Tag:Memphis Grizzlies
Posted on: November 17, 2010 11:18 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Game Changer: Bucks fans get something back

The Lakers drop the Bucks, A Milwaukee fan gets revenge, Wesley Matthews goes off for a career-high, The Grizzlies melt down at home and the Toronto Raptors didn't do their coach any favors. Posted by Ben Golliver

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer. 

THE BIG ONE: REVENGE FOR BUCKS FANS, DESPITE THE LOSS

Who could forget the Los Angeles Lakers' trip to Milwaukee last year given the controversial calls down the stretch that enraged Bucks fans and the eventual Kobe Bryant dagger to win it? Tuesday night's rematch wasn't as drama-filled, but that doesn't mean Milwaukee didn't exact a measure of revenge. First: the numbers. Los Angeles won by slapping a whopping 118 points on Milwaukee, thanks to 31 points from Bryant and four other Lakers in double figures. Shannon Brown really got it going off the bench, connecting for four three-pointers on his way to 21 points. Andrew Bogut and Drew Gooden did their part for Milwaukee, combining for 34 points, 31 rebounds and five blocked shots, but the Lakers' perimeter attack was too much. The Lakers cruised to the victory thanks to 10-16 from deep; take out Bryant and the rest of the Lakers combined for 10-12 from downtown. Anyway, back to the revenge play for Milwaukee. Here's video of Kobe Bryant's overtime dagger, that only came about because of some suspect calls that went L.A.'s way. And here's Milwaukee's "we didn't forget" moment, as a fan came well-equipped this year with a sign that reads "Stern Loves L.A." that found its way onto Milwaukee's television broadcast. stern-loves-la Sure, it's not as sweet a feeling as getting an upset win over the defending champs, but sometimes getting your point across feels just as satisfying.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:

Wesley Matthews:   A career-high 30 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block on 11-19 shooting, 5-10 from deep in 43 minutes in a Portland road win over Memphis.

Honorable mention to...


Josh Smith:
 25 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, SEVEN blocks on 9-16 shooting in 37 minutes in Atlanta's road win over Indiana. Landry Fields: 21 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, two steals on 10-15 shooting in 38 minutes in a New York road loss to Denver.

THE GRIZZLIES GO DOWN:

By Matt Moore

Here's the trick with the Grizzlies last night. To describe them as dysfunctional is to fail to give credit to how functional they were last season. Watching them slump out of timeouts, barely rotate to their man, and generally sleepwalk through another loss, this time to the Greg-Oden-less, Brandon-Roy-less, Joel-Przybilla-less Portland Trailblazers, it really hit you how far this team has fallen in a few months. Mike Conley took 14 shots last night, which is more than any other Grizzlies starter.

The Blazers were more than happy to oblige Conley with being the offensive weapon, as long as Marc Gasol and O.J. Mayo didn't get in the act. Meanwhile, as Wesley Matthews poured in shots from every single spot on the floor, Rudy Gay simply couldn't be bothered to commit to defending him, running off screens or getting a hand up. After all, he had to carry the load offensively with the rest of the team out of sync. Tony Allen was brought in to shut down the Blazers' backcourt but instead spent most of his time going ISO.

Meanwhile, Andre Miller calmly and coolly backed down Conley and nailed a turnaround in his face. Mayo looks as if he's simply going through the motions in the hopes of accelerating what seems like an inevitable trade process, and Zach Randolph is drowning in his minutes while Hasheem Thabeet can barely stay on the floor.

But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

DON'T MISS:

 

ON Mike Bibby:

By Matt Moore

Mike Bibby's old. I mean old, old. It's time for him to move on, and yet, the old guy just keeps draining J's. Even as Bibby's pick and roll abilities on both sides of the ball erode into dust, his shot has become even more accurate. The Pacers for whatever reason saw fit to test that gunslinger's pistols and he wound up dropping 3 of 5 threes on them, including a trailing three pointer early which set the tone for the half. Bibby dropped 7 dimes tonight with zero turnovers, and yet will see nothing but scorn despite the win.

For being the most forgotten man in America, Bibby has certainly set himself up as a huge part of the Hawks' core. 

