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Being a small market team doesn't help much when it comes to national exposure. I could easily complain about how ESPN and other media outlets don't pay much attention to the Memphis Grizzlies like other fans do, but I hate that way of t...
Being a small market team doesn't help much when it comes to national exposure. I could easily complain about how ESPN and other media outlets don't pay much attention to the Memphis Grizzlies like other fans do, but I hate that way of thinking. It all comes with the territory of being a professional team in Memphis. If you're team is in large market (LA, CHI, NY, etc) or has a once-in-a-generation talent (Kevin Durant) then you're the talk of the media whether the news is positive or negative. It's simple math: more fans (or a superstar) means national news. And we often hear about how well Lebron James and Dwyane Wade perform together. About the chemistry between Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. About how good a duo James Harden and Dwight Howard will be this season. Those are some of the best two-man duos in the NBA. What those stations are missing out on is the two-man game that has helped propel the Memphis Grizzlies to the near-top of the Western Conference over the past few years. If you thought Mike Conley and Marc Gasol then you've guessed right. When talking best pick-and-roll duo's in the NBA, this pairing isn't mentioned much, but the numbers are on their side. According to Synergy Sports, Gasol ranked 23rd as the pick-and-roll man with a PPP (Points Per Possession) of 1.19 and a %Score (the percentage of plays where the player scores at least 1 point, FT's included) of 60.7%. Here is a chart comparing Gasol's effectiveness as the screen man compared to other top NBA bigs: # %TIME PPP Field-Goal % %Score Turnover % Marc Gasol 285 20.0% 1.19 61.3% 60.7% 7.0% Tim Duncan 343 20.6% 0.94 46.6% 47.5% 7.6% Blake Griffin 178 11.8% 1.2 65.7% 61.2% 9.6% Chris Bosh 268 18.3% 1.18 57.1% 58.2% 7.1% Kevin Garnett 235 20.8% 0.98 48.8% 49.4% 3.4% Al Horford 297 21.2% 1.01 51.4% 51.2% 2.4% Lamarcus Aldridge 296 18.5% 0.95 47.3% 47.6% 5.7% Schemes dictate how often the player is used in the pick-and-roll situation, but this is a pretty good representation of how good Gasol operates in it. Conley on the other hand isn't the best pick-and-roll point guard this league has to offer, but his skill set and Gasol's presence puts him in good position when running the play. Above is a shot of a Conley-Gasol pick-and-roll against the Cleveland Cavaliers. A rare, good screen by Gasol forces Kyrie Irving behind Conley. This forces Tyler Zeller to cut Conley's lane to the basket off leaving Marc Gasol to dive and attack the open space however he sees fit. The result is then this: While Gasol's screen is the reason he was allowed to be so open, floor-spacing played a large part. Putting Tayshaun Prince closest to the pick-and-roll forces Alonzo Gee to stay home. Replace Prince with Tony Allen and Gee likely leaves his man open to force Gasol to make another decision. It also helps that Marc Gasol was an elite mid-range shooter last season, shooting 47 percent on 16-23 footers. That spacing gives Conley space after the initial pick. Defenses have learned that leaving Marc Gasol open on pick-and-pops isn't ideal. This opens the door for Mike Conley to penetrate defenses knowing he'll likely be facing one defender instead of two. Here's an example of this against the Washington Wizards: Emeka Okafor begins in position to cut off Conley. But the result of Gasol popping means he has to drop back after Trevor Ariza fights through the screen. That results in this: A quick burst of speed gives Conley an open lane to the basket. Gasol's presence made that possible along with Tayshaun Prince's. Martell Webster had to decide whether he'd get between Conley and the basket or stay on Prince. He chose Prince which gave Conley space. Same thing occurs in this play against the Indiana Pacers: Guarding Gasol is one of the best rim defenders in Roy Hibbert. The use of Marc Gasol in the pick-and-roll not only draws him away from the basket, but it keeps him f
about 2 hours ago
Coming off the heels of Monday night's loss to the Chicago Bulls in St. Louis, I'm not sure what to expect tonight other than more of the same: new Grizzlies players—and/or new NBA players—feeling their way through ...
Coming off the heels of Monday night's loss to the Chicago Bulls in St. Louis, I'm not sure what to expect tonight other than more of the same: new Grizzlies players—and/or new NBA players—feeling their way through the breaks of the game, trying to find a comfort level with the league and with the Grizzlies' new, more uptempo offense. The Mavericks are in a weird place this year, having lost out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and the Deron Williams sweepstakes and the Everyone Else sweepstakes and ended up with Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis (who, of course, Have It All) but not committed to wholesale tanking in an effort to land one of the coveted 2014 lottery picks.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]
about 4 hours ago
Feb 14, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) during the second half at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA...
