Blogtable: Who Believes In Memphis Now?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Week 18: Do more teams have a chance? | No. 1 yo-yo guy | Who believes in the Grizzlies?


Do you believe in the Grizzlies? Agree with that Rudy Gay trade?

Steve Aschburner: No, I’m a mourner of the Grizzlies (which kind of answers the second part of your question). I’m a believer in Lionel Hollins as an exacting coach and snappy dresser. I’m a believer in Marc Gasol, a point forward with a towering chassis. I’m a believer in Zach Randolph‘s career redemption and in Mike Conley‘s grit and Tony Allen‘s channeled lunacy on defense. But I didn’t even like the trade that preceded by eight days the Gay transaction — the one gifting (remember that word from the Pau/Lakers trade?) Marreese Speights & Co. — with a first-round pick to Cleveland. Moving Gay in a “Carrie“-like shocker/second ending after the financial pressure had been alleviated really slammed Memphis’ championship window down hard, in my view. This 8-of-11 and 11-of-15 since the two trades? Squeeze the schedule (especially the winning streak) for a softness check.

Lionel Hollins (Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Lionel Hollins (Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Fran BlineburyIt was a good move for the long-term health of the franchise. Rudy is a nice player, whom Michael Heisley vastly overpaid. He can’t carry a team. Still, in the short term, the Grizzlies would have a better chance of advancing if they’d have kept him. But in the end, they were not going to win the West. The guy it hurt most was Lionel Hollins, who has done one helluva job in Memphis, but will take a bum rap now if they flame out in the playoffs.

Jeff Caplan: As someone who wrote that the Grizz should give the Gay-Randolph-Gasol-Conley quartet one last postseason whirl and also wondered out loud if new management will drive lame-duck coach Lionel Hollins out of town, I have to say that the new Grizz remain intriguing. It can’t be ignored that their recent hot streak hasn’t exactly come against a murderer’s row, but they’re picking up road wins and the team is meshing, especially with Tayshaun Prince, who was about as good a fit for that club as anyone. As far as the Rudy Gay trade being bad or good, yeah, I thought it was bad because I wanted to see that group stay together through the postseason. Still, you knew that if Gay wasn’t dealt now that he was a goner in the summer. That core had come so far, was hurt by injuries the last two seasons, and, in my estimation, deserved a shot to get to the West finals together when the finances could have been sorted out this summer.

Scott Howard-CooperI’m a believer in the Grizzlies as a good team in the Western Conference but not as a pressing threat to win the West. There’s still a lot to like, mostly the inside game that can harm some team in the playoffs in a bad matchup. Trading away Gay, though, is further setback to a club already struggling for scoring. Dealing him was not the shock. It was dealing him and not addressing the primary need.

John Schuhmann: I believe in them as the fourth best team in the West, but not better than the Spurs, Thunder or Clippers if everybody is healthy. I just don’t think they have enough offense to beat those teams four times in a series. Even over the course of this seven-game winning streak, they rank only 15th offensively. Still, I was fine with the trade, because Gay wasn’t nearly enough of an impact player on either end of the floor for the salary he was being paid. They ranked 21st offensively at the time of the deal and had really regressed since a strong first month. And I would absolutely love a Memphis-Denver, No, 4 vs. No. 5 series in the first round.

Sekou Smith: I’ve always been a big believer in the Grizzlies, even when no else around here was willing to ride the bandwagon with me. They were the “Hang Time Grizzlies” long before they actually became a playoff team and started making real noise. That said, I did not like the Rudy Gay trade when it went down, mostly because I felt like he gave them the ideal swingman needed to compete with the rest of the Western Conference elite. I still believe that and will continue to do so until I see them prove otherwise in the playoffs. But in retrospect, it wasn’t a move that will cripple the franchise or anything outrageous. No player is above being traded at some point in his career. The Lakers trading Shaquille O’Neal was a sobering reminder. Good or bad is always relative.

23 Comments

  1. All I just wan’t to say is the Grizzley’s wil miss Gay

  2. Sicka10 says:

    they are no longer a threat to SA, OKC and LAC, since steel defense is not enough in playoffs. seeing Gay being so clutch in Toronto, and what an impact he made there hurts since this season was meant to be Memphis’

  3. Karlo Garcia says:

    I believe in the Grizzlies but not agree with the Rudy Gay trade. He gave them penetration like O J Mayo.

  4. Commenter says:

    In the long term we will see this trade as a major victory for Memphis, what I don’t get is why the pistons made the trade. Why drop two SF’s and add to the already crowded backcourt?

  5. Octane says:

    I wasn’t happy about the Toronto/Detroit trade at first, but by now I think it was a good move. The Cleveland trade however still doesn’t make sense to me. Losing Speights weakens the front court, if Gasol and/or Randolph are on the bench there’s now a significant drop in quality. When Z-Bo was injured last season Speights did a great job rebounding and scoring and was a great backup so far. Ellington was one of the few guys on the team who could shoot a three. It looks like the front office was panicking because they couldn’t find a taker for Gay and tried to reduce the payroll at all costs. Then, just when you think that they did it to allow the team a last playoff run together, they trade him anyway….

