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?