Feb 14, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) during the second half at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports Sir Charles In Charge writers Michael Saenz, Andrew Melnick, Jalen Bishop and Hardeep Sahota rank the top players at each position in the NBA for the 2013-2014 season. This week long series will also include ranking the top sixth men and head coaches.   1. LeBron James In a shocking revalation, I have chosen LeBron James as the best small forward. It’s no longer entertaining to discuss why LeBron is the best small forward(Or, better yet, player). Anything that can be said, has already been mentioned somewhere on the internet. LeBron has been the driving force of two straight Miami Heat championship runs, earning him two straight Finals MVP’s. He’s won four of the past five MVP’s regular season MVP’s. Now he’s chucking tires and looking terrifying while doing rope training. As he continues to add more to his legacy, a more provocative debate is where he ranks among the NBA’s greats. However, don’t even compare him to Jordan or you’ll be stabbed! 2. Kevin Durant This ranking doesn’t do him justice. He’s the second best player in basketball. In any other non-LeBron or Jordan era of basketball, Durant’s likely the top dog. Durant knows he is overshadowed by LeBron’s eminence over the league. If not for the Heat’s 27-game winning streak as well as LeBron’s 2013 campaign, Durant’s historically great season turns into a bigger story. Only six players are in the 50-40-90 club, which is shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the foul line: Steve Nash(4 times), Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller and now Kevin Durant. Durant’s all-around improvement is moving at a super fast pace; he’s turning into a scary passer as well as a defender. With Westbrook out for some time, we will get to watch Durant’s powers as a ball-handler along with post-ups, mid-range jumpers and spot up threes. I’m excited. 3. Carmelo Anthony Similarly to Durant, Carmelo at the third slot doesn’t do him justice. He’s one of the ten best players in the league along with being in the elite class of scorers. Anthony won his first scoring title in 2013–averaging 28.7 points, not to mention a great month of April that propelled him past Durant–35.6 points per game and 53/46/83 shooting splits. Even though he had a disappointing postseason–subsidiary shooting stats and lost the head-to-head matchup against Paul George, Anthony piloted the Knicks past the Celtics in six games. Now in his third season(Well, second and a half season), accompanied by an improved roster on paper, Anthony must power the Knicks to the Conference Finals. If it’s another first or second round exit, his rank as the third best small forward will be taken by the next person this list. 4. Paul George Following the events of Indiana beating New York in six games and having Miami on the brink of elimination, the basketball world recognized George coming forth as a budding superstar. Some scouts believe he can become not just a superstar, potentially a top three player in the league. That’s a high praise for a 23 year old who just landed a juicy contract. However, he has strides he needs to take; George was not an accurate shooter in either the regular season(41%) or post-season(43%) plus an ugly 3.9 turnovers per game in the post-season. And that number went up to 4.6 when he played Miami. In due time, George will refine those parts of his game. He’s an underrated passer and this is an understatement, a frightening defender. George may make another leap this season as well as perhaps guiding Indiana to a NBA Finals appearance. 5. Paul Pierce No Josh Smi
about 6 hours ago
Oct 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward Michael Beasley (floor) with shooting guard Ray Allen (from left to right) power forward Udonis Haslem, small forward LeBron James and shooting guard Dwyane Wade in the second half of...
