Tag:Rudy Gay
Posted on: March 23, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 3:23 pm
 

Rudy Gay's timetable set at 4-6 months

Posted by Royce Young  




According to the Commercial Appeal, Rudy Gay's timetable for recovery is set at 4-6 months meaning that he will likely be ready to go for training camp next season.

Of course, that's if there is a next season.

The blow of Gay being out may be more of a mental shot to the Grizzlies than anything else. They had been fighting and scrapping for that eight seed the past month without him, thinking if they could just stay in it, they'd have some serious reinforcements coming. Now Gay won't be there to help and the reality of relying on Tony Allen and Sam Young is sinking in.

But Memphis can certainly hang tough. Zach Randolph has quietly had an MVP-worthy season carrying the load for the Grizzlies inside while Marc Gasol, Allen, Mike Conley and Darrell Arthur have all stepped up. Gay gave the Grizzlies that extra umph though. He was the player that could isolate and score at the end of games, that could close and that was reliable.

Like I said, Memphis can survive the push from the Rockets (and Suns), but surely this hurts them more mentally than anything else. Now knowing that Gay is gone until next season stings. What you see is what you get right now and that might not be enough to hold off a couple of charging teams. But the Grizzlies have made it this far without Gay, so maybe they can hold on a little longer.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 22, 2011 10:14 am
 

Rudy Gay out for the season

Rudy Gay will miss the rest of the season after shoulder surgery. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Rudy Gay has been on the shelf for a while with a shoulder injury. First he was expected back in two weeks. Then it was taking longer than expected, and it turned into a month. Now, his season is over. 

The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports that after a second opinion was sought for Gay in Alabama from a shoulder expert, Gay has told the paper that his season is over, as he'll need surgery.

Have I mentioned that the Grizzlies gave Gay a five-year, $84 million contract this summer? Have I mentioned that the Grizzlies are looking to reach the playoffs for the first time since the departure of Pau Gasol? Have I mentioned they're still chasing their first playoff win for Memphis? Have I mentioned the team is finally in a place to have consistent efforts and contributions from multiple positions on the floor, from the bench, and on both sides of the ball? 

This news is the kind of momentum killer that ends seasons.  It'll be up to players like Tony Allen, Shane Battier, Zach Randolph, and new leader Mike Conley to keep the ship right, in the face of an extremely difficult schedule, a rising Rockets team only two games back, and missing their best player. Zach Randolph may be their biggest star and their most important player, but Rudy Gay was capable of attacking from ther perimeter with jumpshots and attacking the basket, snatching rebounds, starting the break, creating steals, distributing, and rising for cltuch shots. Without him, they are a dangerous team with a good defense, veteran leadership, an All-Star caliber forward, and good chemistry. But without him they also lack the kind of star needed to make pushes in the playoffs. Their odds were not good in a likely matchup with San Antonio. 

Barring one of the most shocking runs in the history of the NBA, the Grizzlies have had a firm cap put on their season, once again. Them's the breaks. 
Posted on: March 21, 2011 7:43 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 7:48 am
 

Report: Memphis close to Zach Randolph extension

The Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly close to signing forward Zach Randolph to a multi-year contract extension. Posted by Ben Golliver. zach-randolph-grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies are on the cusp of making the playoffs for the first time since 2005-2006, and they are reportedly close to inking one of their centerpiece players to a long-term extension too.

The Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports that the Grizzlies and power forward Zach Randolph are in "serious" talks about a four-year contract extension and that Randolph's agent, Raymond Brothers, is "optimistic" that a deal will get done.
The Griz initiated and held serious contract negotiations with Randolph over the past week, and both sides continue to discuss the framework of a four-year deal that could be finalized soon.
"I think they're serious," Brothers said of the Grizzlies' intent to sign Randolph. "I'm optimistic we'll get something done."
Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace confirmed the discussions.
"They know our sincerity to get something done with Zach," Wallace said. "They know how much we value him. We've had good and numerous discussions. There's never been a stalemate. (Negotiations) just moved at it's own pace. I'm very confident we'll get something done."
Randolph is Memphis's leading scorer and rebounder, a certified stats machine averaging 20.1 points and 12.6 rebounds in 36.7 minutes per game. At 29, a four year deal isn't outrageous. If the Grizzlies can secure a team option on the final year, it would actually be pretty much ideal.

