Now that might be the one thing that could save face for the players with the fans. Let THE PLAYERS advocate for the fans. "Okay, we'll agree to a lower deal, but you have to pass the savings onto the fans." Leave it to Shane . . .
Easy: Juice was on the floor both times when we raced out to our biggest leads. I don't remember him contributing more than that corner 3, but he was out there.
"But, ask yourself this: Are the Grizzlies really likely to get someone in return for Mayo more likely than Mayo himself to be able to make up for Gay's lost production?"
THAT is the question, is it not? The problem with trading Juice is that he is EXACTLY the kind of player that we'd like to trade for, minus maybe some veteran savvy. The other SGs who would likely produce at OJ's level would also likely be starters who would bristle at not being assured of a starting role. Or they're players that other teams wouldn't likely give up (I'm looking at YOU , Jamal Crawford). And then there's the familiarity factor between Juice and the team.
I'm hoping that Juice steps up and realizes this is his time to shine. If this team can overcome THIS adversity and Rudy makes it back for a final playoff push . . . I wouldn't bet against the Bears taking a first round series. . .
Among all the drama you mention, it's amazing that we all but forget that his estranged father was arrested for attempted murder. Even though he's not in Juice's life, it's still something that could weigh on his mind, affecting his play.
OJ has made mention of "coming back in the best physical and mental shape of his life" following this suspension. I really like OJ. I think he's been a little too unselfish this season, as he's been floating on the outskirts of plays, not really involved in the offense. And then he's been passing up WAAAY too many shots.
I think Juice's game would be best served by adding some weight and muscle, and by patterning his game off of Reggie Miller/Rip Hamilton (running off of screens for quick jumpers), Sam Cassell (mastering the pump fake for drawing the foul), and of course, driving to the hole and drawing contact, getting to the line.
In short, I think OJ can be Memphis' version of Kevin Martin -- that guy is ridiculously underrated . . . but ridiculously efficient.
A good team win. I think it'll help the team chemistry that three of the starters were cheering on the bench players as they went on that fourth quarter run. Helps build the ONE TEAM mindset.
Well in a game vs. Lithuania Saturday, Rudy didn't get the glory, but it can be said that he was the reason Team USA was able to tread water until they turned on the jets in the second half. 14 points, 5 boards, 2 blocks . . . all off the bench in about 17 minutes of play.
Agreed, save some of that for Memphis.
Not so sure about that. Had we not started the season with the Iverson distraction and went .500 in those first 8 losses, this squad would have had 44 wins. Another couple of lucky bounces against Boston, Lakers and a couple of others, we'd be at 48 wins. And of course, Marc was hurt to close out the season, which certainly cost us a few wins.
Point is, with the pieces that we have, we were in playoff contention well into the homestretch of the season. That's with Conley (who can and MUST get better); Rudy (ditto) and virtually NO bench (also ditto). Most of the improvement on this team will come from players returning in better shape, with lots of offseason work, and dialed in. Oh, and get this: The same coach who finished the season will be back for another year!
Then there should be some fall off above -- teams like Denver (George Karl eventually burns out his teams), Portland has kind of stalled, and Utah and Phoenix have new pieces that may cost them some victories getting used to each other.
In fact, I won't be surprised if the Grizz crack the top 4 in the west and stay there. Individual improvement + improved bench = playoffs.
"By the way, Dad, can we PALEEEEZ go get Louis Amundson? PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE? Energy/Dirty Work guy? Can probably get him for 2 years $5 Mil. Please Dad, please?"
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By Toby Sells and Chris Shaw
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