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Memphis Grizzlies 2014-2015 Player Reviews: Beno Udrih

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The following Vine.

Over and over.

Hundreds of times.

Pick and roll, pull up, lean, splash.

This was Beno Udrih's 2014-15 season.

Udrih was arguably the Grizzlies' most important bench player throughout the season, and was undoubtedly the most consistent scorer among the reserves. Of bench players who were part of the regular rotation, Beno was the leading scorer, averaging 14.6 points per 36 minutes, and he managed to pile up the points all while having one of his most efficient seasons ever.

Udrih shot an impressive 48.7 percent from the field—the third highest mark of his career—and turned the ball over just 2.1 times per 36 minutes, also one of the best marks in his 11 NBA seasons. Beno was particularly prolific from the mid-range and around the rim:



The Mid-Range Marauder, as he came to be called, was one of the best in the league at the in-between game all season long, knocking down an absurd 51.4 percent of his two-point jumpers. Some of his percentages on the advanced (lower) chart are even more bonkers, such as on the right baseline below the three-point line, where he shot a blazing 65.2 percent (on only 23 attempts, but still).

It was a terrific year offensively for the 32-year-old point guard with the exception of one area—his three-point shooting. Udrih's been a very average shooter from three throughout his career, clocking in at 34.9 percent. He's had a few seasons where he's shot the deep ball in the high 30s or low 40s, and then a few where he's been down in the low 30s or even high 20s. However, this season was a complete and total downtown disaster. Udrih shot a career-worst 26.8 percent on three-pointers, and it got to the point that defenses would completely ignore him, openly inviting him to hoist up open threes, most of which resulted in bricks.

Defensively, Udrih experienced the same struggles he's had for most of his career. He was frequently unable to stay in front of his man. Offensive players could take Beno to the rim and finish with relative ease time and time again. He ranked last on the Grizzlies' roster in Basketball-Reference's Defensive Box Plus/Minus statistic, and also had one of the worst defensive ratings at 105. Udrih was a poor defender, but this wasn't unexpected. This is who he's been throughout his career, and while some defense would be nice, it isn't his role. His role on the Grizzlies can be best described as, "come off the bench and get buckets," and Beno Udrih is awesome at coming off the bench and getting buckets.

Once the playoffs rolled around, Udrih continued to excel in his role as Chief Bucket Getter. He began the postseason with a bang, nearly single-handedly silencing the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while shooting 9-14 from the field in 24 minutes of action. He scored in double figures again in Game 2, but suffered a sprained ankle that caused him to miss the third game of the series.

Udrih returned to drop 13 points in the Grizzlies' Game 4 loss in Portland, but the point guard was clearly bothered by the ankle throughout the rest of the playoffs. He scored in single digits in each of the remaining games, and saw his minutes decrease with every game.

Despite the injury that limited him, Udrih still posted impressive playoff numbers. He finished the postseason averaging 15.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per 36 minutes, although his field goal percentage dipped to 42.5 percent.

It would've been nice to see if he could've kept up his torrid postseason pace if not for the injury, but despite the ankle issues causing him to fizzle out it was a solid season for Beno Udrih, and about as good as one could've expected from the veteran journeyman who has finally found a home in Memphis.