I think Joerger deserves more blame than you're giving him. His biggest problem isn't his substitutions or playcalling - it's his apparent inability to motivate the team for any sustained period, or be an effective emotional leader. Managing egos and chemistry is a major part of running an NBA team, and given the number of meltdowns this teams has suffered during his tenure, I'm not convinced Joerger's able to command the respect he needs to do that. Say what you what about Lionel - he certainly had his interpersonal issues - but his Grizzlies teams didn't quit on him.
It's ironic that, given how much Joeger and co talked early in the season about "getting off to a fast start" in order to prevent last year's mad dash to the playoffs, this year they're having to push down to the wire for seeding that may end up being one slot higher than last year. Sometimes I got the sense that they were so focused on starting the season well they forgot they had to keep going. They'd likely have the 2 seed locked up now had they won 2 of those February stinkers.
I live in Beijing, and usually have to follow games through ESPN play-by-play at 10 am at work. This evening I had the rare fortune of walking into a bar at 6 pm and seeing the Grizzlies up by 17 over the Pistons in the second quarter in a time-delayed replay. Hot damn, I thought, I never get to watch a full Grizz game. Then I saw Marc blow multiple possessions trying to throw cross-court passes instead of driving to the basket from 8 feet. I saw walking up the court lethargy, sloppiness, and suddenly we're down 11 with 2 minutes to go in the 4th. I threw in my pocket and had to apologize to my friends. Maybe it's good I don't watch too many games these days. I don't feel good about the playoffs.
Have we seen the last of substantial Nick Calathes? It's a bummer after he blossomed last year. All the more reason for him head to Europe, I guess
In agreement with other commenters, I feel like we've milked what we could out of this season given the personnel we have - everyone's been relatively healthy, no major injuries, can't expect much more - and it's been a fun ride. While I've had the same recurring thought as Grizzdoc about Curry/Harden/Dejuan Blair and all of Heisley's mistakes, I'm also disappointed with the new front office, which even with about 300 trade exceptions has arguably left the team less talented and less deep then it was at the season's outset, and with disappointing upside/future assets to show for it (and yeah, I know we had to get under the cap, Prince is a likely a better fit than Rudy, etc). Can we really expect Wroten and Davis to improve enough to more than offset Randolph/Prince's decline and make us a better team next year? Doubtful. We don't have good assets to make a big trade in the offseason, lack the cap space to sign another key piece, and gave away a 1st round draft pick to improve our "negotiating position" in a Rudy Gay deal that we probably could have make anyway. Based on this situation and past performance, I can't see Hollinger and co. doing very much to raise our ceiling. But I've been very wrong about the Grizzlies before, and hope I am now as well.
This is a great day in Grizzlies history, and I feel good about our chances in the next 2 rounds. Kudos to the entire team especially Marc, ZBo, Tony. I just hope Pera remembers to send flowers to Patrick Beverly.
The slide back to mediocrity feels so, um, painfully normal. Back to being a Grizzlies fan.
Doesn't Conley bear some responsibility for the anemic offense, especially late in games when he's always been prone to stand around for half of the shot clock before turning it over in the lane?
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