WHIMSY:

Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has a left hand that is bigger than his head, one that could quite possibly be the largest human hand ever. 

marc-gasol

 

ONE FINAL THOUGHT:

The Toronto Raptors lost an ugly one, 109-94, to the Washington Wizards who were playing without rookie stud John Wall. After a defense-less 2-9 start that puts Toronto tied for the second-worst record in the league, calls for coach Jay Triano's job can't be too far away.
Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.

Posted on: November 16, 2010 12:37 pm
 

Zach Randolph would like that extension now

Posted by Royce Young

Over the summer, it seemed like the Grizzlies and Zach Randolph were going to play it cool with the extension talk. Randolph said he understood the situation and is just focused on playing. You know, saying the right things.

Well now, he'd very much like his money.

In an interview with FanHouse he talked about an extension and he didn't hold back on his wishes.

“I want to do it now,” he told FanHouse Monday before his Grizzlies lost to the Magic, 89-72, in Orlando. “Sooner the better. If we don’t do it now, there are a lot of other teams out there who like me….”

“I’d like to get it out of the way, but they (his agent and the Grizzlies) aren’t really talking right now, at least not that I know of,” he said. “And that’s disappointing. I like playing for this team. I want to stay with this team. I’m a blue-collar player in a blue-collar town, and it’s a good fit. I’m in my prime, and we all know it’s a business, too.”

Things are complicated right now for Memphis in money terms. The Grizzlies just paid Mike Conley a lot of cash and signed Rudy Gay in the offseason. O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol are eligible to be extended soon as well and if Randolph gets paid, somebody has to go.

It's not likely that this will be a clean, simple negotiation. Randolph is making over $17 million this season and has put up some of the best numbers of his career last season at 20.8 ppg and 11.7 rpg. He down to 16 ppg and 10.9 rpg this season so far, but it's early and he's playing a little less.

The FanHouse story said the Grizzlies are looking at something like three years and $40 million, but that's still a hefty price tag for a team that has a number of players to pay. At the same time though, a lot of the Grizzlies' current success is directly tied to Z-Bo's contributions. He's playing well on the court, and off it. He's keeping his head togethr and functioning extremely well within the Memphis system.

The CBA has a lot of players asking for extension as there's a lot of uncertainty with what will happen. Randolph is right. Someone will pay him. But I'm not sure it'll be for what he really wants.
Posted on: November 14, 2010 1:14 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:46 pm
 

Brandon Roy suffers knee injury, status uncertain

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy left Saturday's game against the New Orleans Hornets with a knee injury and his status is currently unknown. Posted by Ben Golliver

Earlier today, we discussed what life would be like for Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy, as he attempts to play through a nagging knee injury. 

Unfortunately, in addition to the difficulty that goes with adjustments made to his offensive game and his playing time, Roy's life will also be more painful in the immediate future.

During the third quarter of Saturday night's game between the Blazers and the New Orleans Hornets, Roy made a crossover move near the three point line and, without contacting another player, injured his left knee while making the cut. Roy's left knee has been bothering him throughout the season and has reportedly been drained multiple times.

Roy jogged off the floor after the injury, heading straight the locker room.

Here's a video of the play.

During the fourth quarter, the Blazers sent a text message to Portland media: "Brandon Roy (sore left knee) will not return to tonight's game at New Orleans."

A source told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger after the game Saturday night that Portland will see how Roy feels in the next few days & re-evaluate. The source said that the team is "not sure yet" if Roy will miss time.

Prior to the injury, Roy was struggling through a 1-7 shooting night. His final line: 2 points, 1 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 22 minutes. 
The Oregonian reports that Roy was in significant pain during an evaluation Saturday night.
Back in the locker room, Roy was examined by New Orleans team doctor Matt McQueen, who determined his knee was stable but swollen. He asked Roy to perform basic movements, like squatting, but Roy said he couldn’t complete the movements without sharp, piercing pain in the left knee. 
“I’m not going to speculate,’’ Roy said. “I’m just going to take it day-by-day and see how it feels. I felt that sharp pain, and it wasn’t going away, so I felt it was best I go out of the game. The biggest thing for me right now is not to think too far ahead.’’

The Blazers have two days off before their next game: at the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. Roy will travel with the team but, as Berger reported, his status is unclear.

