BHZMAFIA

Marc's Ceiling Elevated due to Zbo's Absence?

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Lots of good observations here.  I agree that Marc and Mike's play should see an improvement due to the absence of Zbo and TA; but there are multiple reasons for it.

I think it was mentioned in another thread that Zbo & TA's strong personalities are the reason - no I don't have a link to where and when it was said :)  but I digress.  I believe that's the main reason, and it's not a knock on either one of those guys because they are both past their primes, so we needed to move on.

Now it's up to Mike and Marc to see how good we can be.

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To clarify. I am not saying fake news. I am asking for attribution. It may be true but I want to see it in print or hear it in an interview. Since so many people are convinced he said it surely someone can find it. I couldn't. That's all I am saying. 

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29 minutes ago, chipc3 said:

To clarify. I am not saying fake news. I am asking for attribution. It may be true but I want to see it in print or hear it in an interview. Since so many people are convinced he said it surely someone can find it. I couldn't. That's all I am saying. 

I remember it as well, I specifically remember someone (I want to believe it was Fizdale) mentioning earlier this week that Marc was an "opportunist" and that he adapted his game to let other get their stats if he didn't need to, or something along those lines. I've tried googling it with no success, so I'm starting to think it was on video and so it's harder to find.

Anyway, no big deal, it was someone's opinion so it's not as it would prove anything.

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I’ve looked thru Grizz Media and google videos without success. 

Besides, Fizdale has made it clear this year that he is holding Gasol responsible for getting more rebounds so it is moot.

 

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Recent quotes I have found from Gasol and Fizdale about leadership and rebounding (with links):

 

Quote

Gasol’s sees leadership through different lenses. He comes from a culture in Spain where leading by example is good enough. To his credit, Gasol also recognizes the negativity of bad leadership given he’s struggled with poor body language and harsh critiques of teammates.

“I’m always going to lead by example. That’s never going to change,” Gasol said. “But I’m not going to allow the nonsense to affect me. I feel sometimes that it doesn’t help the team and it affects me in a negative way. That cannot happen this year. That’s going to be my challenge.”

 

Quote

“I know I have to be a better rebounder,” Gasol said. “That’s going to be a big priority for me this season.”

From the same article:
Fizdale said the onus is also on the coaching staff to devise defensive schemes that put Gasol and other front-line players in better position to get more rebounds. 

Quote
Quote
"Obviously, rebounding is an issue for me," Gasol said. He's actually not bad at getting a rebound when he has a chance, but the stats say he's out of position a lot. Among the 176 players to log at least 24 minutes per game, Gasol ranked 41st in contested rebounding percentage, but he ranked just 91st in rebounding chance percentage. In other words, he should improve on getting better position before the shot hits the rim than after it. If Gasol can add 104 treys this season to his previous career total of just 12, maybe he can increase his boards from 6.4 per game in 2016-17 to closer to 10 in 2017-18.

 

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20 hours ago, BHZMAFIA said:

Seeing Conley full of energy in the 4th quarter is a relief because he doesn't have to literally control every single possession anymore.

This point cannot be emphasized enough.

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Seeing Marc abuse James Harden every time the Rockets put him on him was also a huge impact on the game. Hopefully the Grizzlies will have Selden back for the rematch so Harden can't hide so easily on defense. Wearing out Harden on that half of the court goes a long way toward negating his offensive game. 

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2 hours ago, chipc3 said:

I’ve looked thru Grizz Media and google videos without success. 

Besides, Fizdale has made it clear this year that he is holding Gasol responsible for getting more rebounds so it is moot.

 

I think i might have heard it on the grizz radio network. I have been listening to the broadcast coming home from work. Maybe thats why you cant find it. Not sure.

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2 hours ago, fanboyslim said:

 I specifically remember someone (I want to believe it was Fizdale) mentioning earlier this week that Marc was an "opportunist"...

Fizz said that in the postgame after GSW.

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On 10/24/2017 at 12:45 PM, Kevin B Moses said:

In reference to rebounding this year, marc said something interesting. He said he didnt care about it and he let his teammates who needed those stats get them.

It is conceivable that the same applies to zbo and offense. He let his brother get those stats.

This comment was what I have questioned but thanks so much for showing where Fizdale said "Opportunistic." We can discuss what we believe Fizdale meant when he said Marc is opportunistic. 

I feel he meant that Marc is opportunistic on offense. He would defer to others instead of imposing his will on the game. I took Fizdale's comments to mean he wants Marc AT TIMES to be more aggressive and to take advantage of mismatches. We saw that against Houston when Gasol attacked Harden everytime the Rockets tried to hide him defensively against Marc. 

