This was supposed to be the season Quincy Pondexter finally gave the Memphis Grizzlies some consistent production. He finally hit a groove, but it wasn't in Memphis. And that's just all right.
The Grizzlies had many eggs in the Quincy Pondexter basket coming into the 2014-2015 season. He was supposed to be the 3 and D guy the Grizzlies had sorely lacked. He was going to be the Grizzlies take on Kawhi Leonard or Danny Green. Expectations were high for the 26-year-old forward, and they should have been. Pondexter has shown everyone what he's capable of on many occasions. In the Spurs sweep of the Grizzlies in 2013 he played out of his mind. Hitting threes, dunking on people and being awesome was what made people think the lanky kid out of Washington was going to be a big time producer in Memphis.
Grizzlies 2014-15 Player Reviews: Courtney Lee
For the Memphis Grizzlies and their fans, Courtney Lee’s season can be looked back on with mixed feelings. On one hand, he was the only reliable shooter on the team, but on the other, his passive nature at times prevented him from taking many open looks and caused many Grizzlies fans to wish for more from him.
All the Grizzlies really needed Pondexter to do was hit around 38% of his threes and have some confidence in himself. They needed someone who could knock down shots off of kick outs from Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph or someone who could change the game on defense. The Grizzlies got the exact opposite of that.
In the 30 games he spent with the Memphis Grizzlies, Pondexter shot 23% from 3 point range and 35% from the field. His confidence seemed to be sapped with every missed jumper. Soon he was pump faking too much and trying to take people off the dribble, something he should never do. The defense wasn't much better. While the expectations for his offense were fair, the expectations for his defense were not. Pondexter consistently struggled when guarding small forwards and many shooting guards. Where Pondexter thrived on defense was when guarding point guards. The Grizzlies defensive scheme didn't allow him to do that consistently. He couldn't find his role on the team and it led to his playing time decreasing.
So what happened? A player doesn't lose confidence in his game on a whim like that.
In the 2013-2014 Pondexter was struggling to get consistent minutes. This led to a rift between Coach Dave Joerger and the Grizzlies forward that came to a head when Pondexter, actually having a good game, turned to Joerger and "stared him down". Coach Joerger and Pondexter's teammates had problems with this behavior. What could be repaired between him and his teammates was lost between Quincy and Joerger. Their relationship never recovered. Joerger didn't have enough confidence in Pondexter to produce, which, in part, led to him not having confidence in himself. It became obvious a change in scenery was the best option for Pondexter.
So he was included as part of the trade for Jeff Green. He went to the New Orleans Pelicans and the Grizzlies were given the Based King Russdiculous. While Jeff Green wasn't living up to expectations in Memphis, Pondexter became a key contributor in New Orleans. He shot 43% from three point range and 45% from the floor and became the offensive weapon Memphis knew he could be.