Zach Randolph: Memphis Grizzlies’ Frontcourt Not Respected Enough

by December 26, 2011

The Zach Randolph-Marc Gasol-Rudy Gay combo in Memphis is as good any other one you can think of around the League, and the Grizzlies know they could be in store for a very special season (even if they feel they don’t get quite enough respect.) From the Commercial Appeal: “The dynamic between Randolph and Gasol provides as much symmetry as you will find in basketball. Each player can yield to the other in the post and play on the elbow with deft passing ability. Their overall savvy seems to make up for a lack of athleticism and defensive toughness. ‘The team lets us have that role, playing inside-outside,’ Gasol said, adding that he meshed with Randolph instantly. ‘We knew how to play. We have the same mentality.’ Randolph took exception to Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson recently touting New York’s combination of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler as the best front line in the NBA. ‘We don’t always get the respect, but we’re tough to deal with,’ Randolph said. ‘Rudy is one of the best small forwards in the game hands down after LeBron (James) and ‘Melo. Me and Marc take pride in rebounding the ball and scoring in the paint. We play off each other pretty good. Teams aren’t going to be able to contain all three of us.’ Memphis has led the NBA in points in the paint for the past two seasons. The Griz have also ranked among the top five teams in rebounding during that span. While the league has clearly shifted toward trying to succeed with dynamic guard play, the Griz proudly subscribe to the adage that bigger is better. ‘To go inside and post up is a luxury in this league,’ [Lionel] Hollins said. ‘There are not a lot of post-up players. But we can get the ball inside and play inside-out, and get foul shots and offensive rebounds because of it. And then to have a player like Rudy who can post up and come off screens on the perimeter is important. That’s who we are. When we have all three of those guys clicking we’re pretty good.'”