I don't believe Fizdale's comments about marc being "opportunistic" was meant to imply Marc was allowing teammates to pad their stats at the team's expense. In fact I believe Fizdale said he trusted Marc to make the correct decisions more often than not. 

Does anyone have a different interpretation of what Fizdale was meaning? 

Thanks again for finding the quote. 

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21 hours ago, GrizzTigerFan said:

Gasol said that in an interview during preseason.   KBM is recalling correctly.  Gasol has made several comments over the years in regards to his teammates stat chasing. 

I remember that too. 

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I don't want to be a buzzkill, but I think this aggressive version of Marc is going to come and go as the season wears on. While I do think there's plenty of merit to the argument that without TA/Zbo around he's more inclined to go for it, we've heard this song with him before.

Right now he's in the best shape of his life and the stars are aligned. When the Grizz hit a tough stretch and lose a few games, will he keep powering through or revert back into his shell? It takes incredible willpower to fight your natural impulses when the situation becomes more mundane and less favorable.

All this being said, I'm going to once again enjoy #AggressiveMarc like crazy while it lasts!

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26 minutes ago, TimBC said:

I remember that too. 

Do you remember where you heard it from? 

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Just now, Acehigh718 said:

I don't want to be a buzzkill, but I think this aggressive version of Marc is going to come and go as the season wears on. While I do think there's plenty of merit to the argument that without TA/Zbo around he's more inclined to go for it, we've heard this song with him before.

Right now he's in the best shape of his life and the stars are aligned. When the Grizz hit a tough stretch and lose a few games, will he keep powering through or revert back into his shell? It takes incredible willpower to fight your natural impulses when things get bleak.

All this being said, I'm going to once again enjoy #AggressiveMarc like crazy while it lasts!

Negativity! :o;):lol:

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Gasol has definitely become more aggressive in the paint.  I don't think it's just Gasol, but a team philosophy.  Everyone is slashing to the paint.  Gasol has started to dunk more.  Last year, he started to hit 3's more.  I think Fizdales' system is making all the players play more physical, more aggressive.  I'm still not sold on the idea that the Grizzlies still have the TA Grit N Grind.  They hustle, and the defense is good, but not like aggressive with TA and Z-Bow.  Grizzlies biggest asset for defense is their slash offense to the glass, opening up to more fouls and chances from the FT line.  And, because the Grizzlies have had to be a lot more physical and in better shape, they are not as winded as the opponents in the 4th.

Gasol, like the others are benefiting from the Fizdale system.  I give Fizdale credit, he's doing some things I wanted Grizzlies to do, but his slash offense lacks set plays, and, in certain situations, it would be more advantageous to set up a play.  I hope he adds that to the system.

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1 hour ago, chipc3 said:

Negativity! :o;):lol:

I know, I've been bad this year! Which is odd because I'm enjoying the start to this season way more than previous ones.

Just trying to keep myself in check I guess :D

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19 hours ago, Herodotus said:

Your continued criticism of Gasol is really even more impressive than Gasol's dominant start to the season.

...

That said, if we were to assume for a moment that you really did want to have a conversation about the nature of the modern post game in today's NBA, and how the Grizzlies should utilize the current lineup, I would point this out: For much of the game against the Rockets, the Rockets played no center. For many stretches, the "5" in their lineup was either Trevor Ariza or Ryan Anderson. Gasol, contrary to what you seem to have taken away, played very well against those lineups (style aside, the substance of what Gasol produced speaks for itself, whether he faded away over Gordon, or had instead bully-balled him to the basket, as you seem to prefer your two points be scored).

However, the Grizzlies REALLY struggled for a stretch in the second half when Fizz went with Brandan Wright at the 5, against a Rockets lineup that featured no center. Wright wasn't rebounding (too far from the basket, drawn out to the perimeter to guard a shooter), wasn't blocking shots, and wasn't scoring. He really was out there for no reason. He tried one post-up against the mismatch, which was an epic failure. Fizz eventually called timeout and made the substitution. That was around about the time he settled on a smaller lineup and no Andrew Harrison to finish the game.

It was very apparent in that game that, with a certain kind of player, a lineup that features no center can really be exploited. Gasol is one of those players. But, without a certain kind of player, a lineup that features no center can really cause problems. Brandan Wright was a liability in those instances. In future, I believe, Fizzdale will be quicker to go to someone like Jarrell Martin or JaMychal Green, than try to make it work with Wright. 

