Seven games, people. The Grizzlies have played just seven games. Also, just a game ago, they destroyed GSW.
Let's stop furiously slapping at the panic button and take a deep breath or two.
Without question, this team is talented. I, for one, am still optimistic.
Who are the five teams ahead of the Grizzlies at this point? Sure, the Spurs and the Thunder will find a way to finish top 3. But, aside from maybe Houston and Golden State, I'm not sure anyone in the West made any serious improvements. The Clippers now boast an even more potent (and streaky) offense, but an embarrassingly inept defense (Paul aside) and thin frontcourt will haunt them against real opponents.
That said, I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that the Grizzlies can outperform the rosters of Houston, Golden State, and the Clippers. Even with the new coach and roster decisions a-plenty, I think they're likely to finish 3rd in the West.
I've previously addressed your claim that the Grizzlies will be outrun by other, faster teams. The roster going into this fall is (as it stands) almost exactly the same as it was at the end of the 2012-2013 season. No major pieces have moved.
Last year, the Grizzlies allowed only 12.3 fastbreak points (8th best in the league) and averaged 12.2 (19th). In other words, the Grizzlies were outrun for a measly 0.1 points.
The Grizzlies lost when their offensive game stagnated. Teams actively denied entry passes and dared us to win from beyond the arc. More often than not, we were forced to rely on double-teamed bigs to win games. A spot up shooter would flourish in the current configuration. If teams were forced to play honest defense on the perimeter, our bigs would have the space to dominate inside.
The notion that the Grizzlies are easily beaten by a fast, athletic team is pretty silly. The Grizzlies allowed only 12.3 fastbreak points (8th in the league) and averaged 12.2 (19th). The Grizzlies were outrun by a measly 0.1 points.
The Grizzlies lost when their offensive game stagnated. Last season, our offense was one-dimensional, relying heavily on moving the ball into the post. Teams dared us to take 3's instead of passing it inside. We won when we a) compensated for a lack of offense by playing lock-down defense, b) made the three, and/or c) overpowered the opposing team in the paint, despite their adjustments.
Going into next season, options a and c are still very much on the table. What we need is perimeter offense to make option b more feasible on nights when Gasol or Randolph can't get anything to fall.
Korver might be slightly out of our price range, as he's looking at a 3-year, $20 million offer from the Bucks. $6.5-7 million is a bit too rich for our tax situation.
Letting Daye go makes a lot of sense. On paper, he looks great. That's why he was so unstoppable in NBA 2K13. However, if you watch him closely on a real court, you'll soon notice his one-dimensionality on offense. He's a poor ball-handler who can't create his own shot. On defense, he's a non-entity. He isn't fast enough to keep up with small forwards, and his thin frame makes him easy to bully in the post. He just isn't worth a minimum $4.1 mil contract.
Martin was paid $12.4 mil last year...
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By Leonard Gill
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