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.