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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 at 11:13 am  |  16 responses

Marc Gasol Says the Grizzlies Are Going to Play More Uptempo


Last year the Grizzlies played at one of the slowest tempos in the NBA, consistently walking the ball up the floor and immediately dumping it down low to their big men duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. According to Gasol, though, now that Dave Joerger has taken over head coaching duties from Lionel Hollins, the team will be pushing the rock up the court a little faster. Per ESPN: “All-Star center Marc Gasol expects the Memphis Grizzlies to become more of a running team this season, and that’s absolutely fine with him. Gasol, currently heading Spain’s challenge at EuroBasket, says he’s had discussions with new head coach Dave Joerger about a fresh direction for the Grizzlies after a summer overhaul that began with the exit of Lionel Hollins and the addition of seven players to the roster, including Mike Miller from Miami and Kosta Koufos from Denver. It’s a gamble for a team coming off a trip to the Western Conference finals and a season in which Gasol was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. Joerger had specific oversight of a unit that allowed a league-low 89.3 points per game during the regular season. Now, it’s the offense that’s a prime source of attention for the rookie coach, and he’s got his starting center bought in to a running game. ‘Coach Joerger has been there for six years,’ Gasol told ESPN.com on Wednesday. ‘He knows us pretty well. He knows how we play. He knows us personally, how we like to play basketball. He, of course, wants to push the tempo, which has been a problem for us, getting up and down the floor to score easy buckets. Because when you always go inside, everybody collapses on you in the paint and it’s hard to operate down there. He’s going to push the tempo and have a lot of plays from his pocket that he’s told me [about]. And I’m excited about next season.’”

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  • i_ball

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

  • Mengke Bateer

    I think they are broke, in my meager opinion.. They did reach the Western Conference Finals. In order to reach the Conference Finals, they had to defeat OKC. They did, impressively. However, Westbrook was absent, and he is all the difference to me, imo. In order to get to the second round, they had to defeat LAC. The Clippers have retained Paul whilst bringing in Doc and a slew of veterans. Is that enough to defeat MEM? We’ll see. There still remains the top dog, San Antonio. They kept their Finals team intact, for the most part. They have also added Bellinelli. So those are three teams that the MEM may or may not be better than. Throw in Houston, Golden State. MEM had to do something to improve their chances of returning to the conference finals. Their lack of any roster upgrades now means they have to improve within. They believe “uptempo” is the way. Who knows.

  • Max

    If they would have owner who would be willing to spend something they could have had something special.

  • uqk

    i dont get it….2 of their best player are the biggest/slowest

  • i_ball

    Other teams got better – that doesn’t mean the Grizz are broke.

    You can’t say that throwing the ball inside and playing defense is a wrong approach, specially with the roster they have

  • Mengke Bateer

    I agree with you that MEM remaining a low post, defense oriented team would be better, imo.

    However, the rest of the West is equipped to play fast, run. I guess they are trying to fight fire with fire. They just don’t have the personnel to do so. Remember when SAS remained a “slow it down” team while the other teams preferred uptempo? Pop then started focusing on offense, and SAS became one of the better uptempo teams, albeit older. Can that work for MEM? I don’t know. They don’t have enough shooters, athletic bigs, though.

  • CzechMate

    They dont have any athletic wings to do so either, unless Conley does the LeBron one man fast break

  • uqk

    spurs shift from defense to offense is more of because duncan decline, bowen retirement (their defensive anchor) and parker emerge as their best player. Pop tune his gameplan for his best player which is parker, not because the trend is to play fast.

    In memphis case…adding shooters (miller) is a good move to space the floor for their bigs. But playing uptempo is bad move

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    guys…….playing at a faster pace doesn’t automatically equal more dunks and the need for athletic wings. probably just means Conley isn’t going to be taking his time setting up the offense. And the team will take quick post ups over drawn out sets. Just a faster pace in general. Not trying to turn games into actual track meets or anything..calm down.

  • Caboose

    Parker is their best OFFENSIVE player. Let’s be clear about that.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    and Duncan has always been their defensive anchor………

  • Caboose

    Lol, yup.

  • Caboose

    Uptempo = 2008 Suns
    Slow = 2006 Spurs
    No mention = Literally everybody else

  • LakeShow

    The Grizz need Z-Bo to get back to his 20-10 self if they are going to keep up with everyone else in the West.

  • Evan Boland

    Same with OKC.

  • Max

    Yeah even more haha.

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