — from Gasol at the offensive end.

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

True to His Word

Recently against the New York Knicks, Gasol scored 37 points on 29 attempts. This performance came after he told Peter Edmiston of Sports 56 WHBQ / 87.7 FM and the Commercial Appeal that he will take 25 shots during a game if the team needs him to do that to win.

So what if Gasol kept his word, played consistently in attack mode, and used more of those advantageous touches he so often gets for himself? How much different would the offense look if he chose to be aggressive and attempted to dominate on a nightly basis rather than choosing to flash his offensive brilliance a handful of times per season?

It might be helpful to start with some historical data. After seven-and-change seasons with the Grizzlies, there is a decent amount of data that demonstrates how well the Grizzlies have performed in the past when Gasol has scored above his average.

Over the course of his tenure with the Grizzlies, the team is 69-32 when he scores at least 20 points, 18-8 when he scores 25 or more, and a convincing 8-1 when he scores 30 or more per basketball reference. Small sample size warning, but just this season the Grizzlies are 8-3 when Gasol has scored at least 20 points.

One might think that Gasol looking for his own shot more would be detrimental to the flow of the offense and hurt his passing, but the stats show just the opposite. Gasol is averaging 3.8 assists per game this season, and he has averaged 3.9 assists in the 10 contests in which he scored more than 20 points this season. There’s no notable drop off in Gasol’s passing because his aggressiveness actually creates better spacing which results in cleaner passing lanes.

During games in which Gasol is on autopilot, slinging the ball around the court while not looking to score a ton, defenses can afford to sit back and stay home on assignments because they have played the game long enough to pick up on tendencies like Gasol wanting to pass above all else.

This is a key reason why defenses have not had to work very hard against the Grizzlies this season. Per SportVU, Memphis’ offense forces the least defensive movement in terms of feet per 24 seconds of any team in the league. As it turns out, it’s very easy to watch the ball be delivered to Gasol and sit back while he methodically tries to pick out a pass when there is hardly anything happening in the way of quality actions on the wing which could result in freeing a shooter.

A shift in how defenses play the Grizzlies when Gasol is aggressive is notable. When he’s looking to fire a midrange jumper from the elbow or to make a move to the rim as soon as he receives the ball in the post, defenses are forced to react quicker which often leads to scrambling. Perimeter defenders have to dig down another foot into the paint or stunt another foot towards the elbow while bigs have to worry more about executing a hard double in the post to force the ball out of Gasol’s hands. The extra few feet an aggressive Gasol creates is a boost the Grizzlies’ mediocre offense regularly needs.

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

Lineups Matter

Another way an attack-first version of Gasol would make the offense more efficient is by creating more easy points in the way of free throws. Gasol is averaging 4.8 free throw attempts per contest this season, but he has averaged 8.2 attempts from the line in games in which he has scored more than 20 points this season. Gasol is great at drawing contact on graceful up-and-under moves and on his patented sweeping hook shot, so it makes sense that he gets to the line a lot more when he’s more aggressive and takes more shots.

An 84% free throw shooter, Gasol could feast off of an extra 3-4 attempts per game. It could be the difference in winning a couple more games throughout the course of the grueling regular season, which is huge when home court advantage matters so much in a brutal Western Conference.

Of course, all of this is context dependent. You can’t simply throw Gasol out on the court with any unit and hope that him having a score-first mentality will have the same result across all lineups. He would be best-served to play most of his minutes with lineups with quality shooters — something the Grizzlies unfortunately have a dearth of — and no traditional big men aside from himself to maximize spacing and unlock his full potential.

Gasol playing in lineups like the ones aforementioned don’t just give him more space to operate from the high and low post. When the Grizzlies can play a four out-one in offense with Gasol as the one guy playing inside, there is infinitely more room for Mike Conley and Gasol to team up and run the high pick-and-roll. This is important not just because it’s a really tough play to defend, but also because Gasol is naturally more inclined to shoot in the pick-and-roll because he’s not meant to be a primary distributor in those situations.

A more low-key benefit to the Grizzlies offense that could come by way of a regularly aggressive Gasol is additional offensive rebounding. The Grizzlies offensive rebound rate of 23.8 puts them 17th in the league in that category. Gasol attacking on more of his post touches could easily lead to more points on putbacks by himself or teammates like Tony Allen or Randolph who typically crash the glass hard.

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

What About Defense?

One concern that often gets thrown out during the early stages of any conversation about Gasol trying to do more offensively is that his defense might suffer. Given his ongoing struggle with conditioning this season, putting more pressure on him offensively could realistically tank his defensive impact, but I don’t think history necessarily bears that out.

For one, Gasol has averaged 2.2 blocks in games this season in which he has scored at least 20 points. That’s almost one more than he has averaged in all games this season (1.3). Blocks alone don’t make a great rim protector, but assuming Gasol is in shape (maybe a big if) then he should have no problem leading the defense from the baseline while also stepping his game up some offensively.

It’s difficult to envision Gasol fully embodying an attack-first mentality for the rest of this season despite the fact that it would provide the team with a significant boost, but that’s something we could see a lot more of as the Grizzlies enter a potential rebuilding phase over the next couple of seasons.

