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Grizzlies end of season awards - Part 1: The Moments

Who was the MVP of the Grizzlies? This and other awards in our latest Roundtable.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Is it possible to have good moments in a 22-60 season?

Sure, why not.

The season ended a week ago, and the attention has turned from an abysmal campaign for the Memphis Grizzlies toward the steps needed to insure that this type of season doesn’t happen again next year. GBB is knee-deep in draft preparation and looking at the roster’s key pieces moving forward, but we also are in the middle of our Season in Review series (catch up here) and this edition of the Roundtable will focus on the good, bad, and ugly of the season for Memphis.

12 of GBB’s finest participated in the voting on these “awards”. You will see the winners, a brief explanation of why they won from myself and members of the GBB staff, and then who else got votes.

Let’s kick things off with the most embarrassing/hilarious individual moment of the season, depending on your perspective.

THE TONY ALLEN MEMORIAL RANDOM MOMENT AWARD GOES TO...

BEN MCLEMORE’S 360 DUNK ATTEMPT

Ben McLemore had a season to forget in a lot of ways. Certainly he wants to put this play behind him...but we had to revisit it just one more time. Tony would have been proud of the spectacular way Ben missed what should have been an easy layup. McLemore decided to go for style points...and it ended very poorly for him. One single play rarely summarizes a players season this well.

That is the case here though.

They said it-

“If Ben McLemore made that dunk, his jersey would be hanging in the rafters with ZBo and Tony Allen. Instead, it became a highlight that tells the story of his career: could be awesome but missing the mark ...every time.”- Parker Fleming, GBB Senior Writer

“...In a season full of bad performances and eye-rolling shot selection, this takes the cake. This is why Kobe didn’t answer your Mamba Challenge, Ben.”- Ross Jarrar, GBB Senior Writer

Others Receiving Votes-

Marc Gasol’s F-Bomb on TV after a win, Gasol benching and David Fizdale firing the next day.

The award for Best Moment goes to...

Defeating the Golden State Warriors at home in October

Ah yes, the good ol’ days.

Before we knew the truth about these Grizzlies - the health issues, the not-very-good-at-basketball stuff, we had a 5-1 start to the regular season that saw Memphis atop the basketball world. There were other good wins in that stretch - two victories over the Rockets and an opening night double-digit throttling of the Pelicans, for example - but they pale in comparison to that glorious win at home over the hated Warriors. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were ejected, Memphis beat the defending champs by 10...it made us think anything was possible. That these Grizzlies could be for real.

Hindsight is 20/20. But that was fun while it lasted.

They Said It-

“...Seeing as how Kevin Durant has spent most of the season playing the role of superstar villain, watching Memphis beating the defending champs with their two best players getting ejected was a satisfying moment.”- Colin Griffith, GBB Writer

“October 21, 2017. Grizzlies defeat the Warriors dropping them to 1-2 on the season and in the process, get Kevin Durant thrown out for getting on the officials and Stephen Curry thrown out for chucking his mouth guard at an official.”- Greg Ratliff, GBB Writer

Others Receiving Votes-

Chandler Parsons’ six threes against the Rockets, beating the Rockets, Kobi Simmons against DeAndre Jordan, not trading Tyreke Evans

The Award for Worst Moment goes to...

No Tyreke Evans trade at the deadline

Dallas Mavericks v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Missed opportunities are the worst...until you don’t admit the mistake. Then it is somehow even worse than the worst.

Tyreke Evans was having arguably the greatest season of his career. While contracts for players like Lou Williams gave hope to fans and obviously the front office that Evans could be retained using the Mid-Level Exception this summer (and that clearly remains the hope), there were also reasons - logical ones- to argue he should be shipped, even if the price of a first round pick wasn’t met. While Evans was surely worth the 27th overall selection (sends shade at Boston and Danny Ainge), risking losing Evans for nothing in free agency meant essentially wasting one of the few good personnel moves the Grizzlies have made the past two seasons.

Then, the deadline came and went. Reports of two second-round picks and/or young players being offered and not accepted were made. And many Grizzlies fans got very, very angry. A chance to recoup some lost assets, even while not what you’d want ideally, was squandered. Perhaps Evans can be had for the M-LE...but other teams, likely ones better than Memphis, will have the ability to offer the same deal. Then you have teams like the Lakers, who if they strike out on LeBron James and/or Paul George could throw a J.J. Redick-esque one year $20 million deal at Evans and kick the free agency can down the road a year while gaining an explosive playmaker in Evans.

I don’t like the chances of the Grizzlies once Evans hits the open market. Losing him for nothing, and him then only playing six games after the deadline for a variety of reasons, is entirely the fault of the Grizzlies front office. If he leaves, again likely in my eyes, it’s a massive failure.

They Said It-

“The front office not trading Tyreke Evans while he still had huge market value and will likely leave the team this summer...”- Grace Baker, GBB Writer

“...It was honestly insulting to the fan base for Chris Wallace to say they could not get a fair return for Tyreke based on his value with the team. That value was 6 games after the Trade Deadline. You can be mad that other teams did not make a deal, but ultimately, the worst moment this season is Chris Wallace not getting anything for Tyreke Evans at the Trade Deadline.”- Jack Noonan, GBB Associate Editor

Others Receiving Votes-

61-point loss to Charlotte, firing of David Fizdale, McLemore missed 360 dunk

The Award for Biggest Surprise goes to...

MarShon Brooks!

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about coming out of nowhere.

The Grizzlies used multiple 10-day contracts this season as they played out the slate - Marquis Teague, Briante Weber, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, just to name a few. Those guys didn’t pan out. So when MarShon, after four years in China, came to the Grizzlies, it seemed like another flyer on a guy who was coming in to just to eat minutes.

That was a bad take.

Brooks was a monster offensively. In seven games played he averaged 20.1 points per game, which if he had a larger sample size would have made him the Grizzlies’ leading scorer per game on the season. He had a 117 offensive rating, the best of his career, over that short span of games. He shot 50% from the field and an absurd 59.4% from beyond the arc. His efforts earned him a multi-year contract, and MarShon Brooks is officially back in the NBA with some thinking he could push for real rotation minutes next season.

I need to see more before I board the MarShon train as a contributor on a team that is good and actively trying to win. But there’s no denying his sudden rise was a good shock to the system as a terrible season came to a close.

They Said It-

“...His streak of scoring is what the Grizzlies needed to at least get some wins. The tank is over, but M. Brooks proved he can contribute to a team.” Elbert Hubbard Jr., GBB Writer

Others Receiving Votes-

Dillon Brooks, the firing of David Fizdale, Ivan Rabb, Chandler Parsons


Check back Friday as we reveal our MVP, our least valuable player, our defensive player of the year, and most fun player to watch!

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