"BANG!" That's the iconic sound legendary play-by-play commentator Mike Breen makes when a player makes a big three. It's also the sound Grizzlies fans hope to hear in abundance for the first time in a long time this season. If those hopes are to come to fruition, Quincy Pondexter will need to play a big role. After Wayne Ellington was traded to Cleveland, Pondexter became the Grizzlies primary option from deep. He did an excellent job filling that role, shooting 39.5% from beyond the arc last season. Despite that great percentage, he will certainly feel a load off his shoulders with the arrival of sharp-shooter Mike Miller. Now he can more fully settle into his role as possibly the Grizzlies best role player without having to force things as much.
Expectations for 2013-14: There is a high probability that Pondexter will take on an even bigger role than he held last season. With Miller limping his way up and down the court and Prince becoming less useful with age, it wouldn't be shocking to see Pondexter become a regular in the starting lineup after only starting one game last season. One thing that could hinder his jump to the starting lineup is an injury. Pondexter has a history of injuries, and injuries limited him to just 59 regular season games last season. It would be nice to see what Pondexter could do in a full 82-game season as a starter. If he can't stay healthy, we will never know. As for when he is healthy, the Grizzlies would love if Pondexter could increase his points per game number from 6.4 up to around double digits. He's certainly capable of doing so, and that extra scoring would provide a great lift to Memphis' offense.
Areas to Improve: Every player in the league has room for improvement, but if Pondexter stays the course, improvement won't be a problem for him. He improved his numbers in every major statistical category that is key to his position from the 2011-12 season to the 2012-13 season. If he stays on track as expected, he will have another career year. As long as he keeps doing that, you can't really ask for much else.
Areas of Concern: Injuries are the biggest concern for Pondexter. If he can stay healthy, he will be a cog in the Grizzlies lineup. I guess the only other thing to be concerned about with Pondexter, if you really want to stretch, is that he could spend too much time with his dog and not enough time practicing his craft. But, with a dog like this, who could blame him?
Best-Case Scenario: All Grizzlies fans are hoping that Pondexter continues his steady improvement, and barring a major injury he certainly will. As for numbers, best-case would be that Pondexter finishes with double digit points per game and improves in every major statistical category for the second year in a row. The last step for Pondexter would be to break into the starting lineup, and a best-case scenario for him would certainly mean accomplishing that.
Worst-Case Scenario: Pondexter takes a step back in every major statistical category, and that aforementioned points per game number doesn't increase at all. Additionally, injuries derail his season, and he makes no major contribution to the team or strides in his game. This scenario is highly unlikely, but it would certainly be a disaster for the Grizzlies.