Thursday, May 8, 2008

Season in Review: The Cardinals

As we enter the deeper parts of the Grizzlies bench I am going to do several players at once. Frankly their isn't that much to say otherwise about them.

Today we focus on the Cardinals. For those unfamiliar with the Grizzlies roster make up that is Brian Cardinal and the Stanford boys Jason Collins and Casey Jacobsen.

Jason Collins was the largest contributor last season among the three and not solely because of his size. At 7 ft and 255 pounds Collins was the most physical player in the paint for the Grizzlies last season. He didn't produce in the box socres but his presence was felt in the game by the opposition. Collins is not a scorer or rebounder despite his size but his physical play and excellent fundamentals allow other players to score and reboung when he is in the game.

Collins is on the last year of his contract and is not expected to be resigned when that contract is up. That does allow Memphis to use his contract in a deal to acquire more talented players until the trade deadline or his expiring contract could be used to try and entice a FA to Memphis if no deal is made prior to that.

Casey Jacobsen was a disaster for Coach Iavaroni and the Grizzlies last season. The former German league Playoff MVP was unable to find his shot all season finishing. His 33.9% from the field and 22.2% from the arc was not what anyone expected from the former Stanford sharpshooter. The Mason, as he was called by less than enthused fans for the large amount of bricks he put up during the year, was actually rumored to have been benched by the owner Micheal Heisley and not Coach Iavaroni. That raised many eyebrows considering Tarence Kinsey, last season's surprise player at the end of the year, was released by the Grizzlies in December in favor of Jacobsen.

Casey did work hard when on the court and was rumored to be a good player in the locker room but effort and personality aren't a substitute for baskets in the NBA. Defensively Casey actually was more impressive than expected but he started from such low expectations in that area that even with his effort it didn't make him a solid defender. This was probably Casey's last opportunity in the NBA and is expected to resign overseas or retire. It will be interesting to see who the Grizzlies ask to be his replacement as the team blogger. While he didn't seem able to perform on the court, Casey's blog was by far the best written among the Grizzlies blogs.

Brian Cardinal still has his fans in Memphis but they are becoming fewer and fewer as his contract continues to balloon and his production continues to fall. Cardinal continues to deny that his knee is causing him any problem but after two surgeries and a less than stellar athletic talent to begin with it could be simply a situation where the wear and tear has taken too much of a toll on him. The heart and intelligence are still top notch however. Cardinal saw his steals drop below 20 for the season (10) for the first time since joining the Grizzlies and that was despite a 127 minute increase in playing time from the previous year. Cardinal shot a career low 30.9% from the arc in a season where he played at least 16 games and a low of 34.0% from the field as well.

Cardinal looked slow and feeble in the uptempo style prefered by Iavaroni and the Memphis fans. Cardinal is still signed for an additional two seasons and at the MLE maximum it isn't likely he will be traded anytime soon unless Memphis decides to move one of their rookies. The good news is that owner Michael Heisley has insisted the team play better defense next year and that could mean a more deliberate attack which could favor Cardinal's game. Being another year removed from surgery should help as well but that also means the 31 yr old Cardinal is another year older. Old is not a good thing to be on the current Grizzlies roster.

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

BC should be in LA with Pau, a dumb move by JW to give hime the full MLE, and a Dumber move by CW not to send him with Pau.......and a even DUMBERER mover if MH was at fault!

Anonymous said...

Is Casey going to resign overseas, or reside overseas?

ChipC3 said...

Good question!