Monday, November 5, 2007

Setting Sights on Closing Night

There was an interesting article in the USA Today about Memphis setting its sights on closing night. The article was talking about the Tigers who open their season tonight against mighty UT-Martin but the article could just as easily have been written about the Grizzlies and their fans.

This season is going to be a series of ups and downs. The likelihood that this team will seriously challenge for a .500 record by the new year is doubtful and probably not even desired if you look to the long term. The Grizzlies need more talent at several positions and more importantly where they do have talent they need more experience individually and playing together as a team.

The Indiana and San Antonio games are excellent cases in point. Memphis had a lead against San Antonio with under 3 minutes to play. Turnovers and mistakes (some might say rookie calls but that is for another discussion) led to a a disappointing 3 pt loss. Against the Pacers the Grizzlies overcame serious early game foul trouble to pull within 4 pts with under 6 minutes to play. Definately a winnable situation for an experienced team. Turnovers, missed opportunities and inexperience again led to a frustrating finish.

There is nothing wrong with this (other than the normal frustration with losing). Indiana and San Antonio are playing some of the best basketball in the league right now. Memphis is learning to play together. We shouldn't be focusing on the beginning of the season. Fans need to focus on building to the end of the season. By the mid way point Iavaroni will know a lot more about his team than he does now. The players will know a lot more about how they fit into the system than they do now. The team will know how each individual performs best within that system than they do now.

So while early season struggles hurt, they should not be the focus of conversation. In my opinion people should be focusing on the end of the season because the way the team plays at that time will say a lot more about the franchise's future success than anything that happens this month.

Besides if we make the playoffs this season we lose our first round draft pick. Nobody wants that to happen do they?

1 comment:

scott_7713 said...

if people should wait to judge the Grizz, shouldn't you wait to be the apologist. :) I mean two games in and you've already started.

I say a healthy Pau gets you to finish either 8th or 9th in the West.