  6. SaYO says:

    nope, memphis messed up

  7. big man 7 foot 2 says:

    im from Memphis, they call me the beal street baller

    • the cub says:

      hey dude, you’re from Memphis and you can’t even spell Beale Street right? You ever been there? Handy’s Blues Hall? Rum Boogie? B.B. King’s? King’s Palace? Blues City Cafe? Tater Red’s? You’re not from there, you aint anywhere. Embarrasing.

  8. Grizz Man says:

    I continue to hear the National Media continue the criticize the Rudy Gay trade by trying to downplay the Grizzlies winning streak, saying the win were against teams with losing records. Well, here are some of the teams the Griz played in February and who they beat; 1) Toronto beat the Clippers, Indy, Denver, & the Knicks; 2) Detroit beat the Spurs and Bucks; 3) Washington beat the Clippers, Kicks, Nets and Bucks; 4 ) Kings beat the Jazz and Rockets; 5) GSW beat the Spurs. Five of the seven teams Memphis beat during the seven game winning streak have beaten playoff contending teams in the month of February.Four teams had multible wins. Golden State only beat one, but they beat the #1 team in the West. Most of you have probably only watched the Grizzlies play on National TV. You don’t have a clue what this team is capable of. We in Memphis know what we got… Grit-N-Grind Baby!!!

  9. Kamote says:

    I still believe Memphis made the right move. Though losing Gay would hurt, but there’s a big market of wing men right now. To start, Prince isnt a bad acquisition because he can really play well despite behis yera,ing the 4th-5th man (see Detroit Champs). They got good back-up big men with the Gay trade.

    This is a gritty, physical team, and it’s still is losing Gay. They’ve gone until losing to OKC in the west finals before (and Gay was injured). If not this year, then a couple of adjustments next year will do the trick :).

  10. [...] Make Better ChoicesWREG.com – Memphis news & weather from WREG Television, News Channel 3Blogtable: Who Believes In Memphis Now?NBA.com (blog)all 23 news [...]

  11. Beni says:

    I liked Rudy Gay and was really hoping that he would be kept until after the post season. However I believe many people forget how well the Grizz played without Gay in the 2011 playoffs. Last year they took the Clipps to 7 without a healthy Z-Bo. This team had grit and I definitely expect to see them in the semi-conference finals.

  12. Rudy is adequately and more efficiently replaced by Tayshaun Prince/Austin Daye. Grizz were really hurt by losing Speights. Ed Davis is an athletic guy, but lacks the polish that Speights brought to the rotation.

    Overall, both moves were smart for the long term well being of the franchise. As a fan that has watched every Grizz game for years, we look much more like a true “team” with Rudy out of the lineup.

  13. Henrik Jensen says:

    I think Grizzlies has improved upon this trade, for one thing they get a strong scorer in Prince whom also have a lot of playoff experience from the championship year; 2004 i think, as well as from the years before and after when they where still a top fighter in eastern conference. Ed Davis is still young, and already he was posting 10-12 points and 6-8 rebounds a game for Raptors, in 2-3 years he could very well be a top PF Bench Player with those of his stats to complement the team.

    + At Start they have: Marc Gasol, Z-Bo, Prince, Tony and Conley, very strong indeed, especially inside but also Defensively + a very average but still strong bench with a lot of talent more than maybe game changers for now, but in 2-3 years; Bayless, Ed Davis, Austin Daye, Leuer, Pondexter, Arthur and Wroten they will be much better benefits for the team..

  14. dmh says:

    I think the Cleveland trade crippled the grizzlies more than the Gay trade. Gasol and Randolph developed chemistry and made Gay’s skills obsolete to a point. The raptors pistons trade was a wash when it comes to what they got back versus what they sent out. Granted the grizz did not get back equal value, however that trade is something that the Lakers can learn from. You do not need 5 allstars to win a championship. You need pieces that fit. Since Tayshaun Prince is not a player who needs the ball to be effective, this is addition by subtraction in its own respect for a piece that fits. What I think will screw the grizzlies over in the long run will be the fact that they traded away their bench. The Gay trade was a win-win-win for all parties involved based on each teams goals in making the trade. The Cleveland trade was mind boggling. Trading away offensive threats for nobodys is a bad way to build a team bench. Who is the sixth man now? Is he effective? Who knows?

  15. N says:

    The grizz are idiots how in the world did they trade gay
    But I believe in Memphis because there defense is really gd and I think Memphis is better than
    Gsw
    Denver

  16. amitpal says:

    I still dont get why the griz made the first trade if they were going to trade gay anways. They traded away good role players and a first round pick for nothing. Plus they didnt even bring back a good perimeter player in the deal. I thought the griz should have traded rudy gay anways cuz he was an overpaid starter and thars all he is a staryer. But they should of brought back a better perimeter player like deng or paul pierce or even galineri from denver. Iguadla or wilson chandler woulf been ok to.