Finesse, grace, elegance, poise, and power all equally mark Gasol’s beautiful offensive game, and the Grizzlies undoubtedly wish Gasol would start to fully utilize all five qualities every night as a new, unknown phase of the franchise is ushered in.

We’ve seen Gasol dominate on the offensive end with an arsenal of moves — both of the face up and post up variety — that few other big men possess. It might be a pipe dream, but when you know he is capable of dominating, it will always be tough not to think about what this team could be if he chose to dazzle with his knack for attacking more often.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Beyond the Arc Podcast, #42: Unbridled Pessimism

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 4:53 PM

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This week on the show, Kevin and Phil talk about:

  • The Grizzlies went 5-1 in their six game home stand, which helps solidify their place in the standings.
  • What's the deal with Jeff Green?
  • Dave Joerger and his long term future with the team. Is there a disconnect between the coach and the front office?
  • Is Elliot Williams a legit NBA player? Were the Grizzlies right to move on?
  • The Grizzlies play some interesting young teams this week: Denver and Minnesota (and Orlando next week).

The Beyond the Arc podcast is available on iTunes, so you can subscribe there! It'd be great if you could rate and review the show while you're there. You can also find and listen to the show on Stitcher and on PlayerFM.

You can call our Google Voice number and leave us a voicemail, and we might talk about your question on the next show: 234-738-3394

You can download the show here or listen below:


The Grizzlies and Deferred Maintenance

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 7:49 AM

Our house was built in 1925. It's been around a while. When we bought it, the wood fence on one side was about to fall over. Some of the (lead) paint was peeling off of it. The air conditioner was old. Most of the power outlets still only have two prongs. But there's really only one thing you have to do with a house this old to make sure it sticks around: keep up with the maintenance. If you don't keep it painted, the wood will rot. If your roof leaks, fix it. If the wiring isn't cutting it, replace it. If you keep on top of the little things that go wrong here and there (and if you don't mind having one bathroom and really small closets) you can live in an old house forever. They're well built.

But "well built" doesn't mean "worry free." It never has. You have to stay on top of things. If the roof leaks, and the house sits empty for a year, or if the paint falls off the eaves in big Lay's-sized chips and you let it sit a couple of winters, it's not long before you get to this:

Lowenstein House

Which is fine. It's not pretty, but it's fine. Could use a coat of paint, and some new windows. The roof probably leaks. But the longer you put it off, the worse things get. The heat and the cold break things. The water finds its way into the structure. Animals get in. People get in. Vines grow through, inexorable.

And if you put off maintenance too long—you think I can wait until next year to start working on the house, or you think maybe it's not that bad and I can just refinish the floors, or you think one more winter without a new roof will be fine—you can get to a bad place in a hurry.

There's a house on Vance Avenue that I pass sometimes on my way to work like this, near Pauline, an old Victorian with hardly any paint left on it. The whole side of the house has fallen off recently, and even from my vantage point in a car passing by on the street, you can see through the stairwell and into the house's back bedrooms. I thought of it the other day after writing up some notes on a Grizzlies game.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rockets 107, Grizzlies 91: Five Boring Thoughts

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 7:32 AM

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

The Grizzlies lost last night, shorthanded and unable to string together enough buckets to keep up at the end of the game. As a result they didn't secure the season series with the Houston Rockets, and they didn't capitalize on the momentum of their come-from-behind win over the Celtics on Sunday, and they didn't do anything to prove one way or another whether anything at all has turned around for them. There wasn't really that much going on in the game—it was called "the least interesting game I've ever attended and "had no intrigue or news value", and for the most part it was a pretty aggressively middle-of-the-road game.

But there's always something, isn't there? This isn't a fully-formed postgame roundup, but some things did happen in the game that might need to be written down somewhere, so here goes:

Five Thoughts

★ Jeff Green had a terrible first half, taking two bad shots and missing them both, generally looking out of sorts, and continuing to see how bad he can make his body language. Only this time, Dave Joerger benched him for the second half. Joerger said the benching wasn't "disciplinary," but... Green's body language the last few games, the way he interacts with his teammates off the court, in huddles, after plays, has been a little weird. If something's brewing with him, it may be even more beneficial for the Grizzlies to flip his expiring contract. He's just not worth taking some sort of hit to what little team chemistry there is this year.

★ Tony Allen continued his high-level play in the first 25 or so minutes he was on the court, but once he crossed the 30-minute mark (he played 32:27) the magic was gone, and he made some really inopportune turnovers. Sure, missing Mike Conley and Matt Barnes (out with a "left thumb contusion") meant Allen just straight-up had to play more. But playing him too long meant not making the most of how well he's been playing lately, by leaving him out there long enough to start being a net negative.

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

★ Elliot Williams didn't get into the game until it was a tight one in the final 8 minutes of the fourth quarter, and was completely cold, and took a bad shot that led to a Rockets three. He didn't play again until garbage time. So... I guess he's probably not going to stick. That's a tough spot in which to ask anyone to come into the game for the first time and contribute, but whatever. You know the rule: young player makes a mistake, that young player sits for a week. The Lionel Hollins Method for Crushing The Spirit Of A Young Basketball Player.

