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As the 3SOB.com gang looks back on the Memphis Grizzlies 2012 season,we continue with another round of 3-on-3. Subbing in for Chip Crain & yours truly (Lee Eric Smith) are 3SOB founder Josh “Red” Coleman and perennial All-Star Power Blogger Matthew Noe. Staying in the game while me and Chip ice our knees is the rookie John Hugar. Let’s get it on!

Rudy Gay’s 2012 season was . . .

Red Coleman: An indication that he is suffering virtually no ill effects from his shoulder injury of last season. Other than a career-low in three-point percentage, his numbers were the same thing we’ve seen from Rudy for the last few years. He hit clutch shots all year long, showing the tremendous amount of killer instinct and swagger that we’ve come to expect from him.

Matthew Noe: A rather depressing view of a ceiling that is lower than many of us have wanted to believe for quite a while now. Sure, he hit some big shots late in some games, but he’s made heroic plays all the way back to that triple-OT thriller home opener in his rookie season. Is he going to rise above his average, ever? Now that he’s made his defense much more competent, can we expect him to work further on his offense next season?

John Hugar: Encouraging. He didn’t morph into Kevin Durant like so many fans are still hoping, but he generally played well, and proved once again that he’s one of the better small forwards in the league. My one concern with Rudy is that he still doesn’t seem like the player who can really take over games. Hopefully, once he gets more playoff experience. He can improve that area.

True or False: O.J. Mayo suits up in Memphis next season.

Red: True….only he’ll be playing for someone else. But he’ll play here at least once next season regardless. Love him or hate him (or somewhere in between, like me), O.J.’s future in Memphis is about money — and there’s not enough laying around to keep him on

Matt: False. Comes down to dollars, and his inconsistency from three. A long range gunner is what the Grizzlies need, as well as a second PG, and OJ is just not gonna fill both of those roles.Beale Street.

John: False. He’s had a great four years, but I’m guessing his number is up. The Grizzlies probably won’t be able to pay him the money he’ll command on the free agent market, and he may not want to come off the bench when there are a lot of teams who will want to make him a starter. This is a guy who averaged 18 points a game as a rookie. Teams recognize what he can do, and he’ll sign a lucrative deal elsewhere. ”

The Grizzlies postseason was . . .

Red: Disappointing, although not completely unexpected. Two things stood out during the regular season for this Grizzlies squad: 1) They cannot hold a lead. 2) They lacked a player who would put them on his back and carry them consistently. They were able to overcome both of these flaws by pulling out numerous nail-biting wins when players would simply step up and make big plays. But when the other team has a player the calibre of Chris Paul…they can do that — and do it better sometimes.

Matt: Awful. And we’re just not gonna credit VDN’s “scheming” to keep the ball off the block. The Griz won three games, and could have won a fourth were it not for a total lack of focus and execution.

John:  A major bummer. Blowing a 24-point lead in the last 8 minutes of Game 1 was bad enough, but they never completely looked confident the entire series. Even in the games they won they had problems, and they never fully took advantage of the matchups they had, especially Rudy Gay going against Nick Young and Randy Foye. We were all hoping for a lengthy postseason, but a lack of clutch play submarined them early.

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12 Responses to 3 on 3: Season In Review (Part 2)

  1. Chip CrainNo Gravatar says:

    Here were my edited responses:

    “Rudy Gay’s 2012 season was . . .” Frustrating. He started rusty and ended weak but in the middle he, once again, showed the talent that keeps people optimistic he can take the next step. The reality appears to be he is one or two skills (passing and dribbling) short of being of a superstar and likely Memphis fans will always hold his contract against him in that regard.

    “True or False: O.J. Mayo suits up in Memphis next season.” False and O J nailed the final nail when he said that wherever he plays next year he wants to play PG. Memphis isn’t going to pay Mayo the money he can command on the open market to learn PG skills, especially when the team has a good PG already.

    “The Grizzlies postseason was . . . ” Depressing but not exactly unexpected. Last season the Grizzlies had less talent but everyone knew their roles from the All-Star break on and that chemistry helped parlay the team in to a Game 7 in the Western Conference semis. This season with Z-Bo replacing Speights on the last day of the season and Tony Allen, Marc Gasol and Quincy Pondexter all dealing with knee issues at the end, an early exit isn’t exactly surprising.

  2. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    On the O.J. thing . . .

    While I don’t think it’s probable, I wouldn’t be surprised to see O.J. on the team next season. For a couple of reasons.

    He’s still a restricted free agent. From a business standpoint, the question for Heisley will be whether Juice will get an offer that they won’t match. If the offer is reasonable, and Hollins still wants him on the team, he could be back. Though even in that scenario, he’d still be consistent trade bait.

    The other option is for Juice to play out his rookie contract and become an unrestricted free agent next year. That might be attractive to him because it would give him another year to boost his value, along with the ultimate freedom to sign where he wants. That might also work out for the team, since players in contract years have extra incentive to play well.

    I get the impression O.J. loves his teammates . . . respects Coach Hollins even if he doesn’t always agree with him. And I think he means it when he says he wants to “finish what they started” with the team.

    All that said, I won’t be surprised if we see him signed elsewhere this summer.

