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Auld Lang Syne: Memphis Grizzlies New Year's Resolutions

Time to shake off 2014 and look forward to a brand new year. The staff here at Grizzly Bear Blues wanted to share their resolutions for our beloved Grizzlies, as well as a few for ourselves.

Vesna Cvorovic

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On Old long syne.- James Watson, 1788

Robert Burns is credited for writing the familiar New Year's anthem Auld Lang Syne.  When he turned this song into the Scottish Musical Society,  he noted that he did not write it, but compiled it from an old man who once sang this song to him.  It is remarkably similar to the poem Old Long Syne by James Watson, quoted above.  Each of the works expresses rhetorical questions to a time "long, long ago" (the translation of the phrase "auld lang syne") or "for the sake of old times" (the literal translation).

In that spirit, the staff here at GBB would like to say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015 with a new set of resolutions for the Grizzlies, as well as ourselves.

The Coach

Try and limit the minutes Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince are both on the floor together. This may seem a pretty obvious resolution but it happens way too much for my liking. Both players are fantastic at what they do, but we lose way too much on offense when they are on the court at the same time. This could really hurt us come playoff time. Also, make certain that each time Pondexter takes to the court, to remind him of what he's good at just before he gets subbed in (stand in the corner waiting for the three).- Craig Fielder

The Starting Five

Mike Conley

Conley used to be an elite defender and a so-so scorer. Then over the last few years, he became a really good scorer, one bordering on elite at the point guard spot (something like in the third tier of scoring point guards?). Getting there seemed to suck out a lot of the focus and/or energy that went into his defense, and while that's understandable, it's time for Conley to bring his defense back to where it used to be. If people at large are going to fully recognize Conley as in the top-5 point guard debate, returning to dominance as a defensive point guard at a point in time where nobody has really taken charge of that title is a good way to do it, especially now that his offense is peaking.- Kevin Yueng

Tony Allen

Averaging 2 steals per game, Tony has continued to be a strong defensive player this season. However, we've seen Tony not finish a layup on a fast break too many times during various games. We've seen his wide open layups fly off the backboard and roll off the rim. For his New Year's resolution, I want Tony to work on his fast break layups and practice finishing around the rim.- Grace Baker

You know how when you finish a season on NBA2K, and you get to off-season training mode, you can use points to improve players in the areas of "big man offense" or "perimeter defense"?  I would like to use all of our points and send Tony Allen to "Layup Finishing School". - Matthew Bishop

Courtney Lee

Courtney needs to do a mind swap with Vince Carter. At least twice per game, Lee is wide open to shoot a 3, but instead chooses to pass the ball or does a pump fake, takes 2 steps inside the line, and shoots an off-balance 2. This drives me (and most Grizz fans) insane. While I am not recommending Lee have the full VC mentality of shooting, in which fade away 3s from half court while being double teamed are considered good looks, I am instead asking that he try to be a tad more selfish on the offensive end. I don't know if this will require a magical potion, an ancient Tibetan skull, or maybe even those fortune cookies from Freaky Friday, but the Grizz need to figure out how to get Lee to shoot more and Carter to be more selective.- Adam Rubrum

Zach Randolph

I love how hard Z-Bo works in the paint for the Grizzlies, but that hard work seems to be taking a toll on the big guy. Zach's obviously more efficient on the interior, that's where he needs to be, but I'd love to see him "finish more and bang less" (I'm really sorry for that phrasing). Zach, finish those bunnies and gimmes in one shot more often, and those knees will be feeling better in April.- Chris Faulkner

Marc Gasol

Start at the All-Star Game and be an All-NBA 1st Team Selection. The dream of #33ForMVP is likely a bit out of reach; Steph Curry, James Harden, LeBron James if Cleveland turns it around, and Anthony Davis if the Pelicans find a way into the playoffs all figure to have the inside track on that award. Gasol could still solidify his standing as a top player in the association if he were to become the first Grizzly to start an All-Star Game and make the All-NBA 1st team. Those two goals are very obtainable, as long as Gasol continues to be aggressive.- Joe Mullinax

The Reserves

Jordan Adams

Get him 1,000 NBA minutes. He has 56 total minutes through thirty games so far.  He just has to average 18.15 minutes over the last fifty-two to reach 1,000 minutes for the season. #JordanAdamsComing- Matt Hrdlicka

Nick Calathes

Force his way back into the rotation. Since the end of his suspension, Calathes has had multiple DNP-CD's in the box score. Fellow backup point guard Beno Udrih has made it difficult for Calathes to break back into the lineup, because he's done nothing to make Joerger rock the boat. Udrih's been a steadying presence for the second unit, and one of the best sources of buckets for the unit. If Calathes is given another opportunity, he must show that he is superior to Udrih at orchestrating the offense and setting up teammates for open shots via drives and passes. If Calathes can demonstrate the ability to run the pick & roll better than Udrih, which he should be able to do, then he could realistically force Joerger's hand. The toughest thing about Calathes' New Year's resolution is that its success is dependent on others messing up essentially, which no Grizzlies fan should root for.- Andrew Ford

Vince Carter

Consistency! VC has been off and on this year as he settles in with a new team and recovers from off-season surgery. In the month of December he has shown signs of life, and if Memphis has any real hope of being a contender in the Western Conference without a trade, he must be able to handle the load as a scorer/facilitator off of the bench, which is what he was signed to do.- Joe Mullinax

