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GBB Over/Under- The Return

Your weekly whenever-I-feel-like-writing guide to what is over/under appreciated with the Memphis Grizzlies, the NBA, life, the universe, and everyone else

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

THE OVER-UNDER HAS RETURNED TO GBB!!!!!!

WHAT IS UP!!!!!!!!!!

Bringing it back for a pre-playoffs edition of Over-Under. Feels good…feels right….let’s do this!

The Grizzlies!

Over-rated: Frustrated Marc Gasol

Jonah Jordan wrote a "Best of SBNationNBA" level article about the frustration/fatigue level of Marc Gasol. And he is right…Marc seems frustrated at his play, the team's play, officiating, and even the physical make up of his jersey. There has been a lot of speculation as to the reason for this frustration. Maybe Marc is tired. Maybe Marc is hurt. Maybe Marc is under a lot of pressure to succeed. Maybe the impending free agency is wearing him down. Maybe he can’t stand being in Memphis for one minute longer and is no longer BFFs with ZBo and THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT IS OVER AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I have a real talk theory on the reason for Marc’s down play/frustration, and the reason is rooted in a very real world problem, one that I am quite familiar with. Last summer, in addition to representing his country at the FIBA World Basketball Championships, Marc became a father. Two years ago, I also became a father for the first time. There are three absolutely terrifying and physically exhausting periods in becoming a new father. The first is directly after the child is born and you are stuck at the hospital. Every hospital has that terrible fold out couch that is the worst possible piece of furniture to sleep on ever. I would sleep on a bed of nails before sleeping on that piece of junk again. The time at the hospital is just 3-5 days of not sleeping and not showering, but having to be social with friends and family every moment of the day.

The second is when you take the kid home. There is nothing more terrifying than finally being alone with your family, not sleeping, and realizing that you have no idea what you are doing. For the first month of my son’s life, either my wife or I was awake 24 hours a day to watch him.

The third most exhausting time is when the kid starts to walk. This happens in the 8-12 month period. This may be the most exhausting time of all. Your child turns from a crying/pooping/puking piece of house art that you have to feed into a real life kid with needs and wants and independence. No longer does watching the kid entail sitting next to them on the couch while you play Xbox. You have to follow them around because they can get hurt and mess your stuff up. It’s exhausting. One time after my son started to walk, I was at the grocery store and in the middle of shopping I totally forgot why I was there. I had a list and groceries in my cart…and I totally forgot why I was there. It’s absolutely exhausting.

Guess how old Big Padre’s kid is? You guessed it. Now I know he may be in a different income bracket than me. And there is no greater thrill in life than having kids and paying someone else to raise them. But it is most definitely stressful no matter who you are.

And if you don’t believe me…Tony Allen went through a similar funk last season around the same time period. Just saying…

Under-rated: Jordan Adams' playing time

There has been much handwringing about the Grizzlies and their record of player development.

They don’t do it very well.

Short of the rookies drafted this season, only Mike Conley was drafted by the Grizzlies. Speaking of those rookies, there was an expectation that this would be the year that the Grizzlies staff would finally use some solid development time on this year’s drafted rookies. Well…guess we were wrong.

Jordan Adams- 24 games played/186 minutes/ 7.2 mpg

Jarnell Stokes- 17 games played/111 minutes/ 6.5 mpg

Usually the standard for a good season’s worth of minutes is 1000. Unless there is a sniper in the building, neither guy will reach anywhere close to that level.

I have not been on the #JordanAdamsComin train this season. I have made fun of all of Adams’ Twitter dads that just want their "kid" to get a shot. Good teams usually do not develop rookies (unless the team name rhymes with BLAN ANTONIO FURS). No coach has ever been fired for not developing rookies. Coaches get fired for three reasons: not winning enough games, not winning in the playoffs, and not getting along with your players/coworkers/boss (see Hollins, Lionel).

But there is no good reason why at least Jordan Adams should not at least be getting light minutes per game. This is super frustrating. Have the Grizzlies missed on another draft pick? Will he be dumped for cash to another team?

But then I read something very interesting. Sports Illustrated has a great series called The Craft, and one of the installments focused on Zach Randolph and his skills on the low post. This article is great, but from a developmental standpoint, ZBo came into the league in a very similar fashion to Jordan Adams.

From the article:

Randolph, though, has always been a low-post prodigy. That his career started slowly (Randolph averaged just 5.8 minutes in just 41 games as a rookie) had more to do with context than readiness; the 20-year-old power forward joined a 50-win Blazers team loaded with established players in the frontcourt. There was no choice but for Randolph to wait his turn.

"I came in with a bunch of veteran guys in Portland and learned from them—practiced against them every day, going hard," Randolph said. "That's how I got my game, by going against Rasheed [Wallace], Shawn [Kemp], Dale Davis, Arvydas Sabonis, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr, those guys. Just being there and practicing hard every day."

By his second season, even a relatively green Randolph couldn't be kept from the rotation. His total minutes quadrupled, and by the midpoint of a seven-game series against the Mavericks in the first round, Randolph had assumed a spot in the Blazers' giant starting lineup—first alongside Wallace and Davis, later with Wallace and Sabonis. In his four starts in that series, Randolph averaged 20.5 points and 11 rebounds per game. He started 80 of 81 games for Portland the following season and has started in roughly 95 percent of his career games since. – Rob Mahoney "The craft: Zach Randolph reigns through pivots and patience" Sports Illustrated, March 31, 2015.

So there are actually a lot of similarities in the early development of Randolph and Adams. Both were late first round draft picks. Both were young leaving college (ZBo was nineteen and Adams was twenty). Both were drafted to veteran-laden teams that had won fifty games the previous season. Randolph played 243 minutes in his rookie season. Adams will be lucky to get that many minutes. ZBo was behind some bonafide hall-of-famers in the rotation. Adams is behind at least one HOF player.

Eventually, Zach’s play forced the Jail Blazers Trailblazers to put him in the rotation, and that is the best hope for any of the rookies on this roster. Plus, this team is a much better place for development than that Portland team. At least Adams doesn't have to worry about hiding from Ruben Patterson thinking he might kill him.

Just don’t cross ZBo.

THE NBA!

Over-rated: College Basketball

Time to confess my unpopular opinion: Short of last night's title game, college basketball sucks.

I didn’t say the tournament, or the Final Four, or whichever team you may root for or against. The product itself sucks.

I have gotten spoiled watching the NBA. It is light years ahead of NCAA basketball, which should not be that much of a surprise. The NFL is light years ahead of college football, but the college game is its own brand of exciting and intriguing on its own. College football has become its own animal. College basketball is a boring feeder system for the NBA.

And I am not alone in this observation. Seth Davis wrote a great article about how scoring is way down in college basketball. Davis says that average college basketball teams scores 67.1 points per game. That is less than two points per minute. Ken Pomeroy says that this season is the slowest paced season since 2002, when pace started being tracked (66 possessions per game). Iona’s coach Tim Cluess, coach of the nation’s top offense in college basketball, says the product "stinks". Men’s Basketball troll Geno Auriemma called it a "joke" and unwatchable due to a lack of offense.

There are a plethora of reasons for this lack of scoring, some of which I buy and some of which I do not: the long shot clock (needs to match the NBA twenty-four second clock), rules that inhibit offense (YES YES YES), players with bad habits coming from AAU (since when is more organized basketball a bad thing), the one-and-done rule (maybe), and just plain mediocre play.

However, the most interesting factor may be that college basketball is a celebrity-driven game, and the celebrity is not the players, it’s the head coach. There is so much control over a team’s play now by coaches that is stifling offensive flow. There is no creativity in coaching, and the results are drastically proving this out.

The NCAA needs to fix this as the interest in college basketball in any game besides the tournament slides.

Under-rated: Captain Jack

via wikipedia

Not that one…

Not that either…

I’m talking about Steven Jackson…

Captain Jack was on The Grantland Basketball Hour last week, and was fantastic. For those of you that haven’t watched yet, here is a summary:

-Blake Griffin needs to take somebody out before players will start respecting him

-ZBo and Ron Artest are the realest players he knew in the league

-Speaking of Ron Artest, after the Malice in the Palace, Jackson was sitting in the locker room contemplating losing his job. Ron Ron asked him, "Do you think we will lose our jobs?" HA

-Him and Tim Duncan sneaking off during training camp to paint ball is the best.

-Jackson said that coaches he refused to name put him in to make trouble. That’s the best.

Man he was good on that show. So what do we have to do to get Captain Jack on NBA TV or a part time gig on TNT or something?

Life, the Universe, and Everything Else!

Under-rated: The Nadir of my favorite television shows

Two of my favorite television shows are facing the end of each series this spring: Justified and Mad Men.

Justified is my favorite show. The show, based on an Elmore Leonard novel, recounts the tales of US Marshall Raylan Givens as he polices his way through his former hometown in northern Kentucky. Great dialogue, great story lines, and the show that contains the greatest character in television: Boyd Crowder. The last couple of episodes remain, but this will be a show that I will miss. I watched the first show with my dad and we have loved this show together ever since. We plan to watch the last one together. Justified has become family.  Plus...this show gave us all this moment

Mad Men has just started its last half a season this week. I was late to the Mad Men party, and didn’t start watching until the fifth season. While this is the best show on television, I have compared Mad Men to television broccoli. It’s good for me, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it all the time. I especially cannot watch it on Sunday night while being depressed about going back to work.

But I love this show. I still am shocked by the lawnmower scene.  The scene where Don takes his kids to the house he grew up in still makes me tear up thinking about it.

I loved Bert Cooper's eulogy line:  "She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the thirty-seventh floor of a skyscraper. She's an astronaut."

Pete getting beat up was pretty great too.

*RIP Layne*

Roger Sterling is the second best character on television.

My hope is that Don Draper is D.B. Cooper and this show ends with him jumping out of a plane.

Over-rated: Replacing those shows

Since my shows are ending…how about some help. In the comment section below, or on my twitter feed above (see the top), make a suggestion of something I should pick up. It can be just about anything…I’m open to about anything.  

Till next time…

Auf Baby