Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grizzlies 2007 Draft Pick Moves from 4 to 3

It's not often that the NBA Draft is reordered 2 months later.

Today, the Grizzlies moved from the number 4 pick to the number 3 pick when number 1 pick Greg Oden announced likely season-ending and potential career-ending microfracture surgery knee surgery.

It's too early to say whether Oden will recover well enough to reach the potential so many predict he will reach. He could still be the next Hakeem Olajuwon. But there's a greater chance today than there was yesterday that he will never be a star.

Checking Wikipedia, I found a list of some NBA stars who did or did not successfully recover from microfracture knee surgery.

RecoveredDid not
Jason KiddPenny Hardaway
John StocktonAllan Houston
Zach RandolphTerrell Brandon
Amare StoudemireJamal Mashburn

Brian Grant

Antonio McDyess

Bob Sura

Most of those players had it much later in their careers than Oden, so we can hope for the best. Although I'm relieved that the Grizzlies aren't dealing with this, I'm sorry for the Trailblazers, the fans, and mostly Oden. I hope we'll get to see him reach his potential someday even if it won't be in a Grizzlies uniform and won't be as soon as we'd hoped.

Lastly, this is another reason teams shouldn't bank on winning the Draft lottery.


Only one more day to vote in the poll located on the sidebar for where you think the Grizzlies will finish in next season's standings.


The Grizzlies are throwing parties around Memphis to get fans excited about the Grizzlies. If anyone is able to attend, please post a comment about your experience. If you're able to get pictures of any Grizzlies or the event, email them to me, and I'll post them as well. Unfortunately, there is no party in my neighborhood.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Grizzlies Compete in International Competition

Alright, it's been a slow few weeks for Grizzlies new. But I guess that's ok given how active the Grizzlies were in June and July.

The biggest news has been that a few Grizzlies, Pau Gasol, Mike Miller, Darko Milicic and Juan Carlos Navarro, have been representing their countries in international competition.

Gasol is averaging 25 points and 6 rebounds in 25 minutes for Spain who was the national champion last year and has an automatic spot in next summers Olympics. Gasol was MVP of last year's tournament and dominated last year's competition. His statistics this year suggest he's continuing to play well in international competition though I haven't seen him play.

Miller provided mostly backup duty and garbage time for the Americans who dominated limited competition in the American tournament. I saw him play in three games. He hit a few threes, but overall he didn't impress, and is probably the least skilled wing player on the team.

Milicic is averaging 15 points and 9 rebounds in about 35 minutes. He recently lashed out at referees in a profanity laced tirade after a disappointing loss to Israel. Afterwards, the European league fined him and Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace and Coach Marc Iavaroni reprimanded him on the phone. His passion for winning is a great, but there's no excuse for berating the referees. It won't lead to more victories. (It is the responsibility of the NBA, both the Commissioner and the Board of Governors to clean up NBA refereeing.)

Navarro has yet to play because of an injury just before the tournament. I haven't read how the injury will affect his participation in the Grizzlies training camp, less than a month away. Reports didn't indicate that Navarro would miss any time.

Participation in international competition is great for players. Sure, we were screwed by Gasol's injury last season, but we were screwed by a lot more than that. When Charles Barkley played for The Dream Team, he said it rejuvenated him and kept him in shape. The following season was arguably his best. He led his team to the NBA Finals and was awarded the league's MVP.

Players are put in situations where they're at greater risk to injury when they play in a more competitive environment. But they also gain experience and conditioning that can't be replicated in the weight room, through drills, or in pick-up games. Hopefully, the four Grizzlies who participated in international competition will come to training camp better prepared than they would have otherwise.

Don't forget to vote in the poll in this blog's sidebar for where you think the Grizzlies will finish next season.