The Grizzlies have taken two games in a row, evening their series with the Clippers at two games apiece. One of the reasons they’ve managed to come out on top these past two games is the solid play of Quincy Pondexter off the bench. After playing a fairly small part in the first two games, Pondexter managed to reach double figures in games 3 and 4, while making a few key plays along the way.
In Game 3, he memorably turned a bad situation into a positive one. After missing the second of two free throws, Pondexter grabbed his on rebound, quickly scored a basket, and drew another foul in the process. That time, he managed to convert the free throw. Then, in Game 4, he hit a key three-pointer that would the Grizzlies up by 9, and eventually allow them to pull away from the Clippers. he’s been the Grizzlies best player off the bench, and if they managed to take the Clippers down, he will be one of the biggest reasons why.
All of this leads to single point: it’s time to start respecting what Pondexter gives to the Grizzlies. It’s easy to write off Pondexter for one simple reason; the Grizzlies gave up Greivis Vasquez to get him, and Vasquez has since turned into a quality point guard, averaging nine assists per game for New Orleans this season. rather than appreciating Pondexter’s contributions, it can be tempting to simply write off Pondexter as a consolation prize for the franchise that was clearly on the losing end of this deal.
Look, I won’t argue with the idea that New Orleans got more out of this trade than Memphis did. They got a quality starter, while Memphis simply received a quality bench player. that can’t be denied. At the same time, Pondexter has been a solid player for the Grizzlies this year, and that should be talked about more.
For one thing, he’s one of the few players on the Grizzlies who can consistently relied upon to hit three-point shots. He hit .395 from downtown in the regular season, acting as the closest thing the Grizzlies have to a three-point specialist. His three-point prowess already came in handy in Game 4, and if the Grizzlies advance further in the postseason, that skill could be needed again, as the Grizz have to deal with the high-powered offenses of the Warriors, thunder, and Spurs.
Quincy Pondexter will likely never become a star, and the chances are, he won’t become as valuable of a player as Greivis Vasquez. So, if you want to view the Vasquez trade as a bad move in that regard, you’re free to do so. But the fact is, Pondexter is a valuable contributor to this team, and regardless of what you think Vasquez might have done for the grizzlies, Pondexter is helping them now, and for that, he should get some respect.