How Memphis Grizzlies’ coach David Fizdale has changed the offense

The Memphis Grizzlies’ rookie head coach, David Fizdale, has implemented a revamped offense this year, which is already paying dividends in the preseason.

The Memphis Grizzlies have always been the old-school team. Slug it out post-ups with hard-nosed defense has always been their stereotype—an accurate one, thoughbut first-year David Fizdale has already completely changed the Grizzlies’ look and it’s only the preseason. 

The five-out offense featuring Marc Gasol

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol shooting 3s, what has happened to the Grizzlies? Fizdale has started encouraging them to shoot the long-ball and it has already started to pay dividends. Most notably in the last game against the Houston Rockets.

Watch this play as Marc Gasol makes the 3:

Not a bad shot. Now when you look at the play it’s quite basic. However, the best thing about this is how quick the offense goes into motion.



The play begins five seconds into the shot clock, which causes the defense to not be set and to be open to be exploited. When Gasol finally pops out, the offense is set whilst the defense doesn’t know what to do.



Every player now for the Grizzlies has space on the 3-point line to either shoot or even drive past their defender. This is Fizdale’s offense has already made the Memphis Grizzlies’ offense far more versatile than it has ever been. 

The five-out offense feat. ZBo

In the same quarter Randolph, was able to land a 3 in a similar motion to Gasol’s.

This is probably even more basic than Gasol’s 3 due to no proper play action being implemented. It’s more dumping the ball to Randolph on the 3-point line. Teams leaving him that much room to pull up will have to become a thing of the past once the Grizzlies showcase their new look during their regular season.



Again we see the play being executed very soon into the shot clock and looks like it’ll be a staple of Fizdale’s offense. Being able to attack in the first 10 seconds stops the defense from being set and gives the offense a huge advantage.



The same as last time. There’s a whole lot of space for the offense to be versatile and cause problems for the defense.

Style of offense

It’s clear to see that David Fizdale is following the modern NBA mold by going for the fast-paced offense, similar to Mike D’Antoni’s “seven-seconds-or-less” offense.

The best way to analyze the offense is shown through this video of D’Antoni himself.


Now tell me that isn’t the exact same offense as that Gasol 3 earlier?

This offense is now the norm in the NBA and it’s good to see that Fizdale is trying to implement it for the Grizzlies.

Will it work?

Now, will it work? There are some drawbacks to this offense—the main one being offensive rebounding, this has been a huge part of the Grizzlies’ success over the past six years.

For example, when Fizdale was running this offense in 2013 for the Miami Heat, they were 20th in offensive rebounding for that season despite having players that were more than willing to crash the boards. Do Memphis want to sag on rebounding if they have players who are known for gritting and grinding their way to balls ricocheting off the rim?

This offense, for the time being, will outweigh the negatives and will actually inject a fan-friendly, popular offense that is proven to garner results.