Posted on: November 9, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:37 pm
 

Zach Randolph on the move? His agent says no

Zach Randolph was linked to the Detroit Pistons in a trade rumor, but his agent denies it. Posted by Ben Golliverzach-randolph In its Nov. 8 issue, Sports Illustrated reported that Memphis Grizzlies power forward, who put up an amazing 23-point, 20-rebound line last night, is seeking a ride out of town.
His six-year, $84 million contract expires after this season, and a league source says he's not happy that the Grizzlies didn't offer him an extension. Randolph, 29, has put up 20 and 10 in each of the past two seasons and last year shrugged off the loser label by powering Memphis to a 16-win improvement, earning his first All-Star berth. If the Grizzlies, who committed $82 million to Rudy Gay this summer and will have to spend big to retain free agents Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, are looking to deal, multiple sources say Randolph's preferred destination is Detroit, where he would fill the gaping hole in the Pistons' frontcourt.
In response, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal quotes Randolph's agent, Raymond Brothers, shooting down the rumor.
"There's no truth to that rumor," Brothers said. "All Zach needs is a basketball and a court to play on to be happy. Zach's happy. He loves Memphis. That's nonsense."
The Grizzlies can come to terms on a contract with Randolph any time this season. If no deal is reached, then Randolph will become an unrestricted free agent. And surely, there will be a market for a 20-10 All Star. 
If I'm Memphis, having just committed massive dollars to both wing Rudy Gay and point guard Mike Conley, with guard O.J. Mayo and big man Marc Gasol due for extensions soon, moving Zach Randolph and his expiring contract at the deadline for a piece and/or draft picks makes a lot of sense. But a serious playoff run would be huge a morale boost for a franchise that needs it as badly as any in the league. In other words, Z-Bo trade talk should wait until at least January. If the Grizzlies are out of contention at that point, ship his reliable post production down the road, or up the river to Detroit if that's who is interested. The Pistons could do a lot worse than a Greg Monroe / Zach Randolph frontcourt of the (near) future.
Posted on: November 2, 2010 4:24 pm
 

Details on Mike Conley's big extension

Posted by Royce Young

On the surface, it's a bad contract. And undeneath the surface, it's still a really bad contract. Maybe the worst ever. Maybe franchise crippling. No matter how you shake it or who you ask, Mike Conley's big five-year $40-something million extension just isn't smart.

But there is a little more to it than we originally thought. It's not a straight up $45 million contract. Conley's at least got to earn some of it. So that's something.

Ronald Tillery of the Commercial-Appeal has some details:
1. The contract kicks in for the 2011-12 season, starting at roughly $6.5 million. With the maximum 10.5-percent raises allowed, the increases will look something like $7.18 (year 2), $7.9 (year 3), $8.76 (year 4) and $9.68 (year 5). There is no doubt (even with a new CBA) that Conley would have received an offer starting at least $6 million.

2. The only way Conley can exceed $40 million (i.e. the $45 million that national media was given by Conley's agent)  is for him to produce what was described to me as "elite level PG statistics" AND the Griz must be winning 50-plus regular-season games AND having success in the playoffs. That means the bonus package is tied to individual and team greatness.

3. Another win/win is that there is deferred money in the deal. That'll help the Grizzlies' cash flow when their payroll is enormous. Zach Randolph came to Memphis with deferred money, which made it a little easier to absorb his contract.
Ah that Mike Heisley and his recently discovering of the fact you can put performance-based incentives in contracts. The number passed about by Conley's agent (who happens to be his father) was the full $45 million. But if Conley is going to get that, he's got to play really, really good. As in "elite level" type of play. And we all know that's not happening. So really, he's just guaranteed to get about $40 million. See, it's not so bad! Feel better now, Memphis fans?
Posted on: November 2, 2010 2:46 am
Edited on: November 2, 2010 9:41 am
 

Grizzlies commit franchise suicide, extend Conley

Grizzlies point guard granted 5-year, $45-million extension for mediocrity, continued inconsistency.Posted by Matt Moore

In the long history of terrible moves by the Memphis Grizzlies, mark my words, this one will reign supreme.

Worse than drafting Hasheem Thabeet.

Worse than trading Pau Gasol for Marc Gasol, Kwame Brown, and cash.

Worse than re-signing Rudy Gay for $80 million.

This, this right here, is not just the worst move in the history of the Grizzlies, but it is the shining golden cap on the mountain of terrible moves made by NBA owners over the past 2 years. It is this, exact move, that nullifies any argument the owners can possibly make that they spend their money responsibly inside the current CBA. It is this contract that overshadows Joe Johnson's contract, Amir Johnson's contract, Darko Milicic's contract as the single worst contract handed out in 2010.

