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What Are Your Concerns, Expectations, Thoughts On Next Season?

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Since the roster is at 15 players and it doesn't seem like we are adding anyone via free agency after signing Udrih and VC, how do you feel going into next season?

 

1) Tayshaun Prince returning and the plethora of wings

 

With the way Herrington and Lipe have talked about Prince returning next season, I'm kind of disappointed in that. I feel like all the talk of Joerger saying "we need to marry someone" earlier in the offseason made me a little too optimistic. I was expecting for the majority of our wings to be traded or not re-signed to open up PT for a player like Adams.

 

We have Lee, TA, Adams, Franklin, Q, Carter and Prince all under contract. We finished the season with 7 wings and we currently have 7 wings.I was thinking we would have cut that number down to 5. The offseason is not over, so there is still a possibility it happens. KNOWING how Joerger caters to veterans, I feel like next season's wing rotation will primarily be TA/Lee/Carter/Prince. If the roster stands pat, it will probably definitely be that way. That is definitely a concern for me because I think Adams would provide a lot more for this team next season than Prince.

 

 

2) Our PF situation and who will be Zbo's backup PF

 

We have Randolph, Stokes and Leuer at the PF position. We let Ed Davis walk away and he was our only athletic pick n roll defender/shot blocking big man on the roster. I've seen IIWII and a few other posters bring this up several times, but we could really be in trouble if we don't find a rotational athletic big. One of our weaknesses last season was defending the pick and roll and I don't see it improving this season with our current roster.

 

I've seen others on here mention Prince being a small ball 4 and that may improve our pick and roll D somewhat. I honestly just don't want to see Prince touch the floor at all costs. If it was my choice and I knew were going to have a bad defender backing up Zbo, I would go with Leuer over Stokes. You traditionally like for your backup to be a different type of player than your starter and I think Leuer would continue to fill the role of "pick n pop big" and "energy guy" next season.

 

3) Health concerns

 

A lot of people talk about how health was the reason we didn't do as well last season. While that may be true, do you think with 5 of our rotational players being over 30 (6 when Marc turns 30 in January) we can maintain a healthy roster throughout a grueling NBA schedule?

 

If Vince Carter ends up being our starting SF, then 4 out of 5 starters in January will be over 30 years old (assuming Tony Allen starts at SG). Starting in 2015, our starting five age would be 27, 33, 38, 33, 30. Is it realistic to assume that these guys can stay healthy for the most part? Not to mention the concerns of our best or 2nd best player coming into camp out of shape again? *looks at Marc Gasol*

 

4) How do we stack up against the rest of the West?

 

There are still a few pieces that need to sign before I can really evaluate how we stack up against other teams. BUT, I think we came out A LOT better than I initially thought. At one point, we were looking at Bosh going to Houston, Pau going to either OKC or SAS and Parsons going to Dallas. Now, things don't look as bad.

 

IF we can remain fully healthy, knowing how Joerger caters to vets and that Adams may not even play much this season, I think we are still capable of being a top 5 seed in the West. BUT, I don't think we will remain fully healthy due to the age of most of our starters/rotational players. I also think we will struggle against teams that have elite playmakers due to our ability to defend the pick and roll.

 

As for my expectations?

 

If the roster remains the same and no major changes happen, I see us grabbing the 5th or 6th seed. I think we will experience a few injuries to our starters due to age and Joerger over playing them, but nothing season ending. Hard to predict anything for the playoffs since it really depends on matchups.

 

What are your thoughts?

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5) Offensive adjustments

 

This past season we saw more teams committing to pack the paint more than ever. There needs to be an adjustment to the balance of playing inside out. The team has shooters, but the coaching staff needs to do better at getting them looks and staying consistent about telling them to be aggressive. It can't be telling them to be aggressive at one point, then telling them to get the ball inside the next time. I would like to see them shooting around 20 threes per game. Based on last season, that would at least put them around the bottom of the middle third/top of the bottom third in attempts. That should make a big difference with interior spacing.

 

Barring injury and other moves by the West, I think the Grizzlies can be a top 4 seed.

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Only concern I have is Marc's health. If he goes down, we have Koufas and then a bunch of undersized (height-wise) PF's. Everything else should be fine.

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I expect the WCF playoff picture to be about what it was this season - except Phoenix will be in - so that leaves either us or Dallas outside looking in. I don't think any other teams are ready to make a push to be in the top 8. So in the SW division, the Dallas games will have particular importance to us.