Oct 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward Michael Beasley (floor) with shooting guard Ray Allen (from left to right) power forward Udonis Haslem, small forward LeBron James and shooting guard Dwyane Wade in the second half of a game against the Atlanta Hawks at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports To no surprise, the Miami Heat have opened up as the favorites to win the 2014 NBA Championship, according to Bovada.com. Bovada released its championship odds on Tuesday and the Heat opened up as 2-1 favorites. The oddsmaker’s seem to really love Derrick Rose, because his return has jolted the Chicago Bulls’ odds to win the title to second, behind the Heat, at 8-1. The Bulls are followed on the list by The Oklahoma City Thunder (8-1), Los Angeles Clippers (9-1), Houston Rockets (10-1), Indiana Pacers (10-1) and Brooklyn Nets (10-1). Surprisingly, the San Antonio Spurs are 8th on the list at 12-1 odds, with the Golden State Warriors (16-1) and New York Knicks (22-1) rounding out the top-10. The Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats are dead-last at 500-1 odds at winning the NBA Championship. Here’s the list in its entirety: Odds to win 2014 NBA Championship  Miami Heat                               2/1 Chicago Bulls                            8/1 Oklahoma City Thunder       8/1 Los Angeles Clippers              9/1 Houston Rockets                   10/1 Indiana Pacers                         10/1 Brooklyn Nets                          10/1 San Antonio Spurs                  12/1 Golden State Warriors           16/1 New York Knicks                      22/1 Memphis Grizzlies                   28/1 Los Angeles Lakers                 33/1 Dallas Mavericks                      50/1 Denver Nuggets                       50/1 Cleveland Cavaliers                 66/1 Detroit Pistons                         75/1 Minnesota Timberwolves    100/1 New Orleans Pelicans            100/1 Washington Wizards              100/1 Atlanta Hawks                         150/1 Boston Celtics                          150/1 Portland Trail Blazers            150/1 Toronto Raptors                     150/1 Utah Jazz                                    150/1 Milwaukee Bucks                    250/1 Philadelphia 76ers                  300/1 Phoenix Suns                           300/1 Sacramento Kings                  300/1 Charlotte Bobcats                  500/1 Orlando Magic                          500/1 Oddsmaker Sets Heat as Preseason NBA Title Favs; Bulls, Thunder And Clips Just Behind - Sir Charles In Charge - Sir Charles In Charge - A General NBA Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
about 24 hours ago
What can be said about Marc Gasol that hasn't been said already? Everyone jumped on the bandwagon last season if they hadn't already, and it's safe to say nobody is jumping off anytime soon. Gasol is amongst the NBA's elite centers, and ...
What can be said about Marc Gasol that hasn't been said already? Everyone jumped on the bandwagon last season if they hadn't already, and it's safe to say nobody is jumping off anytime soon. Gasol is amongst the NBA's elite centers, and he is here to stay. He's a swiss-army knife center that can just about do it all. Although Gasol has given the Grizzlies all they could possibly ask for, he will have to shoulder even more of the load this year if the Grizzlies plan to up the ante on their own success. Expectations for 2013-14: Gasol is, and should be, the focal point of the offense. The Grizzlies are better when the offense is running through him. With his arsenal, defenders always have to stay on their toes, giving the Grizzlies the advantage. Gasol can be expected to put up a double-double on any given night, and he will average mid-double digits in points and close to double digits in rebounds. However, his rebounding numbers might suffer with Koufos spelling him from time to time. His points per game shouldn't suffer because he should be even more of a cog in the Grizzlies offense this season. Areas to Improve: Gasol sometimes struggles with being too passive on offense. He passes when he should shoot far too often. Yes, he is a magnificent passer but the Grizzlies need him to be more of a scorer. I don't mean shoot whenever he gets the chance and pass up excellent passing opportunities to set up a teammate for an easy basket. But, when I see Gasol receive the ball wide open at the elbow, I EXPECT HIM TO SHOOT! Areas of Concern: The only fathomable concern would be that the addition of Koufos into the big man rotation somehow throws off the balance and causes Gasol to regress ever so slightly. That scenario is highly unlikely though. There is a general consensus that Koufos will help Gasol out tremendously by taking some of the load off of him. Best-Case Scenario: Gasol becomes a 20-10 guy every night. He is certainly capable of scoring 20 points and grabbing ten rebounds every night, but would that actually be beneficial for the Grizzlies? Well, it's hard to know since it hasn't happened yet, but to me it seems like a good thing. If Gasol is averaging 20 points per game, that means the addition of Mike Miller and continued sharp-shooting from Quincy Pondexter freed up loads of space for Gasol to obliterate his man in the post. Worst-Case Scenario: Gasol gets injured somehow and misses the whole season. Unless that happens, Gasol is essentially guaranteed to play at a high level. Follow @sbnGrizzlies More from Grizzly Bear Blues: 2013-2014 Memphis Grizzlies Player Previews: Jamaal Franklin 2013-2014 Player Preview: Nick Calathes 2013-14 Memphis Grizzlies Player Preview: Tayshaun Prince Grizzlies Coaching Preview: A Baker's Half-Dozen Questions We'll Be Asking Memphis Grizzlies Training Camp & Preseason: Count Our Blessings
1 day ago
Leuer didn't do much for the Grizzlies last year. That's because he wasn't given the chance to do much. In both Cleveland and Memphis, Leuer really hasn't gotten his time to shine. With his skill set, if he becomes more consistent with h...
