Take a deep breath, Memphis. We finally have a coach in place. Yes, he’s unproven, and I still cannot say I have faith in the team’s decision to let Lionel Hollins go. But this is a start. At least we know something now. Some sense of direction at least.
That said, there are more than enough questions surrounding the Grizzlies right now.
Is Dave Joerger the right man for the job?
It’s a fair question. And one that no one will know the answer to for quite some time.
But if I’m going to bet on anything, it’s that there will be growing pains. I have a strong feeling we won’t see the same Grizzlies team we did last year. Our identity will evolve, for better or worse.
We already knew that the thought of having someone without experience would be in the best interest of the front office. They made it pretty clear that they did not want someone set in their own ways when they parted ways with Hollins. They want someone to mold. They want their philosophies and analytical focus to trickle down from the very top, to the staff, to the players. Which is fair. Their can’t be any gap in philosophy. That’s not how you build contenders.
I’m just not sure if we should chalk the hire up to being progressive or cheap. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt though. At least for now.
Where the hell are we going to find our offense?
The Grizzlies can’t shoot. Period. None of them. Outside of Pondexter, Marc Gasol could very well be the best shooter on our roster. And if there’s anything we learned from this year’s Finals, it’s that small-ball and shooting are king in the NBA now.
The draft? Maybe. There are rumors that we could “buy” a first-rounder. Which would ultimately make me feel a lot better about the decisions with Rudy Gay and Hollins. But should we actually make a move, here’s a look at who we could move up to take.
However, should we not trade into the second-round. Here are a few personal favorites I feel we should take a serious look at.
As for free agency? Here’s a list of the players we could pursue this offseason.
Names that stand out to me include Marco Belinelli, Leandro Barbosa, Gary Neal, Anthony Morrow, Corey Brewer, J.J. Redick. All of them have the potential to be game-changers in the right situation.
As Hal says, “Essentially it comes down to, is some combination of two players in the first list worth giving up Jerryd Bayless for? Would they be the kind of upgrade that Memphis thinks it needs to make?”
I’m going to say yes.
Lastly, much like the two-time defending champs, our offense relies heavily on our ability to turn over our opponent. We relied on a blue collar, “grit-and-grind” defense to win us games.
So it begs the question:
Will we still be the “Grit-and-grind” Grizzlies?
By the end of the coming season, what will our style of play look like? Will we be “grinding” out wins? Will we be tough, physical and gritty?
Our personnel says yes. It’s the way this team was built to play. But if Tony Allen bolts town and we don’t have the stern leadership of Hollins on the sideline, it’s a fair question.
After all, Hollins even said that he made Joerger into a defensive coach. Stating that he was not a defensive coach when he first came into the fold.
We won’t know if there’s any truth in that until October.
Until then, the Grizzlies’ front office need to do everything in their power to put Joerger in a position to succeed. Because if he doesn’t, this isn’t on him, it’s on them.