★ They played a lot of David Bowie before and during the game last night, but here's a line from a song they didn't play: "Hope is a cheap thing." The Grizzlies have played well lately, sure, but given the injury struggles and the general lack of production on the offensive end of the floor (even Zach Randolph, who has had some great games lately, only had 10 last night), they're still not out of the woods, and still probably headed for a 45-win season.

★ Marc Gasol started the game well, and then disappeared for most of it until returning in the fourth when the game got tight. That's the pattern this year: Gasol's basically trying to get his rest in-game since he's going to be playing 37-40 minutes no matter what. Given the Grizzlies' record, it's worked out more often than not this year, but it's not exactly conducive to a great third quarter start when your former-DPOY center isn't really moving much.

Pontification Maximus

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

I'm not really sure what else to say about last night's game other than this: it seemed worse than it was because it was so unexciting. it was a close game, tied at 83 with 7:30 left. But from then on out, the Grizzlies scored 8 points and the Rockets scored 24. That's in bold for a reason: that is bad.

The offense completely cratered when the Grizzlies' defense started warming up again. There are times when it feels like watching the 2011-12 lockout season Grizzlies, with Rudy Gay out there doing whatever and the defense locking people down, and the offense just running the same three sets and producing bad looks and bad shots for guys who can't consistently hit anything. Oh and also Z-Bo iso.

The difference is one of expectations. That team had just made the playoffs for the first time since the Pau years, Z-Bo was coming off an injury, and the future seemed bright. (You know, that was back when saying "Josh Selby" wasn't a grim joke.) Now, watching the same kind of team do the same thing, just older, it's hard to be as excited about. We've seen this script before. The poor-shooting athletic 3/4 can't get his stuff done, and it gums up the works for everybody else.

The other difference was that this year, Marc Gasol looks like he planned on playing himself into shape, and instead, he's just tired. That's happened before, too (see the 2013-14 season), but now it feels less like an accident and more like a recognition that this year wasn't going to amount to much anyway.

Whatever. Guys are hurt, even when they're not hurt, the team isn't playing very well, the injuries to Wright and Adams have made it hard for them to even attempt expanding what they can do (besides the "small ball" starting lineups, which is just as much about choosing who to match Z-Bo up against as it is trying to keep pace with the league), and nothing I see inspires much confidence that things are going to get better.

So... there can be exciting Tuesday night home games. Last night's didn't fit the bill. Frustration can only be so fun.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beyond the Arc Podcast, #41: Full Time Grind?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 7:19 AM

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This week on the show, Kevin and Phil talk about:

  • The win over Boston and Tony Allen's big game, and proof that the Grizzlies do know how to win from behind this year
  • Mike Conley is injured already. Is this a trend? Should the Grizzlies consider that when going to re-sign him?
  • Is Mario Chalmers a viable backup plan if they trade or choose not to re-sign Conley?
  • The Grizzlies' struggle to find an identity this year—they don't have the personnel to only play one way they want to play.
  • Is "small ball" a fad or is it really where basketball is going? How much of it depends on personnel groupings?
  • How much of a team's style of play comes from the coach, and how much comes from the front office (on teams that aren't the Grizzlies)?
  • Joerger's lineups as making do with what he has.
  • The rumored Courtney Lee for Kevin Martin swap and what the Grizzlies should be doing at the deadline
  • Would Allen Crabbe be a good Grizzly?

The Beyond the Arc podcast is available on iTunes, so you can subscribe there! It'd be great if you could rate and review the show while you're there. You can also find and listen to the show on Stitcher and on PlayerFM.

You can call our Google Voice number and leave us a voicemail, and we might talk about your question on the next show: 234-738-3394

You can download the show here or listen below:


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Grizzlies 91, Nuggets 84: Five Thoughts

Posted By on Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 7:29 AM

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

In an ugly game that ended up being exciting because it was close, the Grizzlies ground out a tough win over the rebound-happy Nuggets last night at FedExForum, 91-84. The Grizzlies shot 36%, got outrebounded 59-43, trailed for large periods of time (and played an especially heinous third quarter), and still managed to gut out a win, based largely on defensive intensity and the inability of the Nuggets' young bigs to do anything to stop Zach Randolph from scoring.

All in all, it was closer than it should have been, hard to watch, and the Grizzlies won it by keeping another opponent from scoring 90 points. Maybe the old ways of playing aren't quite dead yet.

Five Thoughts

Tony Allen played the best game he's played all year, especially in the first half. He was everywhere. On defense, he hounded every Denver guard into bad shots and turnovers, and he finished the game with three steals that really felt like six or seven in the moment. He was relentless—the way he has to be to play his best basketball. Allen's 38 minutes were probably too many, and it probably only happened that way because both Mike Conley and Courtney Lee were out with injuries, but he made them all count.

In a season where he's looked really out of sorts most of the time, it was uplifting to see Allen out there performing at his best, and a reminder of what he can bring to this team when he's dialed in, and how much that force for chaos can disrupt everything opponents try to do.

