Way to go Tigers!! Keep up the good work.
BOWLING HERE WE COME!!!
Let's face facts here: The reason for the Grizzlies' poor start is only partly because of the injury to Gasol and Poindexter. The elephant in the room, of course, is coaching. Joeger may be a fine coach one day but at this time he's not. His biggest mistake is who and when he plays certain players. Look at any Griz box score from one game to the next and you can't tell who the main players are. The number of minutes for all but a couple of players vary greatly from game-to-game. You can't win in the tough NBA like this, especially in the Western Conference. Players need to know and accept their roles. Joeger needs to put his best eight or nine players on the floor every night, give them consistent, well defined roles and only deviate from this when someone not playing makes it clear he deserves to play more.
This, of course, is what Lionel, and all veteran coaches do. They don't shuttle players in and out of the line up game to game. A veteran coach can do this because he's already earned the respect, and fear, of the players. The recent controversy with Andre Miller blowing up at rookie coach Brian Shaw and berating him out on the floor proves my point. What are the chances he'd do something as stupid to George Karl or any other veteran coach. The NBA is full of strong-willed, millionaire players, who think they know more than their coaches. It's a tough gig for a rookie coach. Just ask Pitino and others who found this out the hard way.
I'm not blaming Joeger for this debacle, but the know-it-all, cheap, management team. They've ruined the team for me and looks like a lot of other fans, judging by the lack of comments on this thread, and others when it comes to the Grizzlies this year.
Sorry Tiger fans. Get ready for more of this now that we're in a Big Boy's Conference. As I've noted before the Tigers are a finesse team, small guys, inadequate rebounding, lack of toughness in the middle. When the guards struggle with their outside shots as they're going to do against elite defensive teams in the AAC, it's going to be extremely hard to win in this conference, much less the NCAAs.
Hitching your wagon to a young, inexperienced coach has proven to be the undoing of the program. If running roughshod over a weak conference and flaming out in the NCAA tournament is your idea of success and warrants making your under achieving coach one of the highest paid in the nation, then you need to study Tiger basketball history before Larry Finch and before. Those were tough, competitive teams, unlike the young prima donnas we recruit these days.
Keep your crying towels nearby!
Tigers fans let's not get too excited. Let's keep an even keel and not nominate Pastner for the Coaches Hall of Fame just yet. Expect another clunker or inexplicable loss or two down the road.
Shaq played great but I'm still concerned about his rebounding, as I am with the entire team. As Pat Riley famously said "No rebounds, no rings".
My take on the Tigers is they will go only as far as Joe Jackson takes them. The young man is a tremendous player, one of the best to suit up for the Tigers, but he's still not being fully utilized. Because Pastner is so eager to prove he can coach at this level I think he's foolishly restraining Joe. When you have an experienced player as skilled as Jackson you need to trust him by putting the ball in his hands as much as possible. Let him decide who gets the ball, when, and where, instead of allowing so many different players to initiate or run the offense. The players should look for Joe anyime they get the ball off the backboard and he's in the game. The guy's so fast no one can stay in front of him and such a great free throw shooter that you have to make sure the ball's in his hands as much as possible, especially during crunch time.
Many college coaches are guilty of this: Holding great players back to get more credit for the success of the team. Remember, MJ was merely good, not great, under Dean Smith and his controlling of the game. By the same token there have been a slew of great NBA players who didn't distinguish themselves as great while in college. It's great players that will lead you to championships. You have to unleash them and let them play to their full potential.
Someone let me know when it's okay to hold Fuentes to the same standard we held Larry Porter to. The Tigers over the last two years have been no better than under Porter's tenure, and arguably worse. Where's the improvement? Looks like the same bunch of underachievers that have littered the program for the last decade or so.
Just asking because as soon as it's permissible to hold Fuentes responsible for the pitiful Tigers' showing this year I want to start with his boneheaded, idiotic decision to start Lynch over Kareem. That was lunacy. You don't replace an experienced quarterback who was playing well at the end of the season, and on a winning streak, for an untested freshman. Not unless he's a Jameis Winston or a Cam Newton, or some other phenom. Let the young man back up Kareem and learn how to play the position at the college level, and put him in if the starting quarterback struggles.
This boneheaded decision, in my opinion, was the death knell for the team this year, and Fuentes was just too stubborn to admit his mistake. When you have a team with few good players at the skill positions you just can't go with a freshman quarterback. Duh!!
As a former restaurant manager for over twenty years I fully support these workers to earn a living wage. I feel that any job that an employer feels is worth doing is worth paying a decent wage to do. If paying workers a decent wage puts you out of business then you don't deserve to be in business in the first place.
During my more than twenty years in the industry I saw firsthand the effects of denying my employees the benefit of decent wages and benefits. Although many of the restaurants I managed offered employees half-priced meals, many still couldn't afford to eat while at work and went hungry. One young single mother who worked for me could never afford to buy a half-price meal. She said she only ate once a day because she had two young children who needed to be fed. I used to give her a free meal and was thoroughly dismayed when she went to the back of the store and woofed down the meal in the span of a couple of minutes. That left a lasting impression on me. And while the impression of lowly paid restaurant workers is of uneducated minority, this young lady was white, as were many of my employees. Poverty and lack of opportunity cuts across all racial and gender lines.
Company practices such as denying employees full-time hours, fluctuating schedules, sending employees home before their shifts were up at the first slowing of business, making them work off the clock, not letting them clock in until business picked up, etc., are abhorrent and uncaring, in my opinion. I often butted heads with upper management because of my advocacy for my employees, and eventually this was the reason I left the business.
I always tried to give employees steady hours, raises when deserved them, and free meals, and I still maintained the profit margins upper management expected religiously. I constantly showed them that by treating low wage workers fairly, appreciating and rewarding hard work and loyalty, taking a real interest in their lives and aspirations, employees worked harder, were more productive, and stole and wasted less food and supplies. Too bad I was never able to establish this type of business model in an industry concerned only about profits, not people.
Someone tell me how a team that returns all five starters, its top two reserves, Poindexter and Bayless, its two "up and coming" young players, Davis and Leuer, adds one of the top backup centers in the league, one of the best three-point shooters, a supposedly capable back up point guard, and not be a better team than the year before?
It's all about coaching Gentlemen. If any of you remember me I was the one lambasting the Grizzlies for getting rid of Hollins. I went back and forth with the Hollins haters for weeks and finally decided to take a wait-and-see attitude. I wanted to root against the Griz but can't. I've been a true fan much too long. I still want them to do well but I'm worried. This is Pera's and Levein's team and they can do what they want. They did and now they will have to live with their boneheaded decision.
Anyone watching this team know they are not the same. The toughness that Lionel instilled in them is gone. The defense so many Lionel haters wanted to lay at the feet of Joeger isn't the same. If you want to see a real mess just let the Grizzlies continue to lose and we'll see just how lovable TA, Zach, and Marc really are. This team has some of the strongest personalities on one team in the NBA. Lionel controlled them through that age-old motivator known as fear... fear of riding the pine. If Joeger doesn't get tough he'll be eaten alive.
Get rid of a winning coach who knows what it takes to win at a high level for an untested, young coach who never coached a NBA game. Quite a gamble. Good luck with that!
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