 

I don't know if I expect any particular seeding, but I think we have to get at least a 6th seed - and a favorable matchup - to have a reasonable expectation to get into the 2nd round. If we get out of the first round as a 5-8 seed, we will have shown ourselves well - anything beyond that will be gravy, in my eyes. Of course, I'll always root them on as far as they can go, but that's me being realistic. We need to have a great season out of the gate with very minimal injuries to sniff top 4.

 

And I'm ok with that. I still think that if we get through this year, give the newbies a chance to adjust to being on the team, then next year we will have a chance to make a move that can have a significant improvement to our roster. With that new player(s), we then will have 1-2 seasons left before our team has to begin thinking about looking very different - if it's the right move, we should have a reasonable expectation to be a top 4 seed those seasons. So this year to me is about cohesion, opportunity, and learning. However, if the team winds up showing there aren't enough minutes to go around, I would expect them to make attempts to accelerate that timetable. If I have any concerns player-wise, it is that we're "bunching up" our talent instead of having a clear pecking order. I think we were going through this leading up to the Rudy Gay trade, which is one of the reasons why I was in favor of the trade, and I think one of the reasons our team became more efficient after he left; because people's roles became not only more defined, but more easily ranked.

 

My other biggest concern is with Joerger. Does he have the understanding of our team to play to our strengths right away, instead of force our team to be something it is not again this season? And by playing to our strengths, that also means he needs to be a man and realize minutes aren't owed to anybody - nor is the option to freelance. I think he did a good job in some areas last year, and if he can take what he did well last year and grow, then I think we can be fine.

 

I hope the team plays well enough early on that our bench can get on the floor, particularly our 3 newest draftees. I hope that VC has enough juice in him to start for about 26 min a night, and the rest can be covered by others, and that Prince can spend his last season fishing somewhere. Every minute that goes to Prince is a wasted minute this season. Period, end of story. He may be a Grizzly all year long, but that doesn't mean he has to see the court. Any time I see him on the floor this year, my opinion about Joerger will lower. I rationalized it last year. Not prepared to this season.

 

So - a nice showing in the playoffs, a chance for our team to gel even further, integrating some new parts that will hopefully pan out, get out of the first round at minimum, and have the braintrust in place to make that outstanding roster move next offseason to vault us into the contender conversation.

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I love the roster with exception of Tayshaun but he will be valuable at trade deadline, if we stay healthy we're going to be really good

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Being at 15 players does not mean we are finished, however it may be a while before another move is made. We, as fans, tend to want things to happen right away, but it would be prudent for the FO to wait until a really smart move presents itself. The next move will probably be a minor transaction moving role players around to suit needs. I would not expect a major move until next summer unless there is something at the trade deadline. I'm okay with us starting with the crew we have. It isn't a finished product but it will get us started.

 

I expect Prince to be here until his contract expires. It would probably be best for the team by giving us a lot of wiggle room next season to sign higher impact players or absorb their contracts. Prince was definitely a bust last season on the offensive end, but his defensive limitations on these boards are greatly exaggerated. He can't stay with the athletic young guys anymore, but he has enough sense to drive them to a help defender and he still has enough length to contest or bother a shot. He is aware and doesn't lose sight of his man on defense letting them backdoor cut on him like a lot of other athletic guys everyone is in love with. He is also one of the lowest turnover guys in the league and his smart decision making protects possessions. Still, I hope his minutes are much reduced and I also hope that his poor shooting was an aberration caused by the illness he was fighting.

 

Funny how Dave Joerger is already categorized after his rookie coaching season as to his tendencies. I don't think that Dave "caters" to vets so much as I think that Dave plays guys who execute the gameplan. We will know more about this season. I hope he is able to give the young guys more minutes tis season, but a lot of that is on them.

 

Health is always a concern and more so with the age of our veterans. That is why it is imperative to keep a deep team. I hope that after last season with many of our newer players becoming more accustomed to Grizzlies basketball that we will be able to utilize the depth more to keep our starters well rested.

 

I think we stack up pretty well against the rest of the Western Conference. Other teams have made changes to improve but only time will tell on that count.

 

I think we could reach as high as 3 or as low as 7 if healthy.