Kosta Koufus

With Zach Randolph banged up I think we need to see more of the Twin Towers. Just more Koufos in general would be nice. It's no secret that Marc Gasol isn't a great defensive rebounder so while Z-Bo is out he has to have a good rebounder next to him, and Jon Leuer isn't cutting it. K Squared has to start focusing more on rebounding to get more playing time. Also, he's reached a point with his hair where he either has to embrace being bald or get and endorsement with Rogaine.- Jonah Jordan (Note- Objection: Motion to have the bald joke stricken from the record - matt)

(Ed. Note: Overruled. -KY)

Jon Leuer

Shoot the ball more and be more agressive. Too many times Leuer catches the ball and hesitates or pump-fakes instead of doing what he's out there to do - shoot the ball and space the floor. Leuer had settled nicely into his backup power forward role prior to Zach Randolph getting injured, and I anticipate him picking up right where he left off once Z-Bo returns- Chip Williams

Quincy Pondexter

Quincy Pondexter thinks he's Lebron James. Quincy Pondexter is not Lebron James (I know that's a shocker). Instead of doing what he's good at (corner threes and cutting off the ball), he is doing a whole lot of things he isn't good at (dribbling, shooting above the break, and driving to the basket). I think he had one good half in the month of December,  which was in the last game against Houston. So he needs to sit down and look at what he did in that game to see what he needs to do going forward. The threes have to fall eventually, so finding any way to be effective is important. If he doesn't, I wouldn't mind Z-Bo holding him down while Coach Joerger glues him to the bench - Jonah Jordan

Tayshaun Prince

You have no idea how happy I am to not feel the need to continue to blast Tayshaun this season. Ah wait, if you've been watching the Grizzlies for the past two years, you probably indeed do have a pretty good grasp of how I'm feeling. While he's not shaking the earth, a healthy Tay is a nice contributor to a team that's short on length. If he can drop double-digit points on the board once a week and keep playing solid defense, then I'll consider Prince resolved.- Chris Faulkner

Jarnell Stokes

In 2015, I want Stokes to learn all he can from Zach Randolph. Soak in Randolph's skills, Jarnell. Stokes has already proven his athleticism and ability to muscle his way in the paint. In his limited minutes, however, I've noticed Stokes has yet to learn how to smartly foul in the NBA. As a rookie, Stokes can't afford to have 3 fouls in 9 minutes. So Jarnell, work on playing good defense without fouling. Besides fouling, though, he seems pretty comfortable on an NBA court.- Grace Baker

Beno Udrih

It is funny that I got stuck with Beno, because most of the time I am #TeamNickyBuckets.  But there has been very little to complain about from Udrih this season. He is a less athletic and less dynamic player than Mike Conley, but there is something eerily similar to the pace and style at which they preform.  For your on the court play...just be you Beno.  So maybe we can talk about what he can add off the court. We already know that Beno is the most positive guy in Memphis. Take it up a notch. Why don't you add some jokes?  Like this one...An atheist, a vegan, and a blogger walked into a bar.  How do I know?  Because within two minutes they had told everyone in the place. Now that's funny. - Matthew Bishop

Our Staff

I promise to come up with even more ways for everyone at GBB (readers and contributors) to interact, whether it's through games, contests, roundtables, or other ideas I haven't even thought of yet. - Chris Faulkner

To be more accepting of Jordan Adams. Nothing against him personally; the kid can ball, and I hope he gets his chance in the future for Memphis. I just need to get over the fact that the roster is not traditionally balanced; barring a move, they are who they are. And they have had success. Time to pull a Frozen and try to "Let it Go". - Joe Mullinax

I promise, even if Jordan Adams does not reach this goal (of 1000 minutes played), even if he doesn't play a single minute more, to always drive the Jordan Adams bandwagon. I will not stray to the right or the left. I will continue in my belief that Jordan Adams is the next Wes Matthews. - Matt Hrdlicka

I am going to do my best to stop cringing every time I see Prince with the ball. I know he has been much better on offense this year, plus I have discovered a new appreciation for how well he can pass, but I still can't help but flinch each and every time he attempts a shot. I don't think I'm the only one that will have to learn how to relax while watching this "new" Tayshaun.  - Adam Rubrum

I want to try and write more, maybe once a week. Also I'd like to make an effort to hang out with my fellow GBB writers and Grizz fans more often. Finally, I promise to defend Jon Leuer to the death of me (as long as we don't see the first-ten-games-of-the-season version of Jon Leuer again - that's indefensible). - Chip Williams

This year, I'll stop freaking out when the Grizzlies lose 20 point leads. Nothing comes easy for Memphis. - Grace Baker

Carve out more time for writing. Having a day job and trying to churn out quality content at the same time is no small task, but it can be done. Aside from aiming to write more, I'd like to just enjoy basketball more. Over the years, I've grown to analyze every little thing that happens in a game, which is both fun and rewarding for me. However, every now and again, it would be nice to be able to sit down and watch a game with pure joy as I did when I was a child. I want to take in what's happening and admire the immense skill it takes to play basketball at the NBA level. - Andrew Ford

I promise to stop going after anyone that suggests trading Kosta Koufos? Well, I probably can't manage that, but I can at least start tweeting the URL of my "don't trade Koufos" column instead of clogging people's notifications with the same monologue against the idea every time. Also, I'll try to watch more games. University life skressful. - Kevin Yeung

I'm going to try and stop making fake Koufos trades to irritate Kevin. I can't make any guarantees though. Otherwise, I'm aiming to be nicer to stubborn (stupid) people on Twitter. - Jonah Jordan

I too was going to make mine a Twitter themed resolution, like don't go on Twitter after losses because of the trolls and goobers and OH MY GOD THERE ARE SO FREAKIN' MANY!!!!!!!  But I am going to take Tony Allen's advice to keep a cool booty, and love myself as much as Kanye loves himself. - Matthew Bishop

Happy New Year Errreybody!