Season 9 of the Memphis Grizzlies kicks off Tuesday, and my excitement is peaking.
Like every year, I'm extremely excited to see the Grizzlies in action. Like every year, I will probably be terribly disappointed by Christmas.
1. The Grizzlies have made significant upgrades at the power forward, 6th man, and Head Coach positions.
I worked out a quick formula to show this:
Arthur + Warrick + Iavaroni < AI + Z-Bo + Hollins
To provide some more color, here are a few things more successful than Iavaroni as Head Coach:
- The Sextortion of David Lettermen
- The 2009 Detroit Lions
- The Jay Leno Show
- Jon & Kate's Marriage
2. The Grizzlies didn't lose any significant pieces.
3. Several members of the core group have demonstrated a commitment to improving.
4. Few teams made significant upgrades.
With the exception of the Spurs, Blazers, and Clippers, which Western teams improved? Did the Nuggets, Mavs, Rockets, Hornets improve? How about the Thunder or Jazz?
The Warriors biggest offseason acquisition was locker room discord. The Wolves traded their only two shooting guards for "** - Unsigned Draft Pick". And the Suns promoted Eric Dampier to second-worst starting center in the West.
Curt is probably going to call me some obscene names in the comments section below for writing this, but I hope he remembers this list in December.
1. No one who observes basketball professionally thinks the Grizzlies will be good.
2. Early indications suggest that the Grizzlies are struggling to play together.
3. Iverson's expectations aren't aligned with reality.
Let's just say Iverson is prone to frustration when things don't go well. He thinks the Grizzlies are competing for a championship.
This might not go well.
4. Star Power.
None of these players, or anyone close to that level, plays for the Grizzlies. The best hope for success is Gay or Mayo's emergence as Alpha. More than anything else the Grizzlies need an Alpha (not named AI).
5. Depth. Curt, Hamed Haddadi does not count as depth.
6. Passing, Rebounding, Defense.
These are the fundamentals of basketball, and none of the Grizzlies have demonstrated these as a strength.
As you can see from the above chart, I am excited for this season. There's nothing I want more than for the Grizzlies to win.
But if you asked me to pick a number, it would be 30, and that's about what I picked this time last year.