The Grizzlies have already committed long-term to forward Rudy Gay and point guard Mike Conley. Center Marc Gasol is a restricted free agent this summer, but surely Memphis will do whatever it takes to keep him. Randolph was the wildcard, a player who will certainly come at a high price but who would have left a gigantic void if he walked during free agency.

The Grizzlies incarnation of Randolph has been by far the most fun and entertaining. He's matured, mellowed out and kept on trucking through some off-court drama. Should the Grizzlies anticipate some slippage in his production over the duration of a new deal? Absolutely. But should they feel relatively happy with a Randolph/Gay/Conley/Gasol core heading forward into the future. Absolutely. That group has a nice solid mix of age and experience, fairly complementary skillsets and good size and length. 

No one should confuse these guys with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but that Memphis quartet has the look of a perennial playoff contender, something the Grizzlies haven't been ... well ... ever.
Posted on: March 10, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Memphis has a Zach Randolph situation

Zach Randolph wants his money. Is Memphis in a position to provide him his next contract, and more importantly, should they?
Posted by Matt Moore

It's not like Memphis didn't see this coming. When they gave Rudy Gay a max deal worth $80 million, then followed it up four months later with a $40 million deal for Mike Conley (which looks like a steal right now compared to the garbage assessment I gave it), they knew they were going to be setting themselves up to not get back the core. The starting five from last season of Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol was something management and ownership had both asserted needed to be kept together. They continually spoke to keeping that core together to let it develop. But for that to happen, with a combination of talented young players on the rise and veterans looking for substantial investments, people were going to have to take paycuts. Two of the five took about as much as they were going to get on the open market. Something's got to give. 

Mayo is gone, even if he's not gone. That fact is a combination of decisions from both Mayo and the Grizzlies. Mayo struggled to take over more ball-handling duties over the summer, then wilted under criticism from his coach resulting in a prolonged shooting slump, then go into a fight with teammate Tony Allen on the team plane, during which he was KO'd, then was busted for a performance enhancing drug due to a supplement he claims was in a gas stations refreshment. Mayo's had his hand in this. But the Grizzlies committed a cardinal sin of management, be it a corporate office, a movie rental store (when those existed), or a basketball team. They set Mayo up for failure. They pushed him to be something he's not, a point guard, and when he struggled in a handful of games in Summer League, publicly criticized him for it. They gave Conley the money when he had contributed less to the team than Mayo at that point, moved him to the bench (even if they did need bench scoring, they knew the effect it would have on his confidence), and continuously told him they weren't moving him, then shopped him on the trade market. The final straw was the failed deal with the Pacers that nearly moved him at the deadline. That's not a situation that can be repaired. Be it this summer or worst-case scenario in restricted free agency in the summer of 2012, Mayo's gone. 

Which leaves Gasol and Randolph. One is going to have as many suitors as he can shake his beard at, the other has not been quiet about making it clear he wants his final payday. Alan Hahn of Newday reported Thursday on both Gasol and Randolph's free agency situations. Specifically, just about every New York media outlet has spun that the Knicks are intent on landing Gasol to be their center of the future, which they badly need. Gasol, true to the form he's held throughout the conversations about his upcoming restricted free agency, said he's not concerned with it, not worried about it. He's said the same to every outlet, but there's one differential. Gasol went to high school in Memphis. He's been there off and on for close to a decade. Whatever problems his brother had with management probably do affect his thinking, but this is also restricted free agency. If the Grizzlies are willing to match, which there is every indication they are, Gasol won't make it hard on them, or buck at the idea of staying in Memphis through another contract. Odds are very strong that Gasol will be in Memphis for the future. 

Randolph, on the other hand, is a stickier situation. From Newsday
Former Knick Zach Randolph will also be looking for a new contract this offseason as an unrestricted free agent and he sounded annoyed that the Grizzlies decided not to sign him to an extension. "I thought it shouldve been done," he said. "But its a business, nothing personal. Ive just got to come out and do my job every day and let everything else take care of itself."
via Gasol would fit in nicely with Knicks- Newsday.

Randolph's been pretty annoyed this entire time he hasn't gotten the extension. Randolph turns 30 this summer, and this is likely his last really lucrative NBA contract. He's got something good in Memphis, and wants to be rewarded for it. But Randolph has learned that this is a business (having been traded multiple times, largely on account of his off-court behavior and leadership issues, both of which have vanished in Memphis), and will pursue whatever angle he can to get the best deal he can. 