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I was wanting them to get Turner,Matt Barnes or Dunleavy but i think now they should give Q an opportunity. I am tired of seeing former Grizzlies develop with other teams maybe not stars but better than they were here because of playing time. That said, I think this roster is going to be really good. We already matchup okay with OKC,Clips and Houston we can use a rotation on Prince/TA against Durant,Harden and Griffin without affecting SG play. Against the Spurs, play small ball and shoot outside where they can't pack the paint ( like Dallas did in last years playoffs) use a ground and pound against smaller centers VC can play defense better than MM if he stays healthy thought they may trade Lee or Qpon but now i hope not also , next year the grizz will have Prince,KK,Franklin off the books with Zach 6.5M savings and cap goes up 6M next year I figure +24M to sign Marc to an extension and leave more than enough to get a true quality SF But I read somewhere that Joerger likes a 3 guard set like a lot of teams are doing

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I was wanting them to get Turner,Matt Barnes or Dunleavy but i think now they should give Q an opportunity. I am tired of seeing former Grizzlies develop with other teams maybe not stars but better than they were here because of playing time. That said, I think this roster is going to be really good. We already matchup okay with OKC,Clips and Houston we can use a rotation on Prince/TA against Durant,Harden and Griffin without affecting SG play. Against the Spurs, play small ball and shoot outside where they can't pack the paint ( like Dallas did in last years playoffs) use a ground and pound against smaller centers VC can play defense better than MM if he stays healthy thought they may trade Lee or Qpon but now i hope not also , next year the grizz will have Prince,KK,Franklin off the books with Zach 6.5M savings and cap goes up 6M next year I figure +24M to sign Marc to an extension and leave more than enough to get a true quality SF But I read somewhere that Joerger likes a 3 guard set like a lot of teams are doing

 

maybe thats why we have so many sg...i like the idea of playing a sg at the sf position because shorter players give taller players fits when it come to dribbling bt on the other hand they can shoot over them

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My expectations are an NBA championship and breaking the single season wins record.

 

My concerns are with the feelings of the other teams when they beat them badly.

 

My thoughts are "Go Grizz!"

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Good thread idea. A lot of really good points have been brought up already.

 

Concerns:

 

* Marc Gasol coming into the season out of shape / overweight again would be devastating for us. He is going to have to produce as a legitimate #2 this year. This brings me to...

 

* Zbo has to accept a slightly reduced offensive role. His offensive efficiency is only going to get worse. Unless he is ready to add the long ball to his game (which seems unlikely) it would benefit the team, in most match-ups, to not feature Zach.

 

* Too many wings / not enough minutes for young guys / no interior presence behind Gasol. These things are all somewhat interrelated. If we could shed a wing (or two) and bring back a big this would greatly help our team.

 

One thought would be a trade of TA or CLee and Prince for Larry Sanders. The only way some team would trade for Prince would be in order to shed another, longer bad contract. If Larry Sanders starts out the year poorly again there is a chance they might get an itchy trigger finger on a trade. Prince would provide them with cap relief and TA or CLee would provide them depth at a position where they are thin. I would hate to part with Lee, but would do this move in order to add the athleticism and rim protection that Sanders provides. This move would also serve to balance out our roster.

 

Expectations:

 

* Grizzlies stay status quo (barring serious injuries) and are able to land a 3-8 seed in the playoffs. With some luck, based on match-ups we are able to advance past the 1st round.

 

Thoughts:

 

* It would be great to get some kind of return on Tony Allen before next year when he will surely be another albatross contract for us.

 

* Jon Leuer will have to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, 3 Point shooters on our roster. This also means he will have to see approximately 20 minutes a night all season long. (I am scared reading these previous two sentences)

 

* Dave Joerger would be well served by finding some minutes for Jordan Adams. If Adams is squandered down in Iowa all season I expect that this will have a direct correlation to whether or not DJ is coaching the team come 2015.

 

* The only way our 2015 cap space will help us past being able to resign Marc Gasol would be if we can acquire someone via trade. The only free agent we will be able to obtain with that additional cap space would likely be a lower tier guy we are overpaying for.

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I agree about the backup PF concerns, especially defensively, but I also think we'll see more Marc/Koufos lineups which actually worked pretty well most of the time.

 

And I do have hopes that Leuer can progress from complete disaster on defense to merely below average. I believe in you Johnny! :D

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The biggest win of this offseason is that we have put ourselves in a position to have max cap space next summer and acquire a player or players that could catapult us into elite status in the West. I don't really like next year's crop of FAs for us, but there will invariably be a plethora of trade opportunities that will come up where having the amount of cap space we are going to have will be a major advantage.

 

As for next season, we did just about as well as we could have considering our cap situation. Vince Carter was an awesome pick up. I still think we need to dilute the glut we have at SG and acquire a true SF, but I don't see that happening right now. Maybe at the trade deadline. Carter, TA, and QPon can all play SF, so it's not a huge deal, but I would have liked to see some PT open up for Adams and Franklin (though Tillery makes it sound like they aren't high on Franklin). I also would have liked to see us get a long, athletic big, but again, we don't have the resources unless we make a trade.

