I find it funny to read the message boards about the Grizzlies these days even the forum on our site.
Did people really believe that a roster of 3 rookies, a player with less than one year experience at the point and a player just starting his 3rd NBA campaign could qualify for the playoffs? Why would they even want them to knowing that if the Grizzlies aren’t in the lottery that they would not have a single pick in this year’s draft having traded the rights to the 1st rd pick to Washington and the 2nd rd pick to Houston in exchange for Darrell Arthur?
The reality is that the same people who were talking playoffs three weeks ago are now screaming for the team to be imploded again. This team starts 5 players 23 yrs old and younger. Only two starters had any NBA experience heading into the season. Off the bench you have Darko at 23, Lowry at 22 and old man Hakim Warrick at a ripe 26 yrs old. They are competing with teams whose entire starting lineups are older than any of these players. Those teams also have rookies but they are coming off the bench not starting at the majority of positions on the court.
What many people fail to understand is that it takes time to build from the ground up and that is what the Grizzlies are doing. There will be more nights like Wednesday in Utah than anyone wants to believe but it is what it is. Hopefully the team will start to bond during the season. They will start running the offensive sets instead of settling for jump shots. They will start understanding their specific roles on the team instead of relying on the athleticism that got them to this level. They will start working together defensively and anticipating situations instead of reacting to them. These things don’t happen in three weeks of the regular season. It takes longer than that. Improvement will be slow, painful and difficult to notice at first but it will come.
In the meantime enjoy the athleticism and development. It isn’t like you have a lot of other options anyway.
The good news is that November ends with an interesting game between two teams doing the exact same thing. Oklahoma City starts Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, two top 5 picks from the 2007 draft and have Russell Westbrook playing a majority of minutes as a combo guard. The Thunder however have some sprinkling of veterans in their midst. It is questionable whether that is a good idea or not right now as the Thunder are 1-11 (compared to the Grizzlies 4-11).
Here are a few things to remember and be thankful for during this holiday weekend:
Remember that theThunder (Sonics then) weresupposed to be the big winners in last year’s draft getting Kevin Durant. Be thankful thatthe Grizzlieshave won 5more games than theThunder since that draft, have fired their 2nd coach and are no longer considered an up and coming team. Things could be a lot worse right now.
Rememberwhen considering how bad Mike Conley is that the next player taken in that draft was Jeff Green of the Thunder and be very thankful.
Remember that the Grizzlies have a backup center in Darko Milicic and not Saer Sene, Robert Swift or Stephen Hill.
Remember that the Grizzlies got a younger Quinton Ross instead of Desmond Mason and for less money.
Remember that as big a bust as Darko Milicic may seem to Memphis that Joe Smith was the top pick in the draft one year and he is now 33 and a big part of the rebuilding going on in OKC. Be thankful that our mistake is still only 23 and at least may have some upside.
Bethankfulthat as bad as Kyle Lowry has looked at times he is still better than Earl Watson and his poisonous attitiude in the locker room.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.