The Memphis Grizzlies have played 30 games...and they are bad.
So what should we take away from the Grizzlies so far? For this edition of the GBB Roundtable, I thought I would try something new. I, along with GBB Gameday Editor Mark King, GBB Associate Editor Brandon Conner (AKA BallFromGrace), GBB Senior Writer Grace Baker, and GBB Staff Writers Colin Griffith and McCarty Maxwell, came together to provide 30 takes for 30 games.
I will give one final hot take for the upcoming back to back with Golden State. And AWAY WE GO!
Joe Mullinax- GBB Site Manager (@JoeMullinax)
- Mike Conley is super important to the Grizzlies. Is Memphis a playoff team with a healthy Mike? Maybe not. But they're not THIS bad if he is on the floor, and no coach can save this roster as presently constructed.
- How crazy is it that this team was 5-1 at one point!!! They are 4-20 since then, and Marc Gasol has played in every game. His basketball mortality is on full display- excluding the third quarter of the Celtics game, which is the exception and not the rule, he is not what he once was on either end of the floor.
- Tyreke Evans is easily the most movable asset Memphis has at this point. He’d be a big help on the bench of Cleveland or even Philadelphia. What they do with the likely-to-leave Evans will be the biggest sign of the immediate direction of these Grizzlies.
- Something needs to be said about James Ennis III, as well. He is a piece that could be traded at the deadline for a younger player if he was paired with a couple of 2nd round picks. Could be a part of that "Graceful tank".
- The Memphis Grizzlies are truly at a crossroads. They have to decide who they are going to be. The scary thing is, in the absence of direction from the players and coaches, the front office will likely continue down this path...at least until the ownership issues are settled. Than all hell may break loose.
Grace Baker, GBB Senior Staff Writer (@GraceBaker901)-
- Tyreke Evans seems to be the best healthy player Memphis has right now. Coming in, he was supposed to be in a more supporting role, but circumstances forced him to take more of a lead role. He's averaging 18.6 PPG, which is the second-highest average of his career, and he's been more consistent than players like Gasol.
- After all the hype and then disappointment that was Chandler Parsons, he's really been out of the spotlight as of late with everything else going on. Meanwhile, he's been playing actually decent basketball. In his past 4 of 6 games, he's scored double-digit points.
- Out of the draft picks of recent years for Memphis, Dillon Brooks has actually shown some real promise for the future for the Grizzlies. It's unfortunate he's just had to take on a much bigger role than was anticipated for his rookie year. I just hope Memphis sticks with him and doesn't discard him, as he'll of course then go to another team and ball out.
- The Grizzlies just came out with a medical update on Mike Conley, saying his injury will be reassessed in a couple weeks. I think they're stalling for the inevitable, which is shutting Conley down for the season. That's the right move, to let Conley sit and the Grizzlies tank.
- It's still possible for the Grizzlies to make the playoffs this season if Mike Conley does come back. They're going to have to decide if the playoff streak is that important, or if restarting this team for the future matters more. I think it's time to reinvent this team and just tank for the draft.
Brandon Conner, GBB Associate Editor (@BallFromGrace)-
- With Mario Chalmers struggling to play well, and Harrison cementing his role as the backup PG while Conley is out, it's time for Kobi Simmons to get serious minutes. He's played two games so far, but he should get a little bit more run.
- At this point, if Memphis can't pull itself out of the nosedive soon, it's worth considering shutting down Mike Conley for the rest of the season.
- I'm starting to worry about JaMychal Green. Since returning from his injury, he's struggled defensively. I wonder he's just shaking off rust, if the injury is still nagging him, or if this a real regression.
- The coaching staff has to figure out what they want out of James Ennis III. Alternating DNPs and 15-20 minutes will do nothing for his effectiveness. It was proven by Fizdale and Bickerstaff has yet to learn that lesson.
- I'm anxious to see how Marc Gasol reacts if the Grizzlies wind up eliminated from the playoffs before the end of the season. Will he be okay playing meaningless games, or will that finally be the breaking point?
Mark King, GBB Gameday Editor (@king_producer)-
- The Grizzlies relies heavily on Marc and Mike to start this year but they also needed a fringe player to step into a rotation player role and that just has not happened, whether from injury or not developing into an actual rotation player for this team.
- Trading Marc seems like a good option on the surface but I’m not sure what his value is anymore. A 33 year old center that has already had foot surgery, has lost a step on defense and has a diminishing post game isn’t going to get you much on the open market. Memphis is at a cross roads where not getting value doesn’t make much sense and neither does keeping him if he continues to play like is.
- The Grizzlies should definitely sell high in Tyreke Evans. I would love to keep him here but the Grizzlies likely won’t be able to afford him anyway, and he probably doesn’t want to play for a team that will probably be bad again next year.
- It’s time to release Mario Chalmers, the story has been great and he is fantastic guy, but he has lost a step and has not been good this year. The Grizzlies need to see what they have if anything in Kobi Simmons.
- Without Mike Conley in the lineup, the talks of tanking irrelevant. The Grizzlies are going to lose a lot of games without their starting point guard and there wont be anything they can do about that. They can play Marc all they want, but will still lose a lot of games.
Colin Griffith, GBB Staff Writer-
- Deyonta Davis has looked much better with more consistent playing time. He is earning his minutes and that shouldn't change when Brandan Wright returns, especially if this ends up becoming a "lost season".
- Wayne Selden is looking like the odd man out. Dillon Brooks and Tyreke Evans are entrenched in the starting lineup and now Ben McLemore is starting to improve game by game. If he doesn't make a good impression early on, he could be seeing a lot of time with the Hustle.
- Conley's return will help Gasol's putrid shooting. His game isn't suited to be the focal point of an offense and Mike will help take the pressure off him and allow him to play his preferred style.
- I think McLemore will overtake Brooks in the starting lineup. He has more of a scorer's mentality and while he isn't a great defender yet, neither is Brooks. He'll be starting by the end of January.
- Since the end of November, Andrew Harrison has started to show real progress. Almost enough progress to justify letting Mario Chalmers go.
McCarty Maxwell, GBB Staff Writer (@McCartyMaxwell)-
- The Grizzlies have looked strong in stretches without Gasol. Memphis is actually fun to watch with the younger, more athletic lineups. If losing is inevitably, it might as well be fun to watch.
- Though Ben McLemore has started slowly, very slowly, he is actually exciting to watch in spurts. He is streaky, getting him easy shots early can get him in the right zone.
- Someone that few people seem to be talking about is Wayne Selden Jr. As much as we need Mike Conley to return, if Selden comes back 100% he could be a game changer as well. He is young and electric, though I don't trust his body this season, the future is bright for this kid.
- Looking glass half full, the Grizzlies only need a .500 record to make the playoffs this season. If the playoff streak means that much, I think we could have a chance for the 8th seed.
- With one Kobe era officially ended, it's time to start the Kobi (and Ivan) era in Memphis. Building talent is the only realistic goal left for this team.
And one more from Joe...
The Grizzlies are sitting Chandler Parsons on the front end of the back to back, resting him tonight against the Warriors despite four days rest. They see the Suns as more winnable than Golden State...rightfully so. But it backs up the words of GM Chris Wallace, Gasol, and others- the “intentional” tank is not in the cards for Memphis right now.
Whether or not it should be? That’s a topic for another Roundtable in the near future.