On Tap: The Memphis Grizzlies

Kurt —  December 14, 2005

Reader Steve (the brother of gatinho) has ruined watching Memphis for me — he pointed out Pau Gasol now looks like Serpico.

Now, every time I look at Gasol I think of a 1970s Al Pacino. I’ve added Serpico to my Netflix list. He’s ruined Gasol for me.

And Gasol is getting lots of pub because the Grizzlies are doing well (13-7) and he is their best player. Last game against the Lakers he scored 20, pulled down 10 boards and had 4 blocks to lead the Grizzlies to the win.

But here’s a little something to look for — see if the announcers say, “Gasol is having his best season as a pro.” In one respect he is, he is averaging 18.4 points and 9 rebounds per game (up from 17.8 and 7.3 last season). However, the reason Gasol’s per game numbers are up is he is playing almost 5.5 minutes more per game — he’s not doing anything else as well (except for growing facial hair). His shooting percentage has dropped from 51.4% to 46.8% (eFG%). Last season he had a true shooting percentage of 58.2% (basically points per shot attempt, so it includes free throws), this season it has fallen to 51.8%.

If you want to know a lot more about the Grizzlies, check out the piece I posted today over at CourtsideTimes.net.

But know this — the Grizzlies are the second best defensive team in the league so far this season and when they beat the Lakers earlier this season LA shot just 37.7% as a team. The Laker offense has been a lot better of late, but this will be a stiff test (especially for Kwame, who looked good in Dallas but was 3 of 14 in the last Memphis game).

The thing is, after that win in Dallas, don’t you think the Lakers could win any game right now? Isn’t that the fun part of being a fan?

to On Tap: The Memphis Grizzlies

  1. “The thing is, after that win in Dallas, don’t you think the Lakers could win any game right now? Isn’t that the fun part of being a fan?”

    I watch every game thinking the Lakers can win. Being a fan is about wishful thinking, not dispassionate reason. But sometimes in the third or fourth quarter reality sinks in…


  2. From the grizz official website:

    “Against Dallas and Indiana over the weekend, the Grizzlies’ offense sputtered, as they averaged just 74.5 points on 34.0% shooting, while dishing out just 16.5 assists.”

    Let’s hope that trend continues tonight…

    If you want to visit Pau’s blog:



  3. Kurt – I wonder what you think of Sarunas Jasikevicius. I think the guy’s a stud, and will blossom in Indiana in the next year or two. Maybe not as a top-flight all-star, but certainly as an upper-tier nba player.

    I was wondering in the summer why the Lakers didn’t go after him. Maybe they did, and maybe the three years was a deterrent, but I think he’d look awfully good in a Lakers jersey.

    Just to keep it on topic, I suppose I should say that pairing Pau with Kobe and Lamar would also be nice. Hell, Eddie Jones or Shane Battier both would be nice additions as well.


  4. Shane Battier shuts Kobe down everytime they play. End of story 🙁 (I hope I’m proved wrong today…)


  5. Was that not an amazing road trip?

    I like Jasikevicius a lot, both statistically and the parts of several games of his I have seen. Man can he shoot the ball. plus he seems to just make smart decisions. I think the Lakers didn’t go after him because Mitch, like many GMs right now, is wary of players from Europe. They drafted/picked up a few too many years back, there were some big busts, so now they are very cautious.


  6. the best road trip since freakin 2002, man, that really says something.

    before the season started i wouldn’t have been surprised if they were over .500 at this point… but not like this. not with kwame struggling and him and george out. not sowing quality teams’ asses to their faces on their home floors.

    the killer instinct this team has, ooh la la.


  7. I’m most impressed with Phil and his mangement of Kobe’s minutes last night. he’s 1-6 in the first quarter so Phil sits for the first 7 minutes of the second. he comes back and hits 6-7.

    The old basketball axiom says:

    “The road is where teams go to find themselves.”


  8. gatinho, the other thing is Phil has finally got everyone else working away from the ball, very little “pass to Kobe and then we have great seats for whatever he does.” The rest of the players have stepped up, allowing Kobe to pick his spots, or even go cold for a while.

    There’s lots of season left but you get the feeling this team is just starting to find itself.


  9. Not sure if its possible, but if there’s any way to land Artest without giving up Odom/Bynum – they’ve gotta do it!

    I would almost trade Bynum, but its too big a risk. The guy could be a top NBA center in two years. Granted, he may not – but considering that even if the Lakers got Artest, he probably wouldn’t be here in two years, its not worth the risk.

    And Odom is finding his groove. My preference is sticking with Odom and Kobe, and finding another stud in the next two years. If that can be done, the Lakers will be fine.


  10. If the Lakers could get Artest without giving up Odom than I’m interested, but I can’t see Indiana taking on Kwame or Chris Mihm with D. George and Bynum. That would be a big step back for them.

    Here’s the question about throwing Bynum in that, or any, deal: Does this move make you an instant contender (or will it within two years)? Bynum may turn out to not to be a “star” but just a solid NBA center, but there is a great shortage of true centers in the league so solid is something everyone wants. If you’re going to trade away part of the future, it better make you very good in the here-and-now.


  11. Shane Battier shuts Kobe down every time they play? A couple years ago, when Kobe dropped FIFTY-SIX on the Grizz in only three quarters, Battier was guarding him all night long. I was at the game that night, and the thing was, I actually felt like Battier did a good job on him — just had no help. But he certainly didn’t “shut him down”.


  12. i still say no, even without having to give up odom.

    people point to rodman as an example of how phil can handle headcases. there’s a key difference here though– rodman never demanded the ball.

    when he was playing this season artest got even more shots than jermaine o’ neal, he was playing for a contender a lot of people picked to win the east, and he’s STILL not satisfied.

    they say indiana’s probably going to try to get cap room and flexibility out of the deal they make, and they don’t want to trade him to anyone in the east…

    stick with kwame and bynum. tempting as this all is.


  13. Hey Kurt, why don’t you make a poll on a possible Artest trade?

    On a precious post, I stated the Lakers should play the hand they’re dealt right now. Wait for Kwame and the others to get used to the triangle… And Artest doesn’t make the Lakers into a contender, even if we keep Kobe and Odom!!

    Hank, Battier has improved a lot in the last couple of years. Both on defense and on offense. You gotta admit that. Plus, having Shaq inside forced him to give more help.

    Now, there’s a player I would give up Bynum to have on the Lakers team (Battier). Is it possible? What is his salary? Would the Grizzlies trade him?