And that's where things get bothersome for the Grizzlies. How do you put the right price on Randolph? He's going to be 30. He doesn't have a history of winning. His defense is not great. (He's not a sieve or anything, but put him up against a long athletic guy who's as relentless as he is and he gets overmatched, quickly, and his weakside rotation leaves a lot to be desired.) He succeeds mostly by being savvier, more gifted, and working harder than the other guy. But isn't that who you want on your team? The leadership mentioned earlier could not have been better in Memphis. Randolph is the first guy to help Gasol up, and Randolph told me over Christmas that he just loves playing next to the big Spaniard, despite what should be a culture gap. He's the first to applaud a teammate, first to stand up for him in a tussle, first to help Darrel Arthur learn what he needs to be doing. And all of that is before you factor he was the Grizzlies first All-Star since Pau Gasol, he leads the team in scoring, is a double-double machine, and is arguably their best overall player. How do you not reward a player for doing everything you've asked of him and more? 

The trick is going to be for the two sides to find a compromise. If Randolph's looking for the standard deal with considerable increases as the contract progresses, the Grizzlies will balk. Randolph at 34 isn't going to be nearly the same player he is now. Front-loading the contract is the best-case scenario, but relies more on Randolph's ability to manage his money. The real issue in all this is the CBA. The Grizzlies are probably looking to see how the new cap situation shakes out before evaluating how much fair market value is for Randolph in the new universe being created in the boardrooms. Would it have been right for the Grizzlies to cave and give Randolph is fair share this season? Sure. But that's not how you build for the future. You do it carefully, and shrewdly, and emotions aren't part of the process. 

Just ask Danny Ainge. 

So the Grizzlies try to push for the playoffs, a must with the kind of improvements they've made, and hope for the best. If they fall short (check their schedule for the rest of the month, it's a gauntlet wrapped in barbed wire on fire), ownership could hit the roof and pull the plug on everything but what they've committed to. Which also might spell the end of professional basketball in Memphis. 

As is the case seemingly everywhere this season, there's a lot going on in Memphis on and off the court. 
Posted on: February 8, 2011 1:12 am
Edited on: February 8, 2011 1:35 am
 

Defense sets the tone as Lakers back on track

Following disappointing losses to the Celtics and Spurs, the Lakers have won two straight after downing Memphis in an ugly slobber-knocker. 
Posted by Matt Moore




It's pretty simple, really, and that's what makes it so frustrating. When the Los Angeles Lakers execute with focus and intensity, they win. That may sound like it could be true for any team in the National Basketball Association, but it's not.  Many teams give the good effort but don't have the talent, don't have the size, don't have the experience. Nowhere was that more evident than in the Lakers' 93-84 slugfest win over Memphis to put the Lakers back on a winning streak headed into Thursday's rematch with Boston. 

Before the game, Phil Jackson commented that despite L.A. having lost the last two to this upstart Grizzlies team, that the key to beating Memphis wasn't about Memphis at all. 

"I'm not so much concerned about Memphis," Jackson said, "as I am concerned about us." 

Nothing new for Jackson, who thrives on undermining opponents and focusing on being the most talented team in basketball, which he's almost always coaching. And after the Lakers bludgeoned the Grizzlies' frontline, Jackson commented that controlling the tempo was a key to taking control of the game after a Grizzlies run in the third quarter. It's really that simple. The Lakers are a superior team, and when they focus, and execute, there's not a team in the league outside of Boston who can stop them. 

Funny, the Lakers seem to be headed to face that test back on the right track.  After disappointing losses to Sacramento, Boston, and San Antonio, the Lakers have won two in a row and seem to be playing with more cohesion, especially defensively. But the biggest advantage is still their team makeup, which features superb talent wrapped in size and length that's nearly impossible to combat for 48 minutes. 

Versus the previous losses where Kobe Bryant took over the lion's share of the offense and continued to force things, this win featured equal contributions from the entire Lakers' arsenal. But really? It was the three-headed monster of Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum, a 20'10'' beast that when functioning, swallows opponents alive. Odom, who has been the most consistent Laker this season (if you thought you'd ever say that sentence out loud, please buy yourself an ice cream cone), was huge against Memphis with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, and zero turnovers. It was his three-point play late in the fourth that put the game out of reach for good. 