ESPN's Chris Broussard and the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports that the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to a 5-year, $40-million-plus extension for Mike Conley.

There is really nothing more to say. But here's something anyway.

Mike Conley is the worst starting point guard in the NBA. That's including Derek Fisher, who is at this point both a defensive signpost and a superior point guard. People often wonder why it is I consider this to be so. The reasons are numerous. It's not that Mike Conley is not a good basketball player. He is. He's a career 44% shooter, and 38% from the arc, which isn't bad at all. As a spot-up back-up combo guard, he wouldn't be bad at all. Mike Conley is not a bad NBA player. But there are three things this contract supposes that he is not. He is not a starting caliber point guard. He is not worth $45 million dollars over 5 years. And he is not worth the longterm damage this contract does to the Memphis Grizzlies franchise.

Conley's biggest problems involve things which are extremely hard to identify in the box score. His turnover margin is acceptable, if not stellar. He was 24th in the league last year in assist rate among point guards who played 25 minutes or more. That's not good, at all, but it's not horrific. But if you watched as many Grizzlies games as I have, you'd know certain things. Like, for instance, his dribble probe ability.

Every point guard in the National Basketball Association is able to probe the defense. It involves stepping inside the arc, towards defenders, and maintaining your dribble to see how the defense reacts to penetration. It allows the point guard to evaluate spacing and set up the correct set of decisions. Mike Conley cannot. He will routinely turn his back to a post maneuver, just to avoid losing the ball. This is because he has tremendous difficulty in splitting defenders. This is just one example. He struggles in the pick and roll according to Synergy Sports, averaging just a .79 PPP in the pick and roll and shooting 44% which is a great Field Goal %, but not in pick and roll. Defensively? It's even worse.

Conley surrenders a .96 PPP in Isolation, giving up free throws over 16% of the time. In pick and roll, a .82. It's not horrific. It's just miserably average-to-subpar. This at the most important position on the floor. Bear in mind that Conley plays in a high-octane, weapon-loaded offense that allows him to get out in transition and get easy buckets. Yet he turned the ball over in transition 16.7% of the time.

Advanced stats don't look much better. Conley has never posted a +15 PER, the benchmark of an average player in the league. Conley is only 23, but it would require a monumental improvement in several categories for him to reach the point of actually deserving this kind of contract.

As a comparison? Rajon Rondo makes only $10 million more for his extension than Mike Conley. Rajon Rondo. The guy that just dropped 24 assists in one game for a title contender. That guy makes $2 million more per year, that's it.

But the real problem with this contract?

The damage it does to the future.

Alongside Conley, the Grizzlies needed to extend Marc Gasol, the only real asset they acquired in the Pau Gasol trade. Marc Gasol is arguably the most important player on the team. He is an excellent passer out of both the high and low post. He has a reliable mid-range jumper, is tremendous on the offensive glass, and works his face off on the defensive end. He shows hard and recovers on the pick and roll, maintains low-post position and is active, and continually makes hustle plays. This in a league that is painfully thin on centers. And the Grizzlies have just opened the door for Gasol to walk away in restricted free agency. Zach Randolph has to be re-signed after his contract expires this year, and given the affection the Grizzlies organization has shown Randolph, there's no sign they won't overpay for Z-Bo as well. Which would mean making room for Marc Gasol would be incredibly difficult.

Then next season, you have O.J. Mayo in a similar boat. Looking for an extension. But after the owners' hardline CBA renegotiations get through, how much cap space will they have left? Plus they'll have Hasheem Thabeet coming up soon and a need to justify their drafting of him by waiting for him to develop over the next decade.

So what you're looking at with this extension is the rare combination of a move that's bad in and of itself, and mortgages your ability to win later by most likely expending two of your three best players. You now have $120 million committed to Rudy Gay and Mike Conley over the next six years. That's bad enough, but you'll most likely be losing better players in order to form around that core. It damages you in the short term. This is a player who you have tried to improve upon with Jamal Tinsley, moving O.J. Mayo to point, Greivis Vasquez, Allen Iverson, and I'm pretty sure a clone of John Stockton. But this is the player you have chosen to give $40 million-plus to.