Leuer didn't do much for the Grizzlies last year. That's because he wasn't given the chance to do much. In both Cleveland and Memphis, Leuer really hasn't gotten his time to shine. With his skill set, if he becomes more consistent with his jumper, you have to think his time is coming. Expectations for 2013-14: Could Leuer help the Grizzlies this season? I don't know. Probably. Will he? It's highly unlikely. With the addition of Kosta Koufos coupled with the Grizzlies trying to groom Ed Davis to become the team's power forward for the foreseeable future, it will be increasingly difficult for Leuer to crack the lineup. The good news about Leuer is if someone did happen to get injured, Leuer has enough talent to step in and become a valuable part of this team. Areas to Improve: Leuer could stand to improve his jump shot. from 16-24 feet. He has value if he can sink jumpers from fourteen and fifteen feet from each corner like Udonis Haslem, but his value would be that much higher if he could add an even longer jumper to his arsenal. He should also work on his post game. Leuer is primarily a face up big man, but he has decent moves. He should try to utilize those more than he has so he isn't so predictable offensively. Areas of Concern: What if Leuer's jump shot never improves? He might be stuck on the end of the bench for the rest of his NBA career. That would certainly be a waste of a very smart player that really utilizes his wit on the court to stay one step ahead of his opponent. Leuer clearly has the mind to understand the game very well. From here, it's all about execution. Best-Case Scenario: For Leuer, the best-case scenario would be he somehow cracks the lineup and proves that he has become more consistent and can be a valuable role player in the Association. For the Grizzlies, the best-case is that Leuer doesn't play except during garbage time. If Leuer gets minutes outside of that, that likely means somebody in the Grizzlies front court got hurt. Worst-Case Scenario: Leuer rarely finds his way onto the court, and his development further stagnates. The Grizzlies certainly don't want that, and I'd venture to say Leuer doesn't either. Follow @sbnGrizzlies More from Grizzly Bear Blues: 2013-2014 Memphis Grizzlies Player Previews: Jamaal Franklin 2013-2014 Player Preview: Nick Calathes 2013-14 Memphis Grizzlies Player Preview: Tayshaun Prince Grizzlies Coaching Preview: A Baker's Half-Dozen Questions We'll Be Asking Memphis Grizzlies Training Camp & Preseason: Count Our Blessings
1 day ago
Apr 12, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts against the Golden State Warriors during the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports So if you ever wondered...
Apr 12, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts against the Golden State Warriors during the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports So if you ever wondered what Platelet Rich Plasma therapy looked like (yea, me either) Kobe Bryant, who traveled to Germany to have the procedure done last week, posted this picture on his Instagram account to answer all your questions. On Monday, the Lakers said that they knew about Kobe leaving to have this therapy done, but Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said otherwise. The New York Daily News reported this: “Kobe not telling Mike D’Antoni tells you something about what Kobe thinks of coaches, and also Mike’s status,’’ said one NBA head coach. “Now if that were Phil Jackson, I would think Kobe would have told him he was going.’’ Kobe has been working hard in trying to get back before the season opener, though, the fact that he had a procedure or “therapy” done in Germany just last week doesn’t bode well for those thinking he’ll be on the court for that season opening game. I would think — at this point — that it’s more likely that Kobe will return a few weeks into the season, rather than the season opener against the Clippers. Though, we should never put anything past Kobe. He’s burned us in the past and, also, he’s Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant’s Knee Therapy - Sir Charles In Charge - Sir Charles In Charge - A General NBA Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
1 day ago
The Grizzlies Host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday October 9, 2013 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, which stands to be a potentially tough match-up for the Grizz. The Mavs plan to run out Nowitzki, Marion, Dalembert, Ellis, and Mekel aga...
The Grizzlies Host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday October 9, 2013 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, which stands to be a potentially tough match-up for the Grizz. The Mavs plan to run out Nowitzki, Marion, Dalembert, Ellis, and Mekel against Prince, Gasol, Conley, Randolph, and Allen. thats not where the toughness in Dallas' lineup is. Its in their bench. The addition of Mike Miller will bring a championship attitude, along with timely shooting, but six of our twelve remaining bench players will be tested defensively, athletically and when it comes to putting the ball in the hoop from downtown. The Mavs posses a deep bench that contrasts ours to a point where it couold be a shootout in which we are out shot. There are a lot of dangerous shooters lurking on the Mavs Bench this season, most notably Vince Carter, Devin Harris, Jose Calderon, and Wayne Ellington, any of whom can get hot in an instant. Along with rookies Shane Larkin (Miami, FL.) and Micky McConnell (St. Mary's). This is definitely a negative contrast to the Swingman/Bigman laden bench that is the Memphis Grizzlies. Not to even mention the tough match-up nightmares that will plague Tony Allen and Marc Gasol in Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki. The Grizz have a formidable bench of big men and swingmen this season but their lack shooters and play makers could spell trouble for them in this game and potentially throughout the season with more and more shooters making their way into the Southwest Division.
