Scouting Report: Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies come into Atlanta having won three straight preseason games after an 0-2 start. Last year’s Western Conference runner-ups added forward Mike Miller to an already good lineup and look to be even better this year.
So far, it looks like Miller is fitting in just fine with first-year head coach David Joerger’s system. In their win over Orlando yesterday, Miller scored 19 points on 7-10 shooting from the field, including three triples, and also pulled down 11 rebounds. Miller is a three-point shooting threat as we saw during his days with Miami, and he’s also a very underrated defender. You need to know where he is at both ends of the court.
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The frontcourt duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol is well-documented as one of the best all-around 4-5 combos in the NBA. Randolph has had a quiet preseason on the offensive end, but Gasol has been very good, reaching double figures in all three wins (he did not play the first two games). Both guys have the ability to stretch a defense with solid mid-range games, and both go after offensive rebounds like sharks that smell blood. Al Horford and Paul Millsap match up well size-wise, but both will have their hands full should all four start tomorrow.
In the backcourt, Mike Conley and Tony Allen provide a bit of contrast in styles. While Conley runs the show offensively, Allen plays about as good of defense as you’ll see out of a shooting guard. If he’s matched up with Kyle Korver, I wouldn’t expect another explosion from Kyle like we saw Thursday. Conley meanwhile, is similar to Jeff Teague in that he has the ability to score 20 points if he wants to but often defaults to getting his big men involved in the offense.
Let’s also not forget about the Grizzlies’ bench. Ed Davis has done a very nice job since coming over from Toronto in the Rudy Gay trade, and Quincy Pondexter is explosive as well.
In all, the Grizzlies are a team that wants to slow the game down and keep it in the 80s. Coach Bud wants to push the pace, so we’ll see how this contrast in styles plays out tomorrow. Coach Bud is very familiar with this Memphis team, having played them in the conference finals last year while an assistant with San Antonio.
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