Zach Randolph scored 24 points in 28 minutes, single-handedly outscoring the Denver bench, who combined for 23. It's the second game in a row where Randolph has come in as a sub and demolished the interior of the opponent, and these last two games have been a real model for how to use Z-Bo if you're going to bring him off the bench: choose your matchups, play him fewer minutes, and if he's able to get going, play him at a higher than normal usage rate while still spotting him his rest. It works. I'm sure he's not excited about coming off the bench, but he's had some really great games that way, and I'm sure putting up 20+ points in a win goes a long way towards soothing whatever ego damage he's incurred.

Elliot Williams, former Tiger, is in town on a 10-day deal to bolster the wing rotation while Conley and Lee are both out. He looked good in his almost-10 minutes Friday night, especially on the defensive end. I know the Griz are interested in evaluating him for future purposes, not just filling a rotation spot with somebody (thought that is definitely part of it), so if Williams plays like this for the rest of his time here, I'd expect him to get another 10-day.

Asked about how Williams played after the game, Joerger said he didn't really know him and talked about how he was a high character guy, instead of commenting on the fact that he clearly played pretty well, which I thought was strange. I'm not sure what that was about, but his avoidance/non-answer of a question about how Williams looked on the court was odd enough that I nmade a note of it.

★ The real news of the day came before the game, when the Grizzlies released a statement that Jordan Adams is going to have to have knee surgery after all, and he'll have it early next week, with no timetable for recovery. My understanding is that it's probably an arthroscopic procedure for cartilage damage, and it won't necessarily rule Adams out for the remainder of the year, but considering that the Grizzlies are desperate for young wing talent and Adams was supposed to be back playing by preseason, it felt more like a gut punch. Who knows what happens next there. But hopes of seeing Adams insert himself into the rotation and blossom this season are now dashed, and that's alwaus a bummer.

★ The Grizzlies are now in a 6-game home stand that lasts until the MLK Day game against the Pelicans, and most of these games are very winnable. If they're going to start building momentum and getting things together, it's going to be now, except now the injury bug is getting to them even harder than it was already. These games against Houston, Detroit, New York, and New Orleans (I expect the Boston game to be a tough one) are all there for the taking, if the Griz can put together some motivation and intensity. If they have to do that on the backs of Tony Allen and Zach Randolph instead of Marc Gasol and the injured Conley, it seems like that's what they're going to do. It's going to be an interesting 10-day stretch.

Tweet of the Night

Sigh.

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

Up Next

Like I said, this is an important home stand. I'm not sure Sunday's 5pm game against the Boston Celtics is one the Grizzlies should pencil in as a win—the Celtics are very good, and the Grizzlies don't play well against very good teams this season—but the rest of this home stand, in which they play every other day, is very wnnable, and they should be able to string together some wins. That could have a really good effect on their overall morale and certainly on their record. Going to be an interesting week and a half.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Spears: Grizzlies to cut Ryan Hollins, sign Elliot Williams

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 2:36 PM

I don't have a picture of Ryan Hollins in a Griz jersey so here's Dave Joerger. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • I don't have a picture of Ryan Hollins in a Griz jersey so here's Dave Joerger.

According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, the Grizzlies are going to cut newly-signed Joerger favorite reserve center Ryan Hollins in order to make room to sign Elliot Williams of the Santa Cruz Warriors to a 10-day contract.

The tweets below:

The Grizzlies waived Russ Smith in order to sign Hollins, after the Brandan Wright injury (among other things) had the Grizzlies thin in the frontcourt. Pretty much immediately, Mike Conley got injured, only now the Grizzlies only had Conley and Mario Chalmers on the roster to run point.

I'm not a believer that Hollins is anything but a replacement-level NBA player at best, so I'm not really upset if this report turns out to be true. And the Grizzlies (or Dave Joerger anyway) had clearly given up on Russ Smith's prospects as an NBA point guard.

As long as the Grizzlies don't do anything that jeopardizes their future flexibility (see today's rant about the state of the team) I don't have a problem with this. But if things continue to get worse with the injury situation, the Griz will have to start doing something more drastic than fiddling with the end of the bench to clear space. Maybe some two-for-one trades for expiring contracts?

Oh yes, about those.

Sam Amick reported in a video that the Timberwolves have been trying to pull off a Courtney Lee/Kevin Martin swap. Both players are underperforming their season averages, but Martin has another year on his deal, so... if the Grizzlies take back Kevin Martin's contract, I think it's a mistake, unless they can (1) stretch provision Martin this summer and (2) get Tyus Jones, who they liked in the draft, in the deal. I doubt that happens, so hopefully they don't do the deal and waste time/money/my emotional injury on another over-the-hill wing player instead of bringing in youth and athleticism.

At any rate, don't be surprised if this Hollins/Williams business happens sooner rather than later.


Thunder 112, Grizzlies 94: Next Day Lamentations

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 7:56 AM

Courtney Lee was the Grizzlies starting "point guard" against OKC. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Courtney Lee was the Grizzlies starting "point guard" against OKC.

Last night’s game (“game”) against the Oklahoma City Thunder was probably a done deal when Mike Conley was ruled out with an Achilles issue and Kevin Durant was cleared to play, but the Grizzlies sure helped that along by playing like it. With Conley out, coach Dave Joerger opted to start a lineup without a point guard (well, unless you consider Courtney Lee a point guard) and save Mario Chalmers for the second unit, and honestly, even though the Grizzlies weren’t really out of it until much later, you could tell right off the bat, even just from Marc Gasol’s body language, that it wasn’t happening.

