Monday, December 10, 2007

When Will Things Turn Around?

So many Grizz fans have jumped off the bandwagon already this season that it is becoming apparent that the Tigers may outdraw the Grizzlies despite about 20 fewer home games. It is so bad that the mascot GRIZZ! can actually single out people to throw T-Shirts to and they can get it no matter how bad the pass.

Things are pretty depressing attendance-wise at the Grizzlies games right now.

However, is that the way it should be?

Sure the team is currently only 1 game ahead of last season's pace with the Pistons coming to town Tuesday night but have the games themselves been entertaining? Indiana beat the Grizzlies by the largest amount at home this season and they only won by 10 points. Toronto won by 6 points but the Grizzlies were leading with 3 minutes to play. The Grizz lost to San Antonio by 3, to the Hornets in OT by 2 and Portland on a last second shot at the buzzer. The Grizzlies beat Washington, Houston, Seattle and Minnesota. So lack of excitement isn't the reason people aren't attending games.

So what is the problem?

Personally I always felt expectations were too high on this team. The talent is far improved. It's probably the most talented team we've had since the Grizzlies arrived in 2001. The question on everyone's mind should be 'how much time have the top 8 players spent together on the court? How much in practice?'

Chemistry takes time to build and right now the Grizzlies don't have it. Gasol missed half of training camp with an injured heal and wasn't 100% when he returned. Darko has missed half the season with a sprained thumb and ankle. Damon has been sick. Conley messed up his shoulder. Stro has been Stro. Basically the players haven't spent a lot of time together on the court getting to understand what Iavaroni expects of them and how they best perform within Iavaroni's system. That is vital to team's winning games.

When the Grizzlies start playing some games together they can build on the team chemistry. Players will understand their roles and perform better in them. This is what happens when a team loses important players from the previous season (Eddie Jones, Alexander Johnson, Lawrence Roberts, Dahntay Jones) and add new players (Michael Conley, Darko Milicic, Casey Jacobsen) along with a new coach with no previous head coaching experience. Too little repitition makes for poor execution in crunch time. Memphis can point to the 0-6 record in games decided by 3 pts or less as proof of that. But as the season progresses the team will mature. Players will get more comfortable. Plays that didn't succeed will start succeeeding.

What Memphis fans need to understand is that the team needs the fans at the game to help them thought these difficult times. Memphis needs to make the Forum a place visiting teams don't want to play. Sure it is a professional game but the players are human and a raucous crowd will energize them and help lift them over in some close games.

The Detroit Piston come to town Tuesday night. Now would be a great time to give the team that little extra lift it needs to pull off a big win. Let the team know we support them. Don't watch the game on TV. Get out and support your home town team.

If nothing else you will get to see a great NBA team play. Possibly we will pull the upset.


John Q. Fan said...

Just curious Chip. Do you have a real job?

Tim said...

Great post man, I will never understand how people cant see that this team has potential but just like anything needs time to become better and work as a true team. I wish I could make it to more games myself but im just a poor guy just out of college. But I go to as many as i can and with the ticket exchange they set up I can get tickets more fitted to my budget. Hopefully people will come around and start supporting the team more like you say. GO GRIZZ!!!

MemphisX said...

Time is not the cure for this team.

ChipC3 said...

Yes I do have a real job.

zack said...

I don't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spartacus said...

Real job? Who wants one of those -- they get in the way of blogging.

Tim said...

"Time is not the cure for this team."

Its is if in time Wallace realizes Pau needs to be traded and we need some time to develop Rudy, Conley, Darko and players to be named later.