While I was extremely excited to write the season review grade of Austin Daye, I'm even more excited to get to write the one for Quincy Pondexter. I was pretty public of my defending of Q during his struggles to return to form after injury, and to watch him get things turned around and then play so well on one of the biggest stages in the NBA, it was quite vindicating. Fans and "super" fans alike were clamoring for him to be sent down to the D-League for his first few weeks when he returned, and it was all I could do not to tear a page out of the Chris Vernon Book of How to Douche Out When Someone's Wrong and You're Right and not retweet all of their foolish, shortsighted tweets of anger.
|2012 - Quincy Pondexter||59||21.1||2.2||5.1||42.8||1.0||2.6||39.5||1.0||1.3||78.7||0.7||1.5||2.2||1.0||0.7||0.6||0.1||1.6||6.4|
Right out of the gates, you could tell that Q had improved his game during the offseason, as he would shoot 42.9% from beyond the arc during the month of November. In the season's first month, he would average 6.5 points, breaking double digits three times, in 23 minutes per game.
In December, he got even hotter, shooting a cool 45% from beyond the arc, averaging 7.3 points in just over 23 minutes per game. He broke double digits four times, and he would make two or more 3s five times. At the end of December, Quincy was the sixth best three-point shooter in the league at just over 42%.
Despite his spectacular play, the month didn't end well for Q, as he was injured during a collision with teammate Wayne Ellington while going for a rebound off a missed free throw during a home game against the Nuggets. He was diagnosed with a sprained MCL, and was ruled out indefinitely, and wouldn't see the court at all in January.
When Quincy finally returned, it was for a brief four minutes of a home game against the Timberwolves on February 10 and he failed to score. He would score 7.4 points in just over 17 minutes a game over the final five games that month, shooting 56% from the field and 40% from deep.
March would prove to be a bit of a streaky month for the Grizzlies reserve swingman, and it would be the one that started the frustrations for Grizzlies fans. From March 1-13, he shot 47.8% from beyond the arc and averaged almost nine points in 21 minutes per game. Over the next six games, however, Quincy hit a dry spell, going 1/8 from beyond the arc (12%) and failing to score in three of those six games. During the final four games of March, Quincy's game would recover as he shot 45% from the 3-point line, averaging 7.7 points in 22 minutes a game. For the month, he was good for 6 points a night of the bench, 41% from the field, 39% from 3, in 20 minutes a game.
In April, the three point shooting woes returned for Quincy, as he shot a Rudy Gay-esque 28.6% from deep, and was good for just 6 ppg in 18.8 minutes. While the numbers look pretty atrocious, it wasn't so much a matter of being in a prolonged scoring slump as it was not being able to get good results from game to game. He scored five points or less five times over the final nine games, but averaged 10.5 points during the other four games.
The playoffs brought out the Quincy that we saw over the first two months of the season. With his knee fully healthy, and his shooting touch returning, Q would see his play get better with each series the Grizzlies played. In the Clippers' series, he played 21.5 minutes per game, shot 40% from the field, 33% from beyond the arc, and averaged 6.5 points per game. In the series with Oklahoma City, he averaged right at 20 minutes a night, shot 52% from the field and 53% from deep, averaging 6.6 points per game. When the Western Conference Finals came around, Quincy went full on burzurker, shooting 53% from the field, 48% from the 3-point line, averaging a robust (for a bench player) 15.3 points on 32 minutes a game.
Quincy has a very team friendly contract for next season, and if he continues to improve, he should definitely see that extended next offseason. I've been pretty vocal about my desire to trade Tayshaun this offseason, and if we can, and are unable to bring in someone of significant value in free agency, I would LOVE to see Q starting at the 3 next year, even if it's just part time. We would lose a considerable amount of size in some matchups, but given his ability to spread the floor and his admirable defensive abilities, I think it gives us a much bigger advantage on offense than what we would be losing on the defensive end.
General Grizznosity: B+
Clutch Performance: A+
Overall Grade: A (I understand that some people might disagree, and I understand it's entirely possible that he did deserve a slightly lower grade, but this is my version of bragging for being right about him, and plus, he just recently got a date with Miss Tennessee by asking her out on Twitter, how can he get anything but an A?)