I’m not even sure what else to say about last night from a basketball standpoint. Chalmers, though he didn’t actually start, ended up playing 40 minutes and scoring 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting, a standout performance on a night when nobody else was really having them. Nothing else really worked for the Grizzlies, who found themselves right back in the position of defending a team they couldn’t defend (Russell Westbrook was in rare form last night, with some drives to the basket that I don’t think the Griz would’ve stopped at full strength).

In the end, the Grizzlies managed to get the Thunder lead back under 20, but it never got any closer than “under 20,” and the game was even more lopsided than its 18-point margin would suggest. In other words, par for the course against the best teams in the league this year.

Game Notes

★ Jeff Green went 3–12 from the field. Marc Gasol went 2–11 from the field, when he could be bothered to shoot the ball instead of passing into a worse play. Z-Bo went 5–13, hounded by Oklahoma City’s interior defense (well, Steven Adams and Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka, anyway) the same way he always is. Mike Conley was 0–0 because he wasn’t playing. Tony Allen played some solid defense, hit a few shots, and generally Did Tony Things, but those things are always difference-makers in a close game, not the thing that guarantees a Griz win from the word go.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Beyond the Arc Podcast, #40: Negative Nellies

Posted By on Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 7:40 AM

bta_003.jpeg

This week on the show, Kevin and Phil talk about:

  • A rundown of the Grizzlies’ Monday night win over the Portland Trail Blazers and Zach Randolph’s big game
  • Why the Grizzlies’ offense is struggling right now–does the “small ball” starting unit have anything to do with it?
  • Why is the Grizzlies’ defense not as good this year?
  • Do the players respond well to Dave Joerger?
  • How are the Grizzlies above .500 with Matt Barnes as the best wing player on the team on both ends of the floor? How did we get here?
  • Can the Grizzlies take care of the Thunder Wednesday night if Durant doesn’t play? Can they score 95 points?

The Beyond the Arc podcast is available on iTunes, so you can subscribe there! It’d be great if you could rate and review the show while you’re there. You can also find and listen to the show on Stitcher and on PlayerFM.

You can call our Google Voice number and leave us a voicemail, and we might talk about your question on the next show: 234–738–3394

You can download the show here or listen below:


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Grizzlies 91, Blazers 78: Same As It Ever Was

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Some of the faces have changed since this was taken, but the outcome was the same. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Some of the faces have changed since this was taken, but the outcome was the same.

Last night's big (by Griz standards) Grizzlies win over the Portland Trail Blazers happened pretty late, so I didn't outline a full game-recap-type post to go along with it. Once it was clear that the Blazers weren't going to break 80 points—and clear that Zach Randolph was going to have a 20/10 game coming off the bench against his former team—you could already see how everyone's recap was going to go: a throwback game, depended on Grit & Grind to Get It Done In Portland, rumors of Z-Bo's demise are greatly exaggerated, etc.

All of those things are true. The Grizzlies' offense was mostly horrible for a large portion of the game, except for a huge scoring outburst in the third quarter that took place when the injured Mike Conley and struggling Marc Gasol were sitting on the bench, and so that left Randolph to pick up the scoring slack, and that's exactly what he did against Portland's frontline. Randolph shot 61% from the floor (11 of 18), scored 26 points, grabbed 18 rebounds (12 of which were offensive rebounds), made all four of his free throws after struggling to hit them the last couple of games, and generally had A Zach Randolph Game.

If I'm honest, I wasn't sure we were going to get many more Zach Randolph Games, where "oh just iso Z-Bo on the block" is actually a valid strategy for winning an entire game, where everything that bounces off the rim ends up in his hands, when he's licking his fingertips after every rainbow jumper, jab step, and turnaround. It was pretty glorious.

With all of the talk in December about needing to trade Z-Bo for the good of "the future", I decided to look at the year Randolph is having in historical context. I did a search on Basketball Reference for players age 34 and up for whom the following things are true:

  • Offensive rebound percentage—the estimated percentage of available offensive rebounds a player pulls down while on the floor—of 10% or higher
  • Defensive rebound percentage of 20% or higher
  • Usage rate—the percentage of possessions "used" by a player while he's on the floor, a good estimate of how much of the offense runs through a player—of 20% or higher
  • Plays 20 or more minutes a game.

The full list is here, but you can see for yourself that it's a short one, populated by names like David Robinson, Moses Malone, Shaq, and Charles Barkley. (Maybe Hollinger's MACHINE can explain the Kevin Willis Anomaly.) At any rate, that list should make one thing very clear: there's not a player you can trade Z-Bo for who would be an incremental improvement to this team. There are no players who do what Randolph does who would be traded for him—they're guys like DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis, and Greg Monroe. At his age, no one is doing what Randolph is doing right now. Which means this: these Z-Bo games are even more special than Grizzlies fans already think they are.

