|2012 - Zach Randolph||76||34.3||6.2||13.5||46.0||0.0||0.3||8.7||3.0||3.9||75.0||4.1||7.2||11.2||1.4||2.0||0.8||0.4||2.4||15.4|
The lone Grizzly to make the NBA All-Star team this year, Zach Randolph rebounded nicely from his injury ridden season of 2011-12 and matched a lot of his production from his phenomenal 2010-11 season, all while helping lead the franchise to record setting win totals, percentages and postseason advancement.
When you look at Zbo's stats from this year they pretty much line up with all of his career averages. Zach was able to have an above average year in rebounding while his slight dip in points and shots can be explained by the development and progression of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley; the shots were just spread out over the roster more than they have been in the past.
Randolph's shooting started off superbly at 50% in November and December before an ankle sprain would start to limit his effectiveness at what he does best - snagging offensive rebounds, tip-ins and put-backs. Around the time of the injury there also began a series of rumors based around him and/or Rudy Gay being traded, and it had to have affected Zbo's focus and subsequent production to some degree. I'm also not ruling out Rudy Gay's absence making his work a bit harder as that
elite slashing threat occasional paint presence wasn't quite there with Tayshaun Prince's ghost out there.
Zach wasn't the beastly player in the month of April that he's been in past seasons, only scoring 20 pts a single time and not doing a heckuva lot to improve our playoff seeding down the stretch. One could argue that he was mailing it in and saving up for the playoffs, and one could also argue he was banged up more than he let on and needed the
lack of effort rest. Either way you choose to look at it, the unfortunate pattern he developed in the regular season ended up carrying over to the playoffs in an abbreviated form.
The Grizzlies rode him hard through the first two series of the postseason, and he looked unstoppable for a while. Zbo's matchup with a hobbled Blake Griffin and the other nonexistent post players for the LAC allowed him to mangle the Clippers and average nearly 21 points a game with four dominating performances to close out the series.
The length and athleticism (and health) of Serge Ibaka & Nick Collison in the Conference Semi-finals made life harder for Randolph and his vertical jump. His rainbow jumpers had little effectiveness, but he remained aggressive underneath and continued the physical play from the previous series. His FG% suffered, however, he was able to get to line 36 times over the course of the 5 game series (while taking 0 in game 3). More importantly, he made his free throws in that series, scoring 18 PPG and improving his rebounding from the previous series. Zbo played pretty darn good defense to boot, limiting OKC's big's and staying well out of foul trouble. That's about when "April Zach Randolph" showed up again.
The Western Conference Finals will not go down as a legendary moment for our new favorite local resident. Zbo was just abominable against the Spurs. He shot 30% from the field and 50% from the free throw line. If you just gave me those stats and nothing else, I'd bet 5,000,000 GBB bucks and Keith's love for the little redheaded girl that the Grizzlies would lose the series. Whenever he touched the ball the proverbial mountain of SAS defenders smothered him like it was a 1-on-Cue. There's no doubt our perimeter shooting (lack thereof) shackled what Zbo could get done, but the free throws have no speakable or writable excuse. Not just missed FT's - missed clutch 4th Q free throws that turned the Spurs broom into an industrial strength leaf blower.
I've got to dock the big guy fairly heavily for the WCF letdown, and I might even fine him a few thousand GBB bucks, too. But Zbo gave us some incredible moments this season as well: the 38/22 against the Suns to win in OT, coining the "We Don't Bluff" phrase and declaring that he would beat Kendrick Perkins' ass and the glorious Griffin- choke slam. He settled his family in our fine city and made the largest real estate purchase of the year in Shelby County. He's repeatedly said that regardless of who employs his basketball services, he's here to stay. I know he's due some major dollars next season, but I just can't imagine this team without the Zbo and his seventeen million dollar smile.
- Production - B plus
- General Grizznosity* - A plus
- Clutch Performance - C
Final Grade - B
*Grizznosity - one's overall impact and representation of the Griz based on off court contributions, cultural influence, leadership, and memorable moments that comprised the 2012-13 season.