Jackson commented post game that he had actually decided to draw up a play for Odom instead of just having the ball given to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers watching him dribble around. After the play resulted in a three-point play, Odom remarked that they should draw that play up more, Jackson remarked, laughing. But it cuts to the center of the Lakers' problems this season, and why Jackson has remained calm, cool, and collected throughout the struggle. When they execute, when they have the energy, they are the most talented team in basketball. And no one can match up with their size and length, let alone their versatility. 

Lamar Odom said after the game, however, that it's not their size that really makes the Lakers so tough. 

"We've got so many different lineups we can play, so many guys who can play different positions. The strength of our team is our depth." 

Against the Grizzlies, that was apparent, as the combinations Lionel Hollins employed never seemed to spark a run, and the Lakers used varying combinations to constantly put the Grizzlies off-balance. For example, Pau Gasol started on, and played primarily against Zach Randolph, and Gasol's gangly reach kept the normally surefire offense or Randolph at bay, forcing a dreadful 2-14 performance that sealed Memphis' fate. You will not beat L.A. if you do not get frontcourt scoring, and the Lakers' three-headed beast outscored Randolph, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol 43-36, and that's before you factor in an aggressive Kobe Bryant. 

Perhaps most pertinent heading into the more hyped game Thursday was that the Lakers showed a real sense of toughness in a gritty win. There was no flashy burst of offense in this one. It was messy, ugly, and brutal. The Lakers out-muscled and out-worked the Grizzlies at the defensive end.  Ron Artest took a shot to the mouth from Marc Gasol, but the Lakers' bigs spent the rest of the night bullying the younger Gasol and company. 

The swagger is back, even as they have not poured in a consistent blowout effort yet. It doesn't have to be. All this team has to do is play to a reasonable percentage of its potential and they'll be back vying for a top-two seed. And if they don't get it, that's fine, as long as they're in a position to execute as they did tonight. But don't expect the same kind of talkative swagger you expect from Boston about this "revenge game." When asked about what the Lakers hope to do against the Celtics, Jackson cracked that cocky smirk of his and said...

"Hopefully it's not going to snow and we won't get trapped in with the ice and we'll be fine." 

Same old Lakers.  Except this time, they seem ready to throw a few punches as well as those flashy smiles. 
*******************
Notes:
  • The crowd at FedEx Forum was split evenly between Grizzlies fans and Lakers fans (particularly Kobe Bryant fans as few of the other Lakers received genuine cheers).  The game had the feel of a neutral site game for both teams. 
  • Jackson said he had not yet showed the team tape from the Boston loss a little over a week ago. He planned to do that on the two-day break between games. 
  • Shannon Brown said that the Triangle forces the team concept on the Lakers, and eliminates the drive to get your stats. He also mentioned that his improved shooting wasn't on account of working with a shooting coach, but more reps inside the flow of an offense last summer. 
  • Bryant received treatment on an ankle sore after the game and was walking pretty gingerly in the locker room. 
  • After I promised not to ask Marc Gasol about his brother and the overhyped cliche-fest stories they're always billed around when these two teams meet, Gasol was appreciative, admitting that the questions were "getting a little old." As a younger brother, I completely understood. 
  • Jackson credited Ron Artest from walking away from the confrontation with Gasol, but in reality, it was a little overdramatic. It was an obvious accidental hit, and Artest seemed ready to detonate in a very Ron-Artest way before calming down and heading to the free throw line, bricking both free throws, and coming out to get treatment. Can't blame him for clanking those, though, considering the shot he took.
  • Speaking of clanging free throws, the Lakers missed as many free throws (14) as the Grizzlies hit. 
  • The Lakers refrain was pretty simple as to what won the game. Bryant, Odom, and Artest all said the same thing: the Lakers winning ways begin with defense. 
  • Snoop Dogg and Warren G were both in the house. If you have never seen Snoop Dogg interacting with SuperGrizz, the Grizzlies mascot in a superhero outfit, you have not truly experienced life. 
Posted on: January 27, 2011 6:58 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 12:23 am
 

Numb#rs: Kevin Love's all-star campaign video

Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love has debuted a new All-Star campaign video. Posted by Ben Golliver.

A few weeks back, we noted Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay's All-Star campaign video, a twist on the Dos Equis commercials starring the "Most Interesting Man In The World." At the time, we praised the ad's comedy and self-aware styling. On Thursday, NBA fans were treated to another All-Star campaign video done right. This time, Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love riffs on melodramatic cologne commercials in a spot called "NUMB#RS by Kevin Love." 