The owners have held the high ground in negotiations regarding the CBA. Even with moves like Darko, Johnson, and the stellar history of Isiah Thomas, the ownership has been able to justify the moves they've made. But this is more damaging than others. This is a clearly B-Level player getting close to $9 million a year.

The Commercial-Appeal reports the decision was largely made upon Conley's strong start to this season. Three games. In a contract year. Featuring a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. This, apparently, is what sets the market in Memphis.

When Ken Berger reported last month that the NBA was considering contraction as a possible solution to its economic woes, I spoke out passionately against it. Small-market fans shouldn't be punished and the overall health of the league nationwide shouldn't be harmed in an attempt by larger market teams to make life easier on them. But after this deal, the question must be raised. Would the Grizzlies be better off if they were simply erased from existence? Is a fan base better off existing in a constant and continual cycle of disappointment and failure, or simply not existing at all?

Mike Conley made $45 million without a single impressive season. And the bizarre, cruel, laughable reign of Michael Heisley continues.



Posted on: October 27, 2010 7:42 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:11 pm
 

Owner Glen Taylor: Timberwolves not contracting

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor says his organization will not be a victim of NBA contraction. Posted by Ben Golliverglen-taylor We've followed the issue of potential NBA contraction closely in this space, and roughly a week after the possibility of reducing the number of teams in the NBA was first floated, it's still not clear which teams would be in the crosshairs. The obvious candidates are those teams in most desperate shape financially or those in small markets that struggle to support a professional sports team. Already, we've noted that owners for both the Sacramento Kings (here) and the Memphis Grizzlies (here) have said their teams will not be contracted. Another franchise that is often linked to contraction is the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves have struggled to put out a winning product and season ticket sales aren't exactly robust in a market that is football, football, football.  Jerry Zgoda of StarTribune.com reports on Twitter that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who is involved in the current labor negotiations, distanced his franchise from the contraction talk. "I can say Minnesota is not one of the teams that would be contracted," Taylor is quoted saying by Zgoda. So while contraction is being discussed, everyone, including NBA commissioner David Stern, acknowledges, it appears none of the likeliest suspects feel any concern about the possibility that they will go under. In other words, this is inching closer and closer to "idle threat" territory, if we're not there already.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 12:33 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:03 pm
 

Memphis owner: fans shouldn't worry about future

Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley tells fans they shouldn't worry about the team's future in Memphis. Posted by Ben Golliveroj-mayo The word of the week in the NBA has been contraction. Once Ken Berger broke the news that reducing the number of teams in the NBA from 30 was an option that will be considered during upcoming rounds of Collective Bargaining between owners and players, the spotlight started shining on the league's struggling franchises, with an apparent gap developing between rich and poor.  Small-market Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof came out quickly to state unequivocally that the Kings wouldn't be contracted or sold, while big-market former Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Magic Johnson came out in favor of contraction. Over the weekend, another small-market owner, Michael Heisley of the Memphis Grizzlies, was interviewed by Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal about the future of the Grizzlies, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary season in Memphis but are struggling to fill their stadium. Calkins asks Heisley whether the Grizzles can survive another 10 years.
"I don't know if I'll make it to a 20th year!" he says.
Heisley laughs. Even at 4 a.m., the man has a point. Who knows what will happen over the course of the next decade? Who knows if the Grizzlies will still be here in 2020? Who knows if Heisley -- now 77 -- will even be around to own the team? "I don't think it's something for people to worry about," Heisley says.
Making promises you can't keep is a cardinal sin for a professional sports team owner, so Heisley plays this one correctly, re-assuring the team's fans without committing to something he can't certainly deliver.  Calkins goes on to paint a morbid picture -- a half-empty FedEx Forum, talk of relocation at the team's 10th birthday party -- but he also points out that the team's arena deal and the depressed national economic state work against a Grizzlies relocation plan. The Grizzlies almost always make the short list for teams that might be contracted, given their attendance, struggles to make the post-season, and the fact that the team is in Memphis after relocating from Vancouver, in probably the best case of an expansion going wrong for the NBA.  One thing's for sure: no team that has been included in the contraction discussion has more talent than the Grizzlies. Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, OJ Mayo, Mike Conley and Hasheem Thabeet would make for one heck of a dispersal draft.  Thanks to Heisley, however, that fantasy doesn't sound like it's in play any time soon.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com