  17. steppx says:

    sorry, dont know why that happened. try again……actually it was a crippling move. The hollinger advanced stat guys timed it very badly, and the first trade completely did away with the bench. Speights is missed in a big way, but so is ellington. As scott cooper said, if you must make the trade, why not get scoring in return. It was lousy timing and if I were a memphis fan Id be unhappy. The problem with the new rules isnt the rules, its the GMs and front offices. Everyone wants a star. Its a league that puts marketing ahead of winning. Look at indiana………or for that matter the Spurs. Indiana MADE a star of George, with patience and coaching. They have drafted well……very well in fact…….and they bring guys along. Orlando johnson and eventually Plumlee this year will eventually contribute. As opposed to what, say, Ferry in Atlanta is trying to do, which is, unless he is simply irrational, sign dwight or CP3. Neither has even a remote chance of happening, but Ferry is banking the next few years on this possibility. The GMs in Utah are another version of delusional thinking. IF an 8 seed more important than building a four seed next season and the one after??

    • Grizz Man says:

      I am a Grizz fan and I am okay with the trade. I believe that now we play more as a team. Rudy was always good for a few highlights and game winners now and then, but most nights he really frustrated the fans. His FG % was in the low 30s and he played sub par defense (which is the strength of this team). But the most frustrating thing, he was a ball stopper. He would hold the ball until late in the shot clock and then force up bad shots. Prince is a much better defender and a more consistant scorer. Speights was expendable because we have Darrel Aurther, who is a much better defender. We also got Austin Daye in that trade who is shooting around 50% from three. And Ed Davis is a promising young big man who is already paying dividends in the short time he has been a Grizzlie. The Grizz are now deeper and more athletic than before the trade. I believe Rudy was much more popular away from Memphis than here at home. We who watched him on a regular basis saw a very athletic, under-preforming, over-paid small forward. The team is still adjusting to the trade. I truly believe we will be better moving forward.

  18. Arky says:

    Gay was really inefficient for Memphis and took touches away from Gasol and Randolph. Honestly, replacing Gay with Prince and adding Ed Davis to the bench I don’t think is a downgrade or at least not a significant one (especially since Memphis can now also make better use this summer of that cap space).

    I actually thought it was the other trade which was indefensible, giving up useful bench depth AND a first round pick for absolutely nothing but financial relief. The Gay trade is defensible for basketball reasons, but losing Speights, Ellington and a first rounder for nothing? That isn’t.

  19. steppx says:

    actually it was a crippling move. The hollinger advanced stat guys timed it very badly, and the first trade completely did away with the bench. Speights is missed in a big way, but so is ellington. As scott cooper said, if you must make the trade, why not gactually it was a crippling move. The hollinger advanced stat guys timed it very badly, and the first trade completely did away with the bench. Speights is missed in a big way, but so is ellington. As scott cooper said, if you must make the trade, why not get scoring in return. It was lousy timing and if I were a memphis fan Id be unhappy. The problem with the new rules isnt the rules, its the GMs and front offices. Everyone wants a star. Its a league that puts marketing ahead of winning. Look at indiana………or for that matter the Spurs. Indiana MADE a star of George, with patience and coaching. They have drafted well……very well in fact…….and they bring guys along. Orlando johnson and eventually Plumlee this year will eventually contribute. As opposed to what, say, Ferry in Atlanta is trying to do, which is, unless he is simply irrational, sign dwight or CP3. Neither has even a remote chance of happening, but Ferry is banking the next few years on this possibility. The GMs in Utah are another version of delusional thinking. IF an 8 seed more important than building a four seed next season and the one after??et scoring in return. It was lousy timing and if I were a memphis fan Id be unhappy. The problem with the new rules isnt the rules, its the GMs and front offices. Everyone wants a star. Its a league that puts marketing ahead of winning. Look at indiana………or for that matter the Spurs. Indiana MADE a star of George, with patience and coaching. They have drafted well……very well in fact…….and they bring guys along. Orlando johnson and eventually Plumlee this year will eventually contribute. As opposed to what, say, Ferry in Atlanta is trying to do, which is, unless he is simply irrational, sign dwight or CP3. Neither has even a remote chance of happening, but Ferry is banking the next few years on this possibility. The GMs in Utah are another version of delusional thinking. IF an 8 seed more important than building a four seed next season and the one after??

  20. steppx says:

    actually it was a crippling move. The hollinger advanced stat guys timed it very badly, and the first trade completely did away with the bench. Speights is missed in a big way, but so is ellington. As scott cooper said, if you must make the trade, why not get scoring in return. It was lousy timing and if I were a memphis fan Id be unhappy. The problem with the new rules isnt the rules, its the GMs and front offices. Everyone wants a star. Its a league that puts marketing ahead of winning. Look at indiana………or for that matter the Spurs. Indiana MADE a star of George, with patience and coaching. They have drafted well……very well in fact…….and they bring guys along. Orlando johnson and eventually Plumlee this year will eventually contribute. As opposed to what, say, Ferry in Atlanta is trying to do, which is, unless he is simply irrational, sign dwight or CP3. Neither has even a remote chance of happening, but Ferry is banking the next few years on this possibility. The GMs in Utah are another version of delusional thinking. IF an 8 seed more important than building a four seed next season and the one after??