Weekly Grizzlies 3-pointer

It is time for the first installment of our weekly  Grizzlies 3-pointer, three things the Grizzlies are doing, need to do, and will be doing to improve upon their success as a team on a weekly basis.  Ironically this might be the only three the Grizzlies make all week, as the team is only averaging 1.8 buckets from behind the arc per contest.  Three-pointers have not been the Grizzlies’ only issue so far this season, as they have struggled to be consistent throughout the early part of this season.  The Grizzlies have been very Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde so far, blowing out the Rockets and the Kings at home, but only managing 64 points in a 40 point blow out loss to the Bulls.  Yet with all of their three-point woes and inconsistencies as a team,Memphis is 3-3 and just one game out of first place in the Southwest Division.  Let us take a look at this week’s Grizzlies.

1) What are the Grizzlies doing?
It is simple.  Like Picasso, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and other great artists before them, Memphis controls the paint.  They are averaging 44.7 rebounds per game, which is good for seventh best in the NBA. Add to it the fact that Memphis is averaging 47.3 points per game in the paint, and you have a team that loves the lane more than Picasso loved painting in the abstract. Points in the paint increase drastically in their three wins with the Grizz averaging a staggering 58.7 points.  This type of production will need to continue (especially since Memphis can not make a three) if they are going to contend for a NBA championship.

2) What do the Grizz need to do?
Another simple answer (you will find that I am not a complicated person or a deep philosophical thinker), make a three every now and then.  According to the billboards, the Grizz are made from “Yellow towels and white tees” and “Chipped paint and cleaned glasses”, but it is clear that they are not made from “Long range and sharp shooting” after six games.  Memphis has only made 11 three-pointers so far this season while their opponents have made 52.  That is nearly five times more three-pointers for Grizz opponents per game. Yikes!  I do not care how masterful their use of the paint is, they cannot win games consistently with that type of a three-point differential.  Mike Conley is back in the line-up after an early ankle injury so that should help the three-point woes of Memphis, but Rudy Gay and (especially) OJ Mayo are going to have to step up and hit three’s so as to stretch the floor so their teammates can score easy buckets in the paint.

3) What will the Grizzlies do?
With a tough four game stretch coming up Memphis will be trying to fill the void left by Zach Randolph, who is out for the next 6-8 weeks with a MCL injury.  Memphis recently traded for Marreese Speights, who should help add depth in the frontcourt. However, it will be Rudy Gay who the Grizz will look to carry the team until Z-Bo returns.  Much like Randolph carried the team while Gay was out.  Three of the Grizzlies’ next four games will be against playoff teams from a year ago so they need to redefine their rolls quickly in order to avoid falling further behind the Spurs in the Southwest Division.

CJ Hurt covers the Grizzlies for MemphiSport.  Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from FedExForum.

-Photo by Justin Ford

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