Ouch, and the hits keep coming. Get well soon, big guy.
The main problem to me seems to be integration of new parts into a system without any time to practice and meld. The individual moves seem (mostly) unavoidable, but having Rudy return, Darrell replaced by Cunningham due to injury, Pondexter replace Sam Young as I guess a coach's decision, the rookie point guards replace Conley due to injury and the trade of Greivas so Sam Young could be pushed out of the rotation, and no one replacing our (last year) revolving door at backup center, has made this team a mess. One would think that the ideal strategy in a compressed and lockout-shortened season would be to just go with what worked last year, but that obviously isn't happening, and I expect we will be seeing the (negative) results for some time. These guys just don't look coached right now, and the new players (and some holdovers like TA) aren't good enough to win without a scheme and coaching to properly execute that scheme.
My keys: 1) Will Conley compete or disappear, 2) Can Arthur consistently hit the mid-range shot he was so good at in the regular season to provide second team scoring
The last minute loss against Violet Palmer really hurts - Grizz would be in good shape with one more win and a home game against N.O.
3 quick thoughts....
1) Haven't heard it discussed much, but I guess Henry is another Grizz draft bust?
2) Despite a few vintage plays to remind us of what he once was, Battier has been uninspiring at best and terrible at worst...definitely a poor trade to swap 3 months of him for a 1st rounder. And no way we re-sign him.
3) Watching how differently games are officiated for teams like Boston, realistically the Grizz are going to need to be the higher seed or get lucky and find a media darling superstar in the draft to win a playoff series any time soon.
Chris, interested in your take on GV and his potential to develop into a #1 PG in a couple of years. He seems to have the court awareness, size, passing, and intangibles that Conley lacks, but isn't shooting well enough to be a threat in the current offense. We know he has an offensive game from college, so if he can translate that to the NBA, can he be the viable "big" point guard option I think we need to be a relevant team? Thanks.
Agree with all your points. re: Conley - the thing we are fighting against is that the opposing team also recognizes that Conley is the 5th best player, so they play tight on OJ on the perimeter, and leave Conley alone. The question then becomes - do you try to force shots from a tightly covered OJ or let Conley shoot uncontested 3s? We don't run a motion offense that will have OJ coming off screens constantly like Ray Allen, we mostly run more of an isolation which means OJ has to handle the ball to get a shot in the set half court. (My impression has been that most of OJ's scoring has been against defenses that were not yet set, particularly on the break, where this is less of a concern) So in the half court, if we don't go down low (wholeheartedly agree with the analysis on doing this with Gasol), Conley ends up being the "best" perimeter option and we have the poor balance you describe.
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By Chris McCoy
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