My criticism of Gasol has nothing to do with Z-Bo. I have said several times the Grizz were not going to win a ring with Z-Bo and TA as the main options. I was disappointed that in letting Z-Bo and TA walk for nothing, the team didn't materially get better, as far as we could tell from the personnel before the season began. It was a roster full of unproven young talent and injury prone vets.  My criticisms of Gasol stem from the fact that his game and skill set minimize the size advantage he has over most "centers" in the league. With his size, a more effective skill set would be  the back to the basket game. Gasol is not Shaq, but a Shaq in his prime would put up 35 and 20 a nite against the types of teams that play in today's NBA. And he wouldn't do that taking fade away jump shots and 3 pointers. He would stick to the higher percentage, low post shots.

Gasol fell out of favor with me during the playoff series against the Dubs the first year they won the title. The Grizz were up 2 to 1. We all know what happened. The Dubs decided not to guard TA and doubled Z-Bo. That left Gasol being guarded by 6'6" Draymond Green. And Green shut him down. If the Grizz could have gotten 20 and 10 out of Gasol, they would have easily won that series (and quite possibly a ring) and would easily beat the dubs every time they play them. But , Gasol's post skills are weak at best if they exist at all. So, he couldn't post up Green and took him outside, where Green has a decided advantage in strength, athleticism, and speed/quickness. And the rest is history. To see Gordon keep him out of the lane in a very similar fashion was just indicative to me of how teams will guard Gasol moving forward.

I noted that Gasol wouldn't be a great option at the stretch 5 role because of his lack of athleticism to guard other stretch 5's. If other teams can guard him on the perimeter with SF's and PF's, he's at a disadvantage being out on the wing. His only advantage on the wing is if the defender leaves him open for the 3 pointer. If, as you say, teams will just guard him with a PF or SF, then his advantage as a stretch 5 is negated. He's not quick enough to beat a SF off the dribble, and if the PF guards him at the 3 pt line, his shot will be off (he only hits "wide open" 3's, he ain't Stef Curry, you know).

That's my chief critique of Gasol. He has the skill set of a slow, "euro" Shooting Guard or Small Forward  with the body of a good American Center. He can develop into a great center with a great low post game (and that would give the Grizz a decided advantage in today's NBA), but having a 7'2" center's game go from the outside in doesn't fit his physical attributes. So, my critique has nothing to do with Z-Bo. Can Gasol function well in Fizz's system? Well enough, but there are better stretch 5's out there (like Boogie Cousins, maturity issues notwithstanding). But Gasol is a good player, and with 11 years in, he is gonna give you what he is gonna give you. Honestly, I think he will play better if the team keeps winning. But, if the team starts to slip, and they will eventually (it is 82 games after all), will Gasol have the heart to continue to play hard and be that "Alpha Leader" Fizz wants and needs him to be?

 

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4 hours ago, chipc3 said:

Do you remember where you heard it from? 

Nope. Would have been about 187,224 posts ago. Almost certainly a link from here, though. 

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47 minutes ago, TimBC said:

Nope. Would have been about 187,224 posts ago. Almost certainly a link from here, though. 

Once again no one remembers where the quote came from and it can’t be found anywhere but it is being taken as fact. I don’t know if it was said or not but reading it on the board isn’t verification enough for me.

I’ve provided numerous quotes with links where people have said that it is simply Gasol not trying hard enough for rebounds or even being placed in poor position in the past. These are all verifiable. None of these ever suggested Gasol deliberately didn’t rebound to help a teammate pad their stats. 

Mom open for anything that shows where Gasol actually said it however. Something as significant as this should be able to be found in my opinion but I could be wrong about that.

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4 hours ago, Blackwatch said:

My criticism of Gasol has nothing to do with Z-Bo. I have said several times the Grizz were not going to win a ring with Z-Bo and TA as the main options. I was disappointed that in letting Z-Bo and TA walk for nothing, the team didn't materially get better, as far as we could tell from the personnel before the season began. It was a roster full of unproven young talent and injury prone vets.  My criticisms of Gasol stem from the fact that his game and skill set minimize the size advantage he has over most "centers" in the league. With his size, a more effective skill set would be  the back to the basket game. Gasol is not Shaq, but a Shaq in his prime would put up 35 and 20 a nite against the types of teams that play in today's NBA. And he wouldn't do that taking fade away jump shots and 3 pointers. He would stick to the higher percentage, low post shots.

Gasol fell out of favor with me during the playoff series against the Dubs the first year they won the title. The Grizz were up 2 to 1. We all know what happened. The Dubs decided not to guard TA and doubled Z-Bo. That left Gasol being guarded by 6'6" Draymond Green. And Green shut him down. If the Grizz could have gotten 20 and 10 out of Gasol, they would have easily won that series (and quite possibly a ring) and would easily beat the dubs every time they play them. But , Gasol's post skills are weak at best if they exist at all. So, he couldn't post up Green and took him outside, where Green has a decided advantage in strength, athleticism, and speed/quickness. And the rest is history. To see Gordon keep him out of the lane in a very similar fashion was just indicative to me of how teams will guard Gasol moving forward.