 

My worst fear for this upcoming season is Tayshaun Prince getting significant minutes. Everyone and their mother knows that Tayshaun is done. He's been done for three years. If Joerger gives him real playing time this season, I will lose all respect I had for him. That would be egregious.

 

But, I really do think Joerger is a bright coach who has a much better basketball acumen than he's shown. I think he caught wind that the man in charge wasn't happy with how is team was performing at the beginning of last season, so he had to ride out what he knew was successful (grit-grind offense, Zbo as 1st option, Prince starting, etc.). You could tell that he was trying to do something new at the beginning of the season, but he had to revert back to the old Grizz ways when we weren't seeing fast results. He has a lot more job security now, so I'm interested to see what he has up his sleeve. Also, Pera has placed a big emphasis on player development, so I think that this year Joerger will be much more inclined to play Adams, Stokes, KK Qpon, Leuer, and Franklin instead of riding the vets like last year.

 

As for the concern about Marc coming in overweight again, I actually don't think that'll be a big issue. He's in a contract year. If he's smart, he'll be in the best shape of his life.

 

Overall, if we stay healthy, I see no reason why we shouldn't be in the playoffs. The West isn't much stronger (as of today) than it was last year. So we better make the playoffs, because if we don't, we lose our lottery pick to Cleveland...

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Looks like Parsons is a Mav after all. Phoenix is pretty thick in the backcourt after adding Thomas plus Warren/Ennis. They did lose Frye however.

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Looks like Parsons is a Mav after all. Phoenix is pretty thick in the backcourt after adding Thomas plus Warren/Ennis. They did lose Frye however.

 

Felton/Harris/Mekel

Ellis/Ledo

Parsons/Marion/Crowder

Dirk/Blair

Chandler/Wright/James

 

We need a bigger move. Teams getting better. Way better.

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Felton/Harris/Mekel Ellis/Ledo Parsons/Marion/Crowder Dirk/Blair Chandler/Wright/James We need a bigger move. Teams getting better. Way better.

 

Replace Marion with Richard Jefferson.

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Marion is a free agent and it's doubtful the Mavs have enough to resign him iirc.
Replace Marion with Richard Jefferson.
That doesn't change a lot of things.

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We need to find a way to get Born Ready. This would make a contender; I posted a idea on New offseason plan thread. I know its difficult to happen but I hope we could find someway somehow to make it happen.

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Folks, in the national media's eyes, we did good - both with the draft and the VC signing.

 

However, with Parsons going to Dallas, we will now be slotted as a probable 6 - 9 seed in this conference. Personally? I think we are more like a 4 - 7, but my opinion doesn't matter.

 

Ellis, Parsons and Dirk means that Dallas can outscore anyone on any given night. They're not built for the playoffs like the Grizz are, but the way they are currently structured will mean that we have a smaller margin for error.

 

In other words, we can't start out of the gate slow like we did last year, and we absolutely cannot lose to 'lesser' talented teams like what happened last year as well. Those Tuesday night, "meaningless" games against whomever, just got a whole lot more important.

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Hard to evaluate until we get a starting SF.

 

So far I will say we are right about where we were this time last year. 2nd tier WC team behind the 1st tier of SA, Okc and Lac. Problem is there are likely 7-8 teams on that 2nd tier now.

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Felton/Harris/Mekel

Ellis/Ledo

Parsons/Marion/Crowder

Dirk/Blair

Chandler/Wright/James

 

We need a bigger move. Teams getting better. Way better.

Fat Felton is starting for the Mavericks?

 

Rapper-TI-Laughing1.gif

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I like ZBo playing maybe 5 mpg less this season.

 

I like Prince playing just enough to remember how to play. But we are paying most of his salary even if we stretch him, so let's keep him warm and let him out if someone gets hurt. Most teams have to carry a big contract/low output guy occasionally - Rashard Lewis, I'm lookin' at you - and Prince reliably won't screw up if he's needed. And I hope he's professional enough not to complain and to enjoy being a mentor.

 

I like Leuer being given intensive support in learning how to play D the Griz way.

 

And I like QPon getting a fair chance with plenty of minutes early in the season.

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All things considered, I expect a similar season to the last. We will have our ups and downs, mostly due to injury, and be competitive for a 4-8 seed in the playoffs. Match ups will determine how far we get.

 

My biggest concern is us sacrificing youth development in order to secure a playoff spot. With an aging roster, we no longer have the luxury of sacrificing that if we value winning long term.

 

Honestly, the thing I envy the Spurs most for, is having a good enough coach/roster/system to be able to develop youth without having to worry about whether we make it in. Hopefully our analytical people have found young prospects good enough that can be part of the rotation without sacrificing that much.

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