1 day ago
As Chris Faulkner discussed here Monday night the Grizzlies fell to the Chicago Bulls 87-106. Yes, it was a preseason game, and yes, Marc Gasol, Quincy Pondexter, Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen did not play for rest reasons. So, take the...
As Chris Faulkner discussed here Monday night the Grizzlies fell to the Chicago Bulls 87-106. Yes, it was a preseason game, and yes, Marc Gasol, Quincy Pondexter, Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen did not play for rest reasons. So, take the loss with a big early October grain of salt. But there were still things that can be taken away from the game. And since some folks (such as myself) were likely unable to watch/listen to the game, those points can be gathered from the post-game box score. (editor's note: we do not yet have widgets for preseason box scores) Something tells me Coach Joerger will not be happy with his team's defensive focus, especially in the 3rd quarter. The Bulls scored 37 points in the 3rd quarter and shot 47% for the game. Now remember, the two best defensive Grizzlies (Gasol and Allen) did not play, so this likely had a decent bit to do with this. But the shooting percentage plus foul trouble (more on this later) for players like Zach Randolph, Ed Davis and Nick Calathes reflects poor rotations, foot speed and body positioning on shot defense. The number of free throws shot was just absurd. The Bulls shot 43, the Grizzlies 29. That is 72 free throws, and that is entirely too many. A usual NBA game would likely have anywhere between 45-55 free throws per game. Granted, as players get into condition and work on variations of scheme there will likely be some extra fouls. But 72 free throws? And the Bulls shooting 14 more than the Grizzlies? The refs are getting back into condition as well, apparently. Two of the players I focused on in my preview yesterday were the "European Crossover" Nick Calathes and "The Grindson" Jamaal Franklin. They both played 26 minutes last night, with only Jerryd Bayless playing more at 29 minutes. And both did some good things; Calathes had 8 assists, including a highlight lob to Tony Gaffney, a camp invitee. And Franklin made a 3 and grabbed 3 boards. But Calathes also had 3 turnovers, shot 50% from the free throw line and had 5 fouls as we discussed earlier, and Franklin and Calathes were also tied in another less desirable stat; +/-. -18, meaning that while they were on the court the Bulls outscored the Grizzlies by 18. Now, once again, grain of salt; the Grizzlies' leaders in that stat were Melvin Ely and Willie Reed, who played 14 minutes combined. But the numbers say that these two players had a mixed debut for Memphis. Kosta Koufos had a mixed bag debut as well. From reading my Twitter timeline and talking with our Kevin Yeung, it sounds as if he was used in the Gasol high-post facilitator role last night, which is good. But the numbers say it wasn't the best debut. 2-6 from the floor, 3 turnovers and only 2 rebounds and 18 minutes of play, which is concerning since the word out of camp was that he would play a ton and that he was gobbling up rebounds. Once again, just one preseason game and numbers aren't everything, but hopefully Kosta will have a better showing on Wednesday when the Grizzlies host the Dallas Mavericks in the first home preseason game on Beale Street. The Battle of the Blues How GBB vs. 3SOB is Going Down. Three Thoughts for the Road... 1. Mike Miller hit both of his three point shots and had the lowest +/- of anyone on the Grizzlies that played more than 15 minutes. Great to have him back. 2. The Bulls out-rebounded the Grizzlies 43-31 in the game. The rebounding game is arguably the most important aspect of Grizzlies success this season; defensively, you want to keep your opponent to one shot and offensively with our history of shooting woes you want multiple attempts at the basket. Something to keep an eye on moving forward. Grizzlies' Coaching Preview 7 questions to ask as the season gets starts. 3. The power forward position will be a fun one to watch all season. As Tristy and Chris said last night, Zach apparently looked to be in good shape and health. But 5 fouls is cause for concern, as is only grabbing 2 rebound
1 day ago
The Grizzlies lost to the Chicago Bulls last night in St. Louis, and they lost by a lot: the final score was 106-87. However, the Grizzlies were without Marc Gasol, Tony Allen, Tayshaun Prince, and Quincy Pondexter for various reasons, a...
The Grizzlies lost to the Chicago Bulls last night in St. Louis, and they lost by a lot: the final score was 106-87. However, the Grizzlies were without Marc Gasol, Tony Allen, Tayshaun Prince, and Quincy Pondexter for various reasons, and even though the Bulls were without Joakim Noah, it's hard to argue that the two teams were playing at equal strength.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]
1 day ago