I noted that Gasol wouldn't be a great option at the stretch 5 role because of his lack of athleticism to guard other stretch 5's. If other teams can guard him on the perimeter with SF's and PF's, he's at a disadvantage being out on the wing. His only advantage on the wing is if the defender leaves him open for the 3 pointer. If, as you say, teams will just guard him with a PF or SF, then his advantage as a stretch 5 is negated. He's not quick enough to beat a SF off the dribble, and if the PF guards him at the 3 pt line, his shot will be off (he only hits "wide open" 3's, he ain't Stef Curry, you know).

That's my chief critique of Gasol. He has the skill set of a slow, "euro" Shooting Guard or Small Forward  with the body of a good American Center. He can develop into a great center with a great low post game (and that would give the Grizz a decided advantage in today's NBA), but having a 7'2" center's game go from the outside in doesn't fit his physical attributes. So, my critique has nothing to do with Z-Bo. Can Gasol function well in Fizz's system? Well enough, but there are better stretch 5's out there (like Boogie Cousins, maturity issues notwithstanding). But Gasol is a good player, and with 11 years in, he is gonna give you what he is gonna give you. Honestly, I think he will play better if the team keeps winning. But, if the team starts to slip, and they will eventually (it is 82 games after all), will Gasol have the heart to continue to play hard and be that "Alpha Leader" Fizz wants and needs him to be?

 

 

I appreciate your thinking on this. I really do. And I apologize for making a false assumption re: Zach Randolph the low post bruiser. That said, I disagree as follows.

1. Not to be pedantic, but I could think of several hypothetical ways in which we would have defeated the Warriors that season. The most obvious is if Tony Allen could shoot threes at a 37% clip or above. Another would be, if Zach Randolph could actually play defense. Another way we could have defeated them would be if we had a passable point guard coming off of the bench instead of Nick Calathes or Beno Udrih. Or, if we had someone better than either Courtney Lee or Jeff Green in the starting five. Or if we had anyone better than Calathes, Udrih, Vince Carter, Kosta Koufos, Jordan Adams, or Jon Leuer coming off the bench. I'm not saying you're suggesting this necessarily, but to the extent that you're arguing that Gasol is responsible for the loss to the Warriors and the failure to win a championship that season, blame is being placed on a factor that, to me, seems so much less important than plenty of other factors, and really serves to inappropriately lay blame on precisely the wrong player.

2. Gasol is shooting threes for a reason. For context, Gasol shot more threes after four games last season under Fizdale than he did all of the prior season (or something close to that, if I'm not recalling exactly). Fizdale made an intentional change, and all the credit in the world is due to Marc for putting in the work and developing that part of his game. Again, any criticism here is entirely misplaced, as what Gasol truly deserves is praise. However, the reason to have Marc shoot threes is not just to shoot more threes, as if that is an end unto itself. One of the principal reasons to have a stretch 4 or a stretch 5, is to be able to most-effectively run the pick-and-roll offense (the "stretch" moniker applies to whomever is the pick man in the pick-and-roll). A stretch pick man can, among many other important elements, draw the post defender out away from the basket, which opens up driving and finish lanes for not only the player with the ball in his hands, but also the rest of the team. (Inversely, one of the reasons to have a current Grizzlies/Bickerstaff style defense, in which everyone switches, is to counter this aspect of the stretch 4/5 on the pick and roll, by keeping a post player in the post on defense, guarding the rim and near the rebounds). Gasol's ability to stretch the floor off of the insanely-excellent Conley-Gasol pick-and-roll, is one of the key elements that makes the entire offense work. Arguing to erase Gasol's three-point shooting, is arguing to not have the ability I just described. I'm fairly certain, no coach in today's NBA really wants to play offense with a primary post player who is not a stretch 4 or 5. Given the choice, any coach would love to have their guy, whomever he be, develop the perimeter game that Gasol developed over one summer last summer. 

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Gasol had numbers tonight, but once again we saw shades of his old self. Not abusing mismatches, settling for jumpers and hanging on the perimetee. Honestly his hot stretch of threes made his numbers look better than he played tonight.

