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Grizzlies Season Review – Part 2

June 1st, 2017 at 7:31 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Hypotheses in Hindsight

In Part 1 (which you can read here) I tried to provide context to the discussion of success. No picture of this team is clear, no argument airtight. But based on all of the context, I want to suggest the following:

1). Inconsistency is probably not evidence of a higher ceiling. The possibility of a healthy Chandler Parsons is.

2). For this group of players, injuries are more likely than not to continue.

3). The Grizzlies gave a ton of minutes to unproductive players last year, some of whom are likely to improve.

4). The core of this team was two players who still produced at high levels.

5). The Grizzlies actually did improve from the prior year, but this improvement also signals a larger, structural change in “how” the team wins going forward.

6). Implementing the maintenance program, and the under-performance of the lower seeded playoff teams, probably cost the Grizzlies a win or two, but also allowed them to credibly seem as if they had a chance at the four seed that they probably did not deserve.

There are several possible reasons “why” this team was so wildly inconsistent. A first year head coach. Aging players and injuries. The ennui of the regular season. Youth and veteran players intermingling inconsistentmy with the vets struggling to see a meritocracy in playing time decisions.

Perhaps most of all, a creeping frustration in the locker room that there the Core Four had such little help last year.

All of these theories are reasonable. But the simplest reason is that inconsistency is a feature, not a bug, of an aging team. A large gap between the veteran core and the rest of the rotation existed. Aging players tend not to be able to deliver every night. They also tend to get injured.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The next great Grizzlies team

Here’s what I wrote before the season, and it doubles as my relatively simple criteria for grading the season.

So here’s the question the Grizzlies can seek an answer to, with no obstacles in their path. It’s the central team-building question that every team tries to answer: do the Grizzlies have a path to being either a top five offense or defense?

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Tags: Andrew Harrison, Chandler Parsons, Deyonta Davis, Grizzlies, Harrison, Tony Allen, Warriors, Zach Randolph

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