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

So. What wasn't glorious? The Grizzlies' team offense. And no, "hey Z-Bo go make smaller men afraid of you" isn't actually the Grizzlies offensive scheme (anymore). An example of how bad it got from Peter Edmiston:

Gasol ended up with 7 points on 3-12 shooting and Conley had 9 on 3-13, but for most of the game they'd both made exactly 1 field goal. Conley had been questionable to play with a back injury, and Brevin Knight was quick to point out on the broadcast that it looked like his ankle was bothering him, as well. As for Gasol, I'm not sure what was wrong with him, but... it wasn't good. Gasol's been struggling on and off (mostly on) for large portions of the season, outside of a few stretches where he simply takes over games because he has to (as in his triple-double game, the win at New Orleans, the OT win over the Heat). And really, he hasn't been the same since last year's All Star Break, when apparently broke something in his brain, and now he's not the same player, the same constantly-effective offensive weapon.

Marc Gasol had one of his worst games of the season last night, and that's saying something this year. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Marc Gasol had one of his worst games of the season last night, and that's saying something this year.

Gasol's on the first year of a five-year max deal, of course. And Mike Conley is a free agent after this season but seems destined to re-sign with the Grizzlies for a lot of money. The way they've both played this season, you wouldn't know it. Both of them have got to be better if the team is going to go anywhere, especially after this year.

That's not to say it's all their fault, of course. The overall team concept of the Grizzlies this season is muddled, almost beyond recognition. They're a defense-oriented team that starts a small lineup (and a "power forward" in Jeff Green) that isn't great defensively. They're a slow-it-down, play-through-the-post team that tries to play everything through Conley/Gasol high pick-and-roll and a spaced-out small starting unit.

They're trying to be two things right now: the Core Four Grizzlies dependent on the play of Randolph and Tony Allen, with Conley and Gasol filling in the gaps (which is what they've been for years, to great success), and also the New Small Grizzlies building a new core around Conley/Gasol and a new, younger wing rotation (a rotation that doesn't exist, mind you, because Jordan Adams is hurt and all the other young guys are bigs save the dearly departed Russ Smith).

Games like the one the Grizzlies won last night emphasize that this is a transition year between those two identities, and you have to feel like that's part of what's wrong with the Grizzlies' two best players: they know they're supposed to be The Guys now, but they don't know what to do with it. Last night, they played defense and let Z-Bo do the dirty work, but that's not really a valid way forward anymore.

There were lots of other things that happened last night, but that was what I went to bed thinking about: the Grizzlies' offense is a disaster, the defense is finally starting to come along, and even now, in January, they still don't know who they are, how they play, or what their real goals are for this season. I'm not sure when that changes, barring unforeseen roster moves I'm sure they're taking phone calls about right this second. But for now, right now, in this season where they change every two weeks into something else, they're still right where we left them: holding opponents under 80 points, barely able to score 80 themselves, reliant on the post for offensive production, deeply flawed, and beautifully violent.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Grizzlies 112, Lakers 96: Five Thoughts

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 9:19 AM

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

Coming as it did on the heels of the Grizzlies' annoying/avoidable loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night, Grizzlies fans were right to be a little worried about which version of the Beale Street Bears would show up for Sunday evening's game against Farewell Tour Kobe Bryant and the struggling Lakers. It turned out not to be much of a game at all, but finally there was a home blowout that went in favor of the home team. Slowly but surely, the Grizzlies built a 20+ point lead and then Jarell Martin made his home debut. But... you know I'm going to talk about that some more later in the post. Five thoughts on last night's game:

Five Thoughts

★ The "New" Grizzlies starting lineup—the "small ball" lineup—was very effective against the Lakers. Granted, the Lakers were playing some of the worst defense I've ever seen (and Kobe Bryant just wasn't playing defense at all), so I'm not sure how accurate of a measure of effectiveness last night's game was. But still, it was good to see that unit clicking. The chemistry of the smaller sans-Z-Bo unit has been lacking at time, and they certainly don't have much in the way of practice time to figure things out in non-game situations, so these games against bad defenses—the first game against Washington comes to mind, as well—are a good exercise for them in running plays the way they want to run them without much resistance. All five starters shot better than 50% last night.

Kobe Bryant vs. Tony Allen is always a big deal, but last night it wasn't quite what it used to be. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Kobe Bryant vs. Tony Allen is always a big deal, but last night it wasn't quite what it used to be.

★ The Lakers return in February, but who knows what the injury situation will look like then, so yesterday may have been the last chance Memphis gets to see a Tony Allen vs. Kobe Bryant showdown. Bryant has been on the record for years that Allen is the guy who has always guarded him the best—a reputation earned during two Celtics/Lakers NBA Finals all those years ago—and to see them go at it on Sunday, well... it didn't have the same look as it has in years past. Kobe is greatly diminished at this point, and Allen is still struggling to find his groove (though he's back from his knee injury and has been playing better since that point), so last night's Kobe/TA minutes were mostly just a dim reminder of how pitched their battles used to be. Which is normally the point at which my language would elevate and I'd get into some pitched lament about the passage of time. Kobe vs. Tony is the mausoleum of all hope and desire, etc.

★ Adding to the theme of efficiency: Zach Randolph took 8 shots from the floor and made 7 of them—the highest FG% of his career when he takes 8 or more shots—and while Julius Randle wasn't easy for him to back down, the Lakers' frontline in general just didn't know what to do with Randolph. Since moving to the bench, Randolph's rebounding has dropped off, but his ability to get his shots when matched up against other "traditional" bigs hasn't really gone anywhere. Even at this point in his career, he's still Z-Bo, for the most part, and if he's coming off the bench, that's a pretty good guy to have as a reserve.

