Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011-2012 NBA Preview #10: Memphis Grizzlies

Greetings all... back to the West with Ryan covering the fascinating Grizz...

Roster Breakdown (Starters in Bold)
  • PG - Mike Conley, Greivis Vasquez, Josh Selby, Jeremy Pargo
  • SG - Tony Allen, OJ Mayo, Xavier Henry
  • SF - Rudy Gay, Sam Young
  • PF - Zach Randolph, Darrell Arthur (injured)
  • C - Marc Gasol, Hamed Haddadi, Brian Skinner

General Thoughts

This team was a complete surprise last year. We all collectively wrote these guys off once Rudy Gay (Their leading scorer pre-injury) went down with a shoulder injury, but somehow, they played even better without him and it nearly got them to the Western Conference Finals. Zach Randolph had always been a guy who averaged 20-10 every where he went, but was considered a malcontent and not someone you should build your team around, but he's shown remarkable growth as a person (from everything i've read) and he's become the leader of this young squad. Keeping Marc Gasol around was definitely the biggest priority of the Grizzlies because they have next to no frontcourt depth now that Darrell Arthur is lost for the season with an achilles injury. I hear they are trying to either sign Dante Cunningham or bring in a big man from Philly but something definitely needs to happen by the opener or else that will be a huge flaw all season. Mike Conley is a guy who gets lost in the Renaissance of the Point Guard but he should round out the list of very good PGs and his numbers compliment what the Grizzlies need with respectable scoring (15pts) assists, of course, (6.5 a game) and solid defense (1.8 steals a game). They aren't going to sneak up on anyone this year, but with probably the best starting 5 in the league, they won't have to in order to beat any team.


I would say the reincorporation of Rudy Gay is going to be very interesting to this team. They proved that they didn't necessarily need him through the playoffs... which can be a little awkward. Will it be more feeding of the big guys or more perimeter oriented? I think they'll get it hammered out and still be effective but it's interesting to note any bumps along the way. To me, OJ Mayo is one of the underrated/underutilized players in the league. I get why he comes off the bench (Thin bench and he can score 20) but it just frustrates me to no end that he's the 4th or 5th wheel where his talent can be served better elsewhere. His numbers are down across the board as a reserve and he's always linked in some sort of trade winds, I hope he can either embrace the role as 6th man or move on to a better situation. (ed: Couldn't agree more on Mayo, it's borderline hilarious that he wouldn't play more minutes than Tony Allen)

Predicted Finish

5th in the West

No comments: