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Re: “Grizzlies 88, Trail Blazers 86: Haiku Game Notes

If I recall correctly, Kenny Smith once said that when a team loses a game by a significant point differential, that's on the players. But when a team loses a close game, that's on the coach. We can debate the generality of that claim, but I do think that there's something to be said about coaching in tight games. And in the Grizzlies case, they always see to win close games. While this was often true in past seasons, what they are doing this year with a depleted roster and a lot of inexperienced players is on a whole different level. Coach Fizdale is getting unexpected production from players who, quite frankly, I thought would be washed out of the NBA by now. And his system seems to have elevated the play of his stars: Conley and Gasol. I can't wait to see what he's able to do with Parsons when (or if) he gets healthy again. Also, winning games against beatable opponents is also a sign of good coaching, I believe. It suggests that the team is disciplined, focused, and executing to the best of its ability.

As for Gasol, I'm surprised to see that he barely cracks top the 10 of centers in the league when he's ranked according to various analytics and fantasy stats. The eyeball test suggests otherwise, as appears to be he's having another All-NBA year. What he's doing in crunch time is particularly impressive. In fact, that's one area where the analytics appear to reflect what I've been seeing on the court. According one site that measures clutch stats, Gasol is the 5th most clutch player so far this season. Would the Griz have a record of 16-8 with any other center in the league? Cousins and White side are stat machines, and Towns is already averaging 20/10. But I'd take Gasol's intangibles over any other center all day long.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Iggy on 12/09/2016 at 9:09 PM

Re: “Reports: Chandler Parsons agrees to four-year max deal with Grizzlies

Other than Durrant, I think Parson is the best the Griz could do to fill their SF position. Parsons' size and scoring ability make him a superior fit for the Griz compared to Batum.

However, I do wonder what the Griz are going to do with Zbo. If the Griz want to move to a modern offense, they can't continue to start him alongside Gasol, especially with a scorer like Parsons in the mix. Moving him and the one year left on his contract seems like a big possibility. Of course, before that happens, if it does, it would be nice to know whether Brandan Wright will ever play again.

So far, it's been a good off-season for the Griz.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Iggy on 07/01/2016 at 3:22 PM

Re: “Grizzlies 106, Cavaliers 103: Next Day Notes

Coach of the year race: Dave Joerger, Dwane Casey, Brad Stevans

Posted by Iggy on 03/08/2016 at 10:38 PM

Re: “Grizzlies trade Jeff Green for Clippers 1st rounder, Lance Stephenson

How many times have teams that are positioned to play each other in the playoffs (Clipoers #4 vs Grizzlies #5) made a trade of this magnitude (rotation players, 1st round pick) 50+ games into the season?

Posted by Iggy on 02/21/2016 at 12:40 PM

Re: “Thunder 112, Grizzlies 94: Next Day Lamentations

I think it's too late to "blow it up." They went all in on Grit n' Grind. They re-signed players past their prime and added players past their prime. Maxed out Gasol. Have no plan in place if they don't re-sign and possibly max out Conley. And they traded away draft picks, which makes rebuilding from scratch a near impossibility.

Unfortunately, building around Gasol and Conley is not going to get us very far. Neither is an alpha dog. They can be the #2 or #3 guy on a team, but neither is a #1. In this respect, they are both similar to Pau when he was here. Pau wasn't good enough to carry the franchise in Memphis, but as a #2 guy in LA alongside Kobe, he won two championships.

Maybe the Griz will get lucky and find a Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard type player in the middle or latter part of the first round of the draft. However, almost all of the top players in the league were selected early in the draft, mostly top 7 or higher. So our chances of getting a true alpha dog are slim.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Iggy on 01/08/2016 at 8:09 PM

Re: “Grizzlies 91, Blazers 78: Same As It Ever Was

Yeah, but they've been playing roughly .500 ball since last year's all star game. This season's results shouldn't be surprising at all

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Iggy on 01/05/2016 at 11:28 PM

Re: “Grizzlies 112, Wizards 95: Five Thoughts

There are more pluses than minuses with Zbo going to the bench.

On offense, Zbo is a space clogger, ball stopper, and double-digit shot attempter. And he often struggles when matched up with taller, more athletic defenders, which is now how many teams counter his low-post scoring ability. Without Zbo, the offense flows more evenly and, in theory, Gasol and Conley are forced to take more shots, which is what you want from your two best players.

On defense, Zbo struggles on pick and roll and guarding the 3-point line, and with age, he's getting worse. And his defensive rebounding numbers are down (almost 2 rebs from a season ago), so his one strength on defense, isn't as much of a strength as it has been.

But as a bench player, he's dealing with lesser players on both ends, and, in theory, should be able to play his game, getting the ball in the post, battling for position, and putting up a high volume of shots.

Plus, as Zbo said in an interview yesterday, this is how Joerger wants to play. Coach wants to modernize the Grizzlies' offense. I think that's a good thing.

My main concern is that this line-up change might detrimentally affect Jam Green's playing time and Martin's time, assuming he gets any. Also, where does Wright fit, assuming he ever plays again?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Iggy on 12/15/2015 at 3:41 PM

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