★ It was genuinely enjoyable to have some garbage time last night, and for the Grizzlies to be on the right side of it. The Grizzlies' injury woes have prevented the young guys from playing much—Jordan Adams still hasn't played, and the murmurs about his projected return date have completely vanished; Jarell Martin is just now able to play in these sorts of situations, and Brandan Wright's absence means that even in blowouts the guys finishing the game have to be the same bench guys who have played the rest of the game. So to see the Grizzlies up by 20 in the 4th quarter was nice, and to see Russ Smith and Jarell Martin get some much-needed run was even nicer. I genuinely enjoy garbage time, and wish the Grizzlies gave us more opportunities to see it this year.

★ Jarell Martin played almost six minutes last night in garbage time, and while he was clearly excited to be making his home debut—and said overexcitement led to several questionable decisions made in the name of playing hard, not smart—eventually he settled down and started making good plays. Defensively, he did well knowing when to switch and when not to, and while he didn't get any rebounds, what was more encouraging to me was to see his activity on the offensive end, where he was active under the basket, and made a pretty long two (long enough that I initially thought it was a three from my vantage point at the other end of the court, but he was inside the arc) with a pretty natural motion—it wasn't a prayer, or a heave; it was a shot—and while it's still very early in Martin's development, he at least looked like an (unpolished) NBA player last night, and that's really all you can ask of a guy playing in front of a home crowd for the first time.

Tweet of the Night

Jeff Green had a chasedown block that was more impressive than this one, but this rejection my JaMychal Green was really great, especially in the building.

Pontification Maximus

Last night's garbage time immediately improved my mood, and got me to thinking: if the Grizzlies were barely above .500 and Jordan Adams and Jarell Martin were regularly getting minutes and developing, would I still be as negative about the season and their prospects for the future as I am? Or is it the fact that without any growth for the young players on the roster, a season full of meaningless, unwinnable games becomes that much more meaningless, and the frustrating losses become that much more frustrating?

I think it is. Seeing Jarell Martin finally hit the floor last night was a welcome sight, and not because I necessarily think he's the future of the franchise. (I have, for whatever it's worth, reversed my draft night opinion of Martin, and I think he can be a good player if he's given the chance to develop.) It was just exciting to see a young guy trying to figure it out, and exciting to consider the possibilities he might bring to the team someday.

And that's why it's fun to watch a young bad team, sometimes. The same principle applies in blowout garbage time... when the young guys are able to play. If Russ Smith, Jarell Martin, and Jordan Adams were able to be on the floor at the same time, the score wouldn't matter much to me; I think I'd instantly feel better about things just to see guys learning the game. That's what I've missed from this season. If the Grizzlies aren't going to be a very good team—and let's face it: at this point, they're not a very good team, just a "decent" one—the season is useless if it's not building towards some future goal. That there haven't been any young guys playing at all has meant there's been no such building. Hopefully Martin can continue to get some run in lopsided games and show us that maybe there is a future here somewhere in here, however vaguely defined.


Monday, December 21, 2015

What the Grizzlies Want for Christmas

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 9:20 AM

I've been working the back channels for weeks with some of my sources to get my hands on this: a complete rundown of what the Grizzlies want Santa Claus to bring them on Friday morning:

Not sure why I was surprised his face is still bothering him, given how bad it looked in that GSW series. - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Not sure why I was surprised his face is still bothering him, given how bad it looked in that GSW series.

Mike Conley: a new face that isn't still numb, and that doesn't make "nerves come on behind his eyeball". The longer Conley struggles to get back to his pre-injury form, the more apparent it is that he's still suffering the after-effects of the facial fracture he suffered during the Portland series last year, when he caught an errant CJ McCollum elbow that caused a really horrible blowout fracture.

I think we—those of us who watch and cover this team, and probably the Grizzlies, and Conley, too—were all a bit too optimistic about his return. The way he's playing makes sense if you think he's tentative and over-thinking things because his face is still messed up; unfortunately for Conley in his contract year, it's starting to look like a blowout fracture is a 12-month injury for him.

Marc Gasol: a better perimeter defense so he doesn't have to run around so much. Gasol's defense is not at its peak form this year, and while some of it certainly appears to be a conditioning/effort issue, the other simple fact is that, due to the roster situation right now, he's got to play 40 minutes a night (in fact, that's a direct quote from Dave Joerger in the postgame presser after the win over the Pacers on Saturday night) and the Grizzlies' defense isn't very good this year so far. That's led to Gasol having to run around more than usual, and, well, we all know "Marc Gasol" and "run around more" aren't phrases that should go together. Gasol won a DPOY by calmly sitting back and watching the play develop before making exactly the right move at exactly the right time to disintegrate the opponent's offense. This year, not so much, and it's not all his fault.

LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski

Zach Randolph: his spot in the starting lineup. Z-Bo has been a total pro about getting benched; even his "you've been wanting to do this, Joerg" comment was said with a chuckle and a smile. But he only played 15 minutes on Saturday against the Pacers, and if he continues to play between 15-20 minutes and the Grizzlies can't solidify their hold on an above-.500 record? I expect him to start letting folks know he doesn't think he should be coming off the bench, and that will make the team's dynamic even stranger than it already is. So, if Santa brings him back his ability to play decent defense, maybe he'll also get to start again.

Tony Allen: Another hoverboard, and a knee that doesn't swell up.

Jeff Green: A new contract that overpays him to be a net negative while he's on the floor. Green, as the starting power forward, has now had some really good games and some really bad ones. (The Dallas game on Friday was particularly bad, going 0-7 from the floor in almost 35 minutes, scoring only 2 points on free throws.) But he can create in space, and as the New Smallball Grizzlies try to find their way in the world, he appears to be the guy on whom Joerger has pinned the whole enterprise, for better or for worse. I don't need to remind you that there are years of stats that suggest Green just isn't a guy who moves the needle for any team he's ever been on. but he's in a contract year, and I don't think the Grizzlies intend to be the ones cutting him a check this summer, so he's asked Santa for someone else to throw too much money at him. I assume it will happen, especially as the salary cap starts its rise.

Matt Barnes: I just can't bring myself to make any of the really tasteless jokes that are occurring to me. Besides, for better or for worse, Barnes has been the best wing player on the team and now also the best defensive power forward. For this year's Grizzlies, Matt Barnes Has It All. What does he need Santa to bring him?

Mario Chalmers: A 30-point game. Chalmers has kind of faded into the background after a hot start with the Grizzlies, which is a thing that happens to a lot of guys who get traded to Memphis and eaten alive by the team's offensive kudzu problem.

Courtney Lee: Some quality time with a sports psychologist, or a psychoanalyst, or a hypnotherapist, or whatever it takes to get him to stop passing up wide open shots.

Vince Carter: I don't know. Vince seems like one of those dudes (I fit into this category) who is impossible to shop for because he doesn't really want anything. If he does, he generally just buys it. He's playing sometimes—he played more than 20 minutes in a really good Conley/Lee/Carter/Barnes/Gasol lineup on Saturday—and when he's not, he's probably thinking about the player development gig he's going to end up with once he retires, which will probably be after this season, but who knows? He's got a partially guaranteed year left.

Remember what this looked like? - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Remember what this looked like?

Russ Smith: Buckets. And minutes. But mainly buckets.

James Ennis: Some kind of travel restriction so he stops having to go to Iowa.

JaMychal Green: JaM just wants his minutes back. After starting the season really well, the smallball shift, along with an innate inability not to be called for every single foul, has hampered Green's effectiveness. Par for the course for a guy's first year as a real rotation player. He'll figure it out, assuming Joerger doesn't just cut him out of the rotation altogether. He's under 30, so that's always possible.

Jordan Adams and Brandan Wright: Magical Kobe Bryant German knees.

Dave Joerger: Ah, what do you get the man who seemingly doesn't like any of the things he has? Joerger wants a new roster, a healthy version of the roster he has, to play smallball, to be more "nasty", to rebound, to play defense, and probably really does want that Minnesota job so he can go coach Towns and Wiggins. Joerger is a good coach, and if the Grizzlies start to right the ship, he'll probably be a lot happier with his current situation. But the first part of the season has been tough sledding for ol' Dave and he's been very vocal about it. Maybe a nice bottle of wine from Gregg Popovich and a weekend at some kind of meditation retreat.

John Hollinger: A RAM upgrade for THE MACHINE so it can figure out how to actually get something of value in return for the Grizzlies' big pile of expiring contracts of players that nobody else really wants.

Actual photograph of THE MACHINE. - SECRET MOLE IN GRIZZLIES ORGANIZATION
  • Secret Mole in Grizzlies Organization
  • Actual photograph of THE MACHINE.

Robert Pera: The ability to own an NBA team without even once appearing in front of the media or showing his face at a home game. So far this is working out for him this season, but at some point, the guy at the top has to stop being completely absent, right? Right?

Every person covering the Grizzlies: Please, no more home blowouts, and if they have to come, then at least let Jarell Martin and Jordan Adams be healthy enough to play in them. The unremitting darkness of the first seven weeks of the season has taken a toll on all of us.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Beyond the Arc Podcast, #39: Hot Seat Rumor Roundup

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 7:30 AM

This week on the show, Kevin and Phil talk about:

  • The change to the Grizzlies' starting lineup this week, and what it means for Tony Allen and Zach Randolph to come off the bench
  • Whether TA really hurt his knee or not (he did)
  • Are the Grizzlies going to be buyers or sellers this trade season?
  • What will the Grizzlies' offense look like long term? What's the plan?
  • Why is Mike Conley struggling?
  • Was Dave Joerger really going to get fired if the Grizzlies lost to the Wizards?
  • A preview of the Grizzlies' upcoming Eastern Conference games.

The Beyond the Arc podcast is available on iTunes, so you can subscribe there! It'd be great if you could rate and review the show while you're there. You can also find and listen to the show on Stitcher and on PlayerFM.

You can call our Google Voice number and leave us a voicemail, and we might talk about your question on the next show: 234-738-3394

You can download the show here or listen below:

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