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Championship Appeal

If summer league is any indication of real success, the Grizzlies are readied for a storied season this year. Of course summer league isn't any indication of real success, but is still modestly amusing and can tell you something about the young players on the floor. Seconds ago the Grizzlies beat the Knicks 90-86 in what was perhaps the closest thing to playground basketball I'll watch on my computer all year.

I liked the point-by-point format I used earlier in the day, so here are a few more points:
  • Darrell Arthur looked very quick and effective on the defensive end, as well as the offensive end of the floor at times. He was very comfortable, but often too comfortable, and was taking spot-up jumpers at near college 3-point range. Needless to say he missed almost every single one, but his speed and athleticism were encouraging.
  • Marcus Williams didn't look nearly as interested in facilitating tonight, with only 5 assists and 5-15 from the field. He took over the game in the final minutes, though I'm not sure it was a good thing.
  • Sam Young got off to a decent start but struggled and often looked lost.
  • Ditto for Carroll. These two players are much more similar than I thought they would be, always looking to drive and having questionable floor vision. They both run shamelessly, but don't know when to pull back and set up the offense.
  • Carroll and Young's handles both looked better than advertised, however, and they may be struggling because of the lack of organization.
  • Haddadi looked capable again, and his passing showed special promise. Rebounded and defended solidly, might actually have the second worst post game behind...
No room for a bullet point here, this is an all-out rant. Hasheem Thabeet again looked terrible in a league he SHOULD be dominating as the #2 pick overall in this year's draft. Jordan Hill routinely dominated him in the post despite being undersized, Thabeet couldn't extend on anyone, and his offense was absolutely terrible. Yes, occasionally he flashed an acceptable move, but more often than not he was nowhere near finishing. On top of that, he regularly mistimed his rebounding or failed to box anyone out. Thabeet is quick for his size and can jump, but so could another player in this game, Mouhamed Sene, who Thabeet barely outplayed.

I really don't see Thabeet making any impact this season. He's just not a professional basketball player. His rebounding is terrible, and he looks like he's playing highschool basketball when he tries to block shots at this level, barely jumping but still waving his arm the full way down. When you're 7'3" the goal isn't to block the ball in someone's hand, it's to predict the shot path and block it around the rim or before it reaches its decline. I don't doubt that this kid has tools, but he has shown me absolutely no game at this point. Even on defense, which was supposed to be his calling card, Thabeet has no identity. I'm not going to damn him yet, but he is beginning to look more like a bust with each passing game.