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13 hours ago, Herodotus said:

 

2. Gasol is shooting threes for a reason. For context, Gasol shot more threes after four games last season under Fizdale than he did all of the prior season (or something close to that, if I'm not recalling exactly). Fizdale made an intentional change, and all the credit in the world is due to Marc for putting in the work and developing that part of his game. Again, any criticism here is entirely misplaced, as what Gasol truly deserves is praise. However, the reason to have Marc shoot threes is not just to shoot more threes, as if that is an end unto itself. One of the principal reasons to have a stretch 4 or a stretch 5, is to be able to most-effectively run the pick-and-roll offense (the "stretch" moniker applies to whomever is the pick man in the pick-and-roll). A stretch pick man can, among many other important elements, draw the post defender out away from the basket, which opens up driving and finish lanes for not only the player with the ball in his hands, but also the rest of the team. (Inversely, one of the reasons to have a current Grizzlies/Bickerstaff style defense, in which everyone switches, is to counter this aspect of the stretch 4/5 on the pick and roll, by keeping a post player in the post on defense, guarding the rim and near the rebounds). Gasol's ability to stretch the floor off of the insanely-excellent Conley-Gasol pick-and-roll, is one of the key elements that makes the entire offense work. Arguing to erase Gasol's three-point shooting, is arguing to not have the ability I just described. I'm fairly certain, no coach in today's NBA really wants to play offense with a primary post player who is not a stretch 4 or 5. Given the choice, any coach would love to have their guy, whomever he be, develop the perimeter game that Gasol developed over one summer last summer. 

The premise of your point here is that a stretch 5 in a pick and roll is better than a traditional 5 with low post skills. I don't think that is ostensibly the case, it simply a matter of preference. I'll admit that personnel would dictate most of the preference for a stretch 5 vs. a traditional 5, but to say a stretch 5 is always better for pick and roll purposes needs qualification. A stretch 5 needs a certain skill set and lateral quickness to make any sense of negating the typical size advantage a center has. Not too many 6'10" to 7' players have the quickness, skill set, and athleticism to make it worth while  ( KD, Cousins, Dirk, Porzingus, AD). The concept of "Stretch" started out as "stretch 4's" , PF's , not centers. To have a stud center is the ultimate in Basketball, simply because that size, close to the basket, is almost a guaranteed score or foul. The Grizz could have really used that automaticity against the Mavs last nite when they just couldn't get the lead. They were driving to the lane, but the guards and forwards were either getting blocked or just plain missing layups. This is why Z-Bo in his prime was so effective for the Grizz, because he was gonna get you 20 and 10, regardless, every nite, because he had a great low post game, which is quite valuable. As you see with Gasol, stretch 5's won't guarantee you that.  A stud center almost guarantees you points in the paint, which is a higher percentage shot.

The concept of a Stretch 5 came into play because there were more 7 footers coming from Europe who had guard skills, which is a rarity. I'd dare say the idea started to take flight with Dirk and later with Pau Gasol. These were tall, skilled players who just didn't have the athleticism, strength, and post game to bang with people like Patrick Ewing, Shaq, Rik Smitz, etc. So playing center wasn't a real option for these players. But that doesn't mean one has to be 7' to be an effective partner in a pick and roll, or that it is better for any 7' player to be a stretch player rather than a traditional player. It just depends on the player. Dirk, Porzingus, KD? Yes. Marc Gasol, probably not.

As far as what a stretch 5 can do for an offense, again, its a matter of preference. Yes, if your stretch 5 can be a real , consistent threat from the outside, then that is the better option for the pick and roll. But, if your center could give you 30 and 15 a nite on the low post, shooting at 70%, like people like Ewing, Kareem, Akeem, Shaq, etc. could do, why would a coach prefer a 7' jump shooter on a pick and roll to that? Only if they simply preferred the high pick and roll with a jump shooting 7' center would that make any sense. The pick and roll is so effective because of the rules on D now favor perimeter shooting. The pick and roll in and of itself is no end all , be all to basketball.

I'm not saying that the stretch 4's and 5's can't be effective, heck, the Dubs have shown what small ball and analytics can give you. I'm saying that every team doesn't have the personnel to do this effectively. The Grizz have a good team, better than I thought they would be (so far). But there is nothing that I've seen that says they are serious contenders in the West right now, they just do not have the shooters and consistent scoring to make that claim, yet. They can make the playoffs, but they pose no serious threat to contend. Gasol could put them over the top, but not by playing "stretch". His outside game is too easily negated by the simple "switch everything" D that small ball teams play. Kevin McHale said it best, he would have loved to have a 6'6" forward guard him on the post, "easy pickin's". As Shaq would say "BBQ Chicken". Small ball wouldn't work if there were more real centers in the NBA. For Gasol, his game neutralizes his size, and he becomes a largely ineffective player against good teams in big moments.  

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