Is Quincy Pondexter an Internal Solution at Small Forward for the Memphis Grizzlies?

These dudes still doubting me... - Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While we wait to see if the Grizzlies can bury Tayshaun's corpse and contract, let's talk briefly about the possibility of Quincy Pondexter playing small forward for the Grizzlies.

First things first, I'm the realest let me start off by saying I have been wrong, a lot. I misspell words on occasion, I frequently miscalculate math problems, and heck, I really thought the last season of How I Met Your Mother would be great. (Still not over it) To reiterate, I've been wrong, a lot. I've been wrong about professional athletes who I thought would be stars. I miss-pegged the Braves Tommy Hanson, Steve Smith of the Giants, and virtually every basketball player to come out of Syracuse the last few years.

Now, ordinarily, establishing yourself as a Simmons-caliber idiot before you begin to make your point isn't the smartest thing to do. Then again, I just established myself as an idiot, so expecting me to start this off in intelligent fashion is really on you guys more than anything.

The Grizzlies need help at the small forward position. Desperately. They simply cannot go another full season with the ghost of Tayshaun Prince starting on the wings for them. It is undeniable. Memphis needs an upgrade of some kind, preferably one who can make a jump shot from outside, at small forward. It is, however, incorrect to say they have "nothing" there already. I won't debate the merits of Tony Allen starting at the 3. Whether or not he can or cannot do it isn't the point. I don't like the idea of starting a guy who stands at 6'4 to guard men at a position who normally stand 6'7-6'9. I don't think it's wise to expect a guy who is that much smaller than his opposition to routinely defend them 30-35 minutes a night for an 82 game season, and if you don't believe me, ask Shane Battier.

But the Grizzlies do have someone capable of playing minutes at the 3, and doing an adequate (at the very least) job of it. That man is Quincy Pondexter.

"Oh yeah, the guy who only scored buckets when the Spurs weren't guarding anyone on the perimeter two years ago. Great." While it is true that he was mostly unguarded during that series, those four games aren't the only merits on his stat sheet, and it is a myth that he was never good before then, and not very good after.

That season, Quincy began the year shooting a robust 44% from beyond the arc, before bumping knees with Wayne Ellington. But, to be fair, the Spurs weren't guarding him during those 2 months either. Now, two months isn't the best sample size, but it's long enough to not completely ignore those stats. Quincy was vocal that he had put in work over the offseason, and he was proving it on a nightly basis.

"Yeah, but he still struggled really badly when he came back..."

This is a bit of a misconception, because while Quincy did struggle with his shot down the stretch, he still shot 37% from the 3-point line when he returned, and 45% overall. Those aren't All-Star level numbers, but I think we'd all throw a parade if that's the kind of production we got out of our starting small forward compared to what Prince has been doing.

"Ok, well yeah, but he played terribly to start the year last year. He's a bum!"

While it's true he was not as consistent, he wasn't getting consistent minutes, either. In games where he got 14 minutes or less, he did not make a 3 (0-5) and was only 2-11 from the field overall. However, in games where he got 15 minutes or more, including the infamous "PLAY ME" game, he shot 38% from 3, and 40% overall. That's a far cry from "hot garbage" I'd say, and numbers we'd applaud out of Tayshaun.

Quincy isn't a perfect player. He may never be an All-Star or break any records. But he is a significant upgrade from Tayshaun Prince, and he is capable of shooting better than league average from 3, and 40%+ from the corners. The Grizzlies could do a lot worse than having him start, and frankly, they have for quite some time now.

By no means should the Grizzlies completely disband their search for an upgrade at the small forward position, and I'm not necessarily advocating that Memphis should go into the season with Quincy as their starting 3, but if the Grizzlies do decide to go that route, they won't be in as bad of shape as some people would have you believe.

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