The minute-long spot is shot in black and white, with a piano background, and opens with Love walking past adoring fans wearing a suit, sunglasses and a scarf.  Love then enters a club, where he sees a mascot wearing a suit and a dress hat, drinking with beautiful women. The mascot shows Love some love by raising his glass, and Love takes it in stride, with a slight smirk and look of confusion. The shot then cuts to a face-on look at Love, as his voice delivers his pitch in classically man-sultry voice. "Who has the numbers? You tell me."

A narrator's voice then intones: "Numbers. A fragrance by Kevin Love. Part of the 612 All Star Collection." The spot then pushes a link to 612allstar.com , a site that references Minneapolis's area code and further expounds on Love's All-Star credentials.

Have a look at the video.



Love's pitch obviously center around his stats, which are ridiculous. The 10-35 Timberwolves are terrible, so there wasn't much choice in the matter, but the handling of the numbers angle is quite deft. Love is currently averaging 21.6 points and a league-best 15.7 rebounds per game.

Like Gay's spot, Love's video is self-aware and tongue-in-cheek, a must for a self-promotional ad of this nature. Love comes off as funny and personable, even though he's bigging up his own stats on a terrible team, which would usually be looked upon with skepticism and possibly derision.

Posted on: January 25, 2011 4:58 am
Edited on: January 25, 2011 11:08 am
 

Game Changer 1.25.11: Hornets get it done

Detroit takes a perimeter attack, CP3 overwhelms with help, and Ruy Gay saves the day, all in today's Game Changer. 
Posted by Matt Moore

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: Detroit wings it to victory

You know? If the Pistons can get past their coach screwing with their rotations, their chemistry, and their play, and somehow manage to rely on the talent they have on this roster? This team ain't bad.  Austin Daye was the real hero here, and the youngster is proving that he's a big part of the Pistions' future. 20 points on 5-9 shooting, including 4-4 from the arc and 7 rebounds for Daye. Tayshaun Prince started at small forward, and added 20 points of his own, along with 6 assists, and Tracy McGrady had 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. That's right. The Pistons got 60 points from three small forwards in this game. Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Quentin Richardson combined for 15 points. When you lose a position battle by 45? Dwight Howard's 7 offensive boards aren't going to help much.

The Magic had five players out of their nine-man rotation with at least two turnovers, while the Pistons had just two out of their ten-man. Throw in some hot shooting from outside and the Pistons brought the Heat. Big win for the Pistons who continue to have one of the oddest seasons in memory. And guess what?

At 17-28, they're a game and a half back of the playoffs. Weird. 

THE N'ORLEANS HOMEFRONT: Victory through swarm

Trevor Ariza got busy . Ariza swarmed Kevin Durant down the stretch and it was one terrible shot after another, only this time he wasn't hitting any miracles. The Hornets threw multiple waves of pressure to keep the ball out of Russell Westbrook's hand after he had torched the Hornets time after time in this game, and in the end, it was David West's off-balance pivot jumper that won it for New Orleans. 

The Hornets at once seemed completely out-manned in this one and certifiably in control. Basically, whenever David West, Emeka Okafor, or Chris Paul got involved, they looked like the better squad, and when anyone else got involved it was not so much the case. Marcus Thornton was nice, if you think 10 points on 12 shots is nice, but in reality, none of the Hornets outside the Big 3 mattered much. What was relevant was a long stretch in the second and third quarter when Scott Brooks gave Eric Maynor the reins and watched as Chris Paul sliced him into roast beef. Maynor was simply not in a position to defend the MVP candidate, and it showed. 

A key play down the stretch saw Chris Paul steal the inbounds with the game tied, then come crashing down to the floor holding his ankle. Paul would walk it off, though. David West continues his reliable play and you have to think he and Okafor will determine how far this team goes in the playoffs. Okafor was at times brilliant, and at times extremely vulnerable as the Thunder crashed the glass time after time.  The Thunder held an 8% advantage in percentage of available offensive boards collected. 

Jeff Green had 19 points and wreaked havoc on the Hornets but had no shots in the final 3:16. 

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Kevin Love: 24 points, 17 rebounds, 7 assists

Runner-Up:  Tyreke Evans: 26 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists

HERO OF THE DAY: RG doin' work


Posted on: January 25, 2011 4:50 am
Edited on: January 25, 2011 5:03 am
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