|Oklahoma City Thunder||46||36-10||.783|
|San Antonio Spurs||45||33-12||.733|
|Portland Trail Blazers||46||33-13||.717|
|Los Angeles Clippers||47||32-15||.681|
|Golden State Warriors||46||27-19||.587|
|New Orleans Pelicans||44||19-25||.432|
|Los Angeles Lakers||46||16-30||.348|
It's that time again. The time for we Griz fans to preemptively judge head coach Dave Joerger on the partial body of work that is the Grizzlies 2013-14. The season got off to a very rough start, but we're now seeing what might have been Joerger's original plan all along.
The defense is rolling again (you know... the defense that Joerger helped construct over the past few years because Lionel Hollins made him construct it) and the Grizzlies offense might have finally emerged from its cocoon (not really sure how long it's been in there - months? years?). I no longer seem uninspired play from Memphis on the court. I see a ferocious band of brothers that have found a new focus in this new year of 2014.
Dave Joerger and the Memphis Grizzlies are 8-1 since our last approval poll on January 8th including wins over the Suns, Thunder, Rockets (x2) and Trail Blazers - four teams that are well ahead of the Grizzlies in the standings at the moment. That's going to bode well for the poll, but try and temper that with weight from the previous two months of results as well. Here's a look at where the Grizzlies stand in stat-land:
Memphis Grizzlies NBA Stat Rankings
- Offensive Efficiency - 19th
- Defensive Efficiency - T-14th
- Assist Ratio - 12th
- Turnover Ratio - T-5th
- Rebound Rate - 3rd
- Offensive Rebound Rate - 3rd
- Defensive Rebound Rate - T-6th
- Effective FG% - 21st
- True Shooting % - 22nd
One of the big questions to ask is how much of this can be attributed to Joerger and how much is due to the return of Marc Gasol. Memphis started gaining traction before Gasol was back on the court, but there's no denying things have been taken to another level with Big Spain getting his body back into the groove.
I must say that those awful rotations from Joerger have not been nearly as apparent as of late (it helps when you have good players to actually play), but I still question the overuse of Mike Miller and complete disappearance of Jon Leuer. However, before I can even finish saying those questions aloud in my head I stop and look at the Grizzlies record and the fact that they've improved their defensive efficiency ranking by 9 spots in just a matter of a couple of weeks - and I forget what questions I was asking.
Yeah I know. It's still fair to ask the questions and to critique the nuances, but I've been easing off of Joerger for a while (even in the last poll where I gave him a grade of "B minus") and my intuition is really starting to trust the guy. Joerger is even forcing the hardened blog of Play-Doh that is Nick Calathes through the Grizzlies-Play-Doh-Factory and by God if that stiff blob of dough isn't starting to peek out of the opening in the shape of Grit'n'Grind.
I'm in a great Griz mood today, so everyone wins. Calathes is awesome, Marc is back, Joerger has things under control, Tayshaun does... things...sometimes and Mike Conley is becoming my favorite NBA player. Good time to be a Grizzlies' fan.
Final Tentative Grade - B plus (aka I approve)
- Memphis Grizzlies vs. Sacramento Kings Game Preview
- Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers Recap: Griz roar all game
- James Johnson getting some national recognition, Grizzlies foresee a future beyond this season
- Hopefully the Memphis Grizzlies don't relive the Oregon Trail on their trip to Portland
- Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley can indeed dunk a basketball