Here are a few things worth checking out:
Marc Iavaroni did a conference call with NBA.com (click for the full transcript) today, covering topics such as the trip to Spain, Juan Carlos Navarro and competition at the point guard position. A solid interview from the Memphis Grizzlies new coach. Here's a snippet of what was said:
Q: At the point guard spot there is a lot of competition this year. How are you going to handle playing time with the training camp?
A: There is competition at several spots, particularly the four spot, between Gasol, Hakim Warrick, Stromile Swift and Brian Cardinal; the two spot between Mike Miller, Tarence Kinsey and Juan Carlos; and also the point guard spot you mentioned. So the players have been advised during the summer through numerous phone calls and a letter that we do want to defend and run, and the guys who come in top shape are going to have an advantage. And this system is going to see who has been most serious about their preparation and I have always felt that the ones who are the most prepared are going to shine. No one is going to be handed the keys. Certain people will have more experience in Memphis and in the NBA, but there is certainly no given, expect maybe Pau should start. I think it's just a question of where he'll start. I think that Mike Miller has in the past started but you know he may feel more comfortable coming off the bench, but other than that I don't think we have many set in stone decisions that have already been made.
Coach Iavaroni also did an interview with local station FOX Memphis (Channel 13), which you can see video of by clicking here.
Over on ROCKETS.com, staff writer Damien Pierce has a preview of the Southwest division, which he says remains the NBA toughest. It's a good overview of the division that has produced 4 of the past 5 Western Conference champions. Here is what he has to say about the Grizzlies:
Quick Take: Pau Gasol got some help. After finishing last season with the NBA's worst record, the Grizzlies vastly improved their supporting cast. Darko Milicic gives the Grizzlies someone who can team up inside with Gasol, while Juan Carlos Navarro is a seasoned veteran who should boost Memphis' offense with his shooting and passing. But in order for Memphis to make the leap from the lottery to the NBA playoffs in one season, the Grizzlies need some of their young stars to grow up fast. Their first-round pick, Mike Conley, is a promising point guard, but he'll be running an NBA offense for the first time. Rudy Gay must also raise his play in his second season.
Player to Watch: Juan Carlos Navarro. Pau Gasol's close friend from Spain will make his NBA debut this season. He'll bring some much-needed scoring and passing.
If we miss anything noteworthy, be sure to let us know by e-mailing us at three_shades_ofblue[at]hotmail[dot]com or by leaving us a comment.