Fizer's Take: Memphis Grizzlies
Well... The Pau Gasol era has ended and Memphis has moved on. Yes, they had severe their ties to one of their best players that they owned... Brrrrrkkk... Fast Forward to now... Yes, now... The current line up of their team looks promising... Rudy Gay is a beast waiting to happen but he still needs to develop more of a mean streak that guys at the All-Star level have... He could be a Danny Granger of the Western Conference... But the promising one for me is the "stealing" of OJ Mayo on Draft Night 2008. I thought he was staying at Minnesota but because Kevin McHale is in love with Kevin Love, the Wolves traded a player that could lit up the scoreboard every night and with Memphis, OJ did just that. He led the rookies in scoring(19 ppg) and was considered as a star player of the future. He also ranked second in votes for Rookie of the Year which made him more surprising than Michael Beasley. Aside from the two main players of the Grizz, Marc Gasol also showed why the people of Memphis can move on without Pau. The younger Gasol earned a spot in the All-Rookie team and was a post threat on the offensive end proving to anybody (especially NBADraft.net) that he is better than Todd McCullough(his NBA Comparison). Still, the Grizzlies lacked the depth and experience as a team and with them trying to play against a powerhouse Western Conference, they stand no chance. Mike Conley was on and off this season and byfar, hasn't shown much why he's worthy of the 4th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Though he did prove something but sometimes, he seems to be invisible. As a result, the Grizzlies once again fell down from the standings, have most empty arena seats on most of the nights and onto the lottery again.
Things were looking skyward for the Grizz when they landed the number 2 pick of the draft immediately speculating that they were to draft another Spanish player in Ricky Rubio but soon, talks fell off as Rubio does not want to play for them. The Grizzlies instead went for a raw but gigantic player at 7'3 in Hasheem Thabeet who could very well be the main defensive specialist on the team since Gasol lacks the toughness to be physical. Thabeet has been named a bust already but please, let's give this guy a chance to grow. Who knows? The rest was history. The reason why I will give the Grizzlies a salute and a high grade is not because of Thabeet... Oh no... But because of their next two picks who are definitely interesting in my eyes. DeMarre Carroll is a great addition to this team and can definitely help them off the bench. Sam Young was probably a "steal" in the second round. I thought he could have gone in the first round with the Cavs but he slipped probably because he only has 2 years left before he reaches his prime (already 24)... But what the Grizzlies will be getting from him is the ability to defend and the ability to work hard that could probably (hopefully) rub off on some of his teammates.
The offseason started with the acquisition of Q-Rich for Darko, then Q-Rich for ZeBo... Zach Randolph can help them on the PF position where his scoring is good. But he always had the knack for playing well on BAD teams that's why I don't think Memphis will be that strong with him around. What I also like about the Grizzlies is that they are not afraid to take risk. Take for example, Marcus Williams who has been disappointing so far in his NBA career. The Grizz are taking him as a back up hopeful that he could be the Marcus Williams of old. But the biggest acquisition of the team so far is the signing of Allen Iverson. Iverson has been twitting about wanting to be with Memphis and ending his career there... We'll see about that... Let me take a line from the column of Chris Mannix of SI.com... "If the Grizzlies are rebuilding through youth, then acquiring Allen Iverson is puzzling..." Yes... It did puzzle me for a bit because he's never that type that can make around him better. Though he is really trying hard to get his teammates more involved, he just could not do it on a consistent basis. Plus guys like OJ, Rudy and Zach could be looking to attempt more shots than they would have and adding another guy like AI could prove to be disastrous. But hey, then I realized that it could be for the marketability of the franchise that's why they signed Iverson to a one year deal... I've watched some Memphis games and their arena has been more than half empty some nights especially if the opponents would be the Bobcats or the Clips. Unless if they face guys like Kobe or LeBron then fans would be rushing to the Fedex Forum. Iverson could be a market strategy no matter how many games they would win... Anyway, they have a youth team that could prove critics wrong in years to come.
NBA Draft Grade: B+
NBA Offseason Grade: B
Predicted W-L: 38-44
This is just a writer's opinion... Anyone care to comment, I am open for it^^
good article. I think the Grizzlies will be much improved, but no wway they make the playoffs in the West. A great year for them would be 40 wiins, but that might be a bit optimistic. It really depends on if Z-Bo and A.I. buy into being good role players and let Mayo and Gay develop into the stars of the team. Iverson could win the 6th man award if he excepts that role imo. I would like to see them do well considering I'm a huge fan of Mayo, and i have a ton of respect for Iverson and i would like to see him salvage his career. Sadly though, if he doesn't buy into the team concept and the Grizzlies don't improve then this will probably be A.I.'s last season in the league. The ball is in his court on how he wants to end a great career, and i hope he makes the right choice
yep they are a playoff team bad management but they still are good at drafting players (Mayo, Gasol) they are loaded and i think they can be a playoff team.
Great article my man.....well written......U ARE right on the money about the grizzlies...Memphis signed a.i.. for 1 reason & 1 reason only..that was to bring in fans...but oj & rudy must emerge as the leader..
i think they have the talent to make the playoffs..no sure if they will though..tryna figure out who will make probably make the playoffs