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Thursday, November 02, 2006

First Impressions on the Grizzlies

Saw the Memphis Grizzlies in their triple-overtime season-opening loss to the Knicks last night -- my first impressions:

  • Rudy Gay looks like he'll be a serious asset if he can keep his head on straight -- having a no-nonsense coach like Mike Fratello will probably be very good for him.
  • Kyle Lowry might be the steal of this year's draft. He made a few rookie mistakes, and he's easily the youngest-looking player in the NBA since BJ Armstrong retired, but he really energized the team. Lowry totalled ten boards, including a couple of pure hustle plays where he grabbed the ball away from much bigger guys like David Lee. Look for him to start stealing minutes from...
  • Damon Stoudamire, who really looks like he's not 100% recovered from last year's injuries. Mighty Mouse looked good in the opening quarter, but seemed to get winded pretty quickly. With the Grizzlies likely out of contention this year due to Pau Gasol's injury, I could see the team looking to develop younger players like Lowry ahead of Stoudamire and...
  • Chucky Atkins, who still has some game, but who seems like an unnecessary luxury for a team like the Grizz. If I'm Pat Riley, I'm on the phone right now with my old buddy Jerry West, trying to swing a deal for Atkins.
  • Mike Miller has a beautiful jump shot, but he disappears for long stretches of games. His line in last night's box score (18 points, 4-9 from three) might look impressive, until you consider that he hit three threes in the space of about two minutes in the first quarter. Miller also bricked a couple of big free throws at the end.
  • Oh, and speaking of free-throw shooting, Hakim Warrick is Ben Wallace-esque. Yikes.


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