Beno Udrih or Nick Calathes–who’s the backup point guard?
The Grizzlies currently have two backup point guards on the roster–those being Beno Udrih and Nick Calathes. One of the two will more than likely beat out the other for the bulk of the minutes off the bench, but who will earn that privilege?
Starting with Udrih–he’s an NBA veteran with a wealth of experience at the backup point guard spot, and is considered a good all-around player. You generally don’t stay in the league that long if you can’t play basketball (Kwame Brown is an exception to the rule), and Udrih has been a solid backup throughout his career. Beno is a good option to backup Mike Conley, because he’ll be able to run the team efficiently and provide some bench scoring as well.
Nick Calathes plays a relatively similar game, but he lacks the experience that Udrih has. As Calathes is younger, he is a little quicker off the ball than Beno, which allows him to stay in front of defenders. He can also distribute and move the ball, but he can be turnover prone at times. Last year, Calathes saw a good amount of minutes off the bench before his suspension for a failed drug test, which lasts 13 games into this season.
So who should get most of the minutes? Well, it’s going to be Udrih regardless for the first 13 games, which gives him an advantage to showcase his game before Calathes does. Given how Beno played with this team during the playoffs last year, when he finally did see time, odds are that he will do exceptionally well as the backup. Upon Calathes’ return, it will be an uphill battle for him to try and usurp minutes away from the veteran Udrih.
You can look for Beno Udrih to get most of the minutes off the bench at point guard this upcoming season, at least initially. Nick Calathes will have a lot of work to do, but he can still be a viable option as well. Either way, the Grizzlies should be set to go at the point guard position.