Friday, November 7, 2008
The Either/Or Campaign
The Grizzlies are a mere 5 games into the season and possess a 2-3 record. The young team has surprised just about everyone with their strong defensive play and their ability to stay competitive and scrappy, even on the road.
However, there’s one item I’d like to see change. I stayed up late Wednesday night to watch the valiant Grizzlies fourth quarter comeback against the Kings but couldn’t help being frustrated watching the end the 3rd quarter. At the 7:35 mark of the 3rd quarter, Greg Buckner entered the game and joined Quinton Ross. For the rest of the quarter, as both defensive specialists were in the game, the Grizzlies shot a combined 4-12 from the floor and were outscored by 4 points. While being outscored by 4 points over the course of 7 minutes isn’t unheard of, it could prove to be the difference in the game. If the Grizz had outscored the Kings by 4 in this stretch of time, they would’ve entered the 4th quarter down a mere 5 points instead of 13. Now I know there’s a lot of ifs in the game of basketball and you can’t pinpoint the loss on one thing like this. However, the young Grizzlies margin for error on the road is especially small and any advantage that can be gained needs to be capitalized on.
For this reason, I’m starting the either/or campaign. The either/or campaign is quite simple. Play either Quinton Ross or Greg Buckner, but please, for the sake of offense, don’t play them at the same time. I have nothing against either player and fully understand the need for a defensive specialist to be in the game especially when a player like Kevin Martin is torching your starters. I just can’t see the need to have two defensive specialists in at the same time. I understand that both Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo were in foul trouble and needed to sit for most of the 3rd quarter. However, in situations like this, I think that either Marko Jaric or Javaris Crittenton should be the compliment to Ross rather than Buckner. Jaric is a better long distance shooter and Crittenton is a better slasher. Buckner and Ross combined to shoot 2-8 on Wednesday. For the season, they’re both shooting under 30%. Given the Grizzlies early season offensive struggles, it might be time to choose one either/or.