|Points Per Game||14.1|
|Rebounds Per Game||8.2|
|Assists Per Game||1.7|
|Field Goal Percentage||44.90%|
|3-Point Shooting Percentage||22.30%|
|Player Efficiency Rating||18.5|
|Win Shares Per 48 Minutes||0.086|
|Minutes Per Game||24.5|
Zach Randolph is getting older, there is no denying that. But his play on the floor has suffered little in the recent years because of his age. His style is still the same - he still scares opponents, and he still can’t jump.
Randolph averaged decent numbers in his first year as a reserve in quite some time. Z-Bo has averaged double figure points in 14 straight seasons and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. His age can be seen most clearly on the defensive end, but hasn’t slowed him much offensively. Zach Randolph also had a rare game this season: two dunks and two 3-pointers in the same game.
For a good portion of the season, Z-Bo was being considered for 6th man of the year. His scoring and rebounding numbers were in the league leaders for bench players, and the Grizzlies bench was dependent on him. The scoring and rebounding numbers only slightly fell as the season progressed, but the Grit and Grind era was in full force in this year’s playoffs.
He is also a front runner, along with teammate Mike Conley, for NBA Community Assist award to be announced next month.
Zach Randolph is an unrestricted free agent now. He signed a two year, $20 million two years back, and I don’t seem him expecting much less in this year’s free agency. It will be a tough front office decision as to whether to keep an aging 6th man or look for someone younger and quicker to fill his spot.
I hate to say his best game was probably the best game for many Grizzly players, but Game Three of the series versus the San Antonio Spurs was Z-Bo’s best this season. He carried this team in a way that was necessary to overcome a 2-0 deficit. Randolph was 9-16 from the field for 21 points. He grabbed eight rebounds and even made a three.
His big numbers mostly came against the Spurs’ Pau Gasol, who was simply not strong enough to stop Z-Bo from scoring. The Grizzly’ team was on another level both offensively and defensively. Zach Randolph was the epitome of this and willed the team not only in this game, but the series.
It is games like this one that make a good case to keep him at least for one more year, but people that are paid way more than me get to make that decision.
Ways to Improve:
Age is the biggest issue. Father time always wins the race, so there is not much anyone can do to help that. By the nature of his position, he has endured a ton of wear and tear on his body. He doesn’t seem to have plans to retire and based on the way he played this season, he has at least two more years.
His shot selection and rebounding suffered a little this season, but again some of it has to do with age. He settled for jump shots more than usual and seemed a step slower getting the rim. Because of his lack of mobility, he chose to take a lot more shots farther from the rim. When he did get solid post position, he was able to bully his way to the rim just like old times.
Rebounding was not a huge issue, his numbers were down from past numbers simply because of his reduction in minutes and move to the bench. But playing minutes against younger, more agile reserves did cause problems a few times throughout the season. The way the style of play is changing also proved an issue for Z-Bo. There are very few players that stick to post moves and duck-ins exclusively like Randolph does. He often found himself having to guard power forwards off the dribble, which is not a strength of his.
2016-2017 Overall Grade:
Zach Randolph had a good season, I can confidently say that. Age will become a larger factor for every player that enters into the NBA at some point, so we knew it would eventually be an issue for Z-Bo. With that said, he has been a step slower every year, and this year was no exception. He was moved to the bench, which ended up being a great spot for him. But the future is in question.
His scoring was consistent, rebounds were there as well, but shot selection and defense were problems. I think Z-Bo has a few years left in the NBA, but his style of play is going by the wayside. It will be interesting to see how he adapts in the coming seasons.