  3. MattNo Gravatar says:

    The only way OJ stays is if Rudy is traded and they bring back less into the deal then they started with. Remember the Grizz only have around 7.5 mil to resign players with, and this included Arthur/Speights and a draft pick. Not an enviable position to be with. I think he may be good as gone…and if we are trading Rudy anyway…how about to Scramento for Tyreke or even the Bucks for Monte Ellis….or most logically the Hornets for Eric Gordon???

    • lugeneparkerNo Gravatar says:

      Really!?!? Eric Gorden, who is injury prone and Monte ellis, who has big nights sometimes and have awful nights the others. I’ll pass on those guys. No way in the world would I make that trade.

  4. Andy WatersNo Gravatar says:

    If you enjoy reflecting on the misery of being a member of Grizznation, please, please give me some feedback on this comment.

    OJ’s inevitable departure a few weeks after the Thunder win the title this June will thoroughly illustrate the unbelievable difference a smart draft makes.

    While we traded the fifth pick of the 2008 draft and a future perennial All-Star for the third pick in Juice, the Thunder used the fourth pick to draft Russell Westbrook. I’ll never forget KD35 clapping furiously as a toothy grin stretched from ear to ear, one of those I hadn’t seen since his Texas days. I wondered, “Westbrook? The kid D-Rose embarrassed three months ago? That scrub Joey Dorsey scraped off his shoe after one of his rim-shattering dunks? What is Durant so happy about?”

    I figured it out. Mulligan, right? At least we swindled the Blazers into taking Donte’ off our hands and landed a backup 4 right? Well, then 2009 rolled along. Everyone knows the infamous Thabeet/Carroll/Young draft, no need to beat a dead horse. Anyway, a few minutes after we took one of the biggest busts in NBA history, the Thunder drafted the Kia 2012 Sixth Man of the year in the southpaw swingman James Harden out of Arizona. Hindsight is 20/20, but it was pretty dumb of me to shout, “James who?? Over ‘REKE?? First Westbrook, now this guy? Durant must be PISSED!!!” at the TV.

    That finished their rebuilding process. Next year, they used the draft to acquire the role players they needed to support their Big Three. We took Xavier and Greivis and turned them into Q and Mo.

    So in conclusion, we drafted the spot before them for two straight years, and just three years later, we’re left holding the bag while they’re looking to lock up the city’s first NBA title. Now, I’m not saying I wish we did anything differently, but I do think it’s funny to take a step back and notice how poetic it is that the Thunder will be sitting on the mountaintop watching us try to scrape together the cash to resign a guy that shot 1-11 from the field in the biggest game of his life while we had almost the exact same odds, if not better, of reversing our positions.

    • MattNo Gravatar says:

      You are correct…. if the Grizz did pass up Thabeet….that they would have drafted Tyreke …not Harden…he was dreadful in workouts here…and dreadful in the tournament….and I am afraid that picks puts this team even further back…just ask the Kings

  5. Andy WatersNo Gravatar says:

    **4 years later. Sorry, can’t count

  6. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Andy:

    And if Portland had taken Kevin Durant with the Number 1 pick, OKC would be still rebuilding after not having Greg Oden due to injuries.

    I get your point: A lineup of Conley, Harden, Gay, Love & Gasol would have been sweet. But we don’t know how these players would have meshed, how they would have worked out had they been in Beale St. Blue.

    For sure, we wouldn’t have had Zach Randolph and possibly no Tony Allen, and those two guys are probably most responsible for cementing the team identity right now.

    Without question, we’ve blown a couple of drafts. But it’s simplistic to say that had we drafted Player X instead of Player OJ, that we would have had better results. You have to factor in player development, team chemistry, personalities, coaching system, style of play . . . and of course, lucky bounces of the ball. After all, the Grizz get a couple of lucky bounces here and there, and we’d have won the Clippers series. Or we would have been the 3 seed, playing Denver (or Dallas. Or Utah. It never ends.)

    And I’m going on record as saying that OKC won’t make the Finals. They’ll get past the Lakers (probably), but I don’t see them getting past San Antonio in a seven game series. In fact, with Chris Bosh hurt in Miami, my new favorite for a championship is San Antonio.

  7. Andy WatersNo Gravatar says:

    I’m definitely not saying we should’ve done anything differently. I remember the “What If” article someone published within the last year on this site, and its point is still fresh on my mind.

    That being said, I love where we are as a franchise right now. I just think it’s remarkable that the Thunder overcame bad positioning to make the exact pick that their franchise needed, and Chris Wallace’s draft-night impotence is the best way to highlight that.

    We can agree that the Wild, Wild West is bringing it home this year at least. I wish both the Thunder and Spurs could win it, I love both of those franchises. The Kawhi Leonard trade was the trade of the year IMO.

  8. vahythelordNo Gravatar says:

    i dont think we should think about the past picks… we are the 3rd best record in west right now.. so we need offseason xp.. we need andre miller,, keep arthur.. sign mayo and trade for 3pt shooter .. ofcourse ray allen is great.. anyone knows about marcus camby’s contract? anyway we can get him? clips got kenyon they win C baclup matchup.. we need a 7feet blocker and play more haddadi

  9. vahythelordNo Gravatar says:

    keep dante… and i miss hakim warrick right now

  10. [...] round of 3 on 3, looking back at the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2011-12 season. Check out Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 also. Featured lineup today: Josh “Red” Coleman, Chip Crain & Matthew [...]

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