The Everyday Man's Sports Blog

Follow Mike Patton aka The General as he puts his thoughts in on sports.

Archive for the tag “Jeff Green”

The Clippers And Grizzlies Traded Bad For Inconsistent

The trade deadline has not been kind to fans of the Memphis Grizzlies. They saw their best shooter get traded to the Charlotte Hornets and all they got in return was forward PJ Hairston (who has been inconsistent at best), veteran center Chris “Birdman” Andersen (he has been missing in action all season) and four second-round picks that probably will not amount to much. But just when you thought it could not get any worse for the Grizzlies, they made another trade that makes you scratch your head. The Grizzlies traded forward Jeff Green to the Los Angeles Clippers for the services of guard Lance Stephenson and a 2019 protected pick. And with that, the Grizzlies now have lost yet another offensive weapon while taking on another player that is still trying to find himself. All while the Clippers will get to see what they can do with Jeff Green more than likely being their starting small forward eventually. But in reality, what both really did is swap inconsistent (Green) for bad (Stephenson). And in the end, both could end up not being a factor for their respective teams.

In Memphis, the main ballhandler has always been Mike Conley Jr., The dynamic point guard has been the best perimeter player for the Grizzlies for a while now. What the Grizzlies have always lacked is that scoring ability and consistency from the small forward position. They honestly have not had great production from that position since they had the services of Rudy Gay. In Green, they had someone that was at least giving them a pulse at that position. But with him gone, the pulse again goes to a flatline as they try to audition people for that position. And in Courtney Lee’s spot, they will now audition Lance Stephenson potentially. In Stephenson, the Grizzlies get a guy that can play tough defense. But for the Grizzlies, they already have a tough defender in Tony Allen. Offensively, Lance will make them even worse. He has not learned how to play without the basketball yet and the only way he can help this team on the offensive end is if he gets the ball in his hands. If Coach Dave Joerger can allow Stephenson to control the ball some, then maybe they will get some more out of him offensively. If not, then you are looking at another guy on the Grizzlies that cannot knock down an open shot and looks lost off the ball on the offensive end. That will make the Grizzlies even uglier offensively, especially without big man Marc Gasol for a while.

The Clippers are essentially being hailed as the winners in this trade. With what they were getting at the small forward position with Paul Pierce, Stephenson and whoever they threw out there, is nothing compared to what they could potentially get from Green. The veteran forward is averaging 12.5 points per game this season. He can hit the open jump shot, take the ball to the basket and he can play solid defense. And to add to that, he has played for Doc Rivers before (played for Doc in Boston) and he can play the power forward position and you have a player that could help this team. You would think that this would be a move to solidify what they have going on this year. But if you have taken a look at the career of Jeff Green, it can be summed up in one word: inconsistency. Green can come out and have a great game where he scores 20 points and then come out the next week and score two points. And it is that kind of inconsistency that has driven the fans of teams he has played for crazy. With the Clippers, he will be counted on to shoulder some of the offensive load, especially with Blake out for an undisclosed amount of time. It will be interesting to see if he can find some kind of consistency with the Clippers, but he more than likely will not. And that kind of inconsistent play will make Clippers fans loathe him. But fortunate for him, he can hide a little come playoff time because of Blake Griffin being back.

Both Stephenson and Green have not exactly got the best feelings out of fans of the teams they have played for. Stephenson was banished from Charlotte after his play was awful and he has not been the same since he left the Indiana Pacers in free agency. And he more than likely will have Grizzlies’ fans throwing things at their television sets. As for Green, he has been a tease for his entire career. And he will definitely be one for the Clippers. It is only a matter of “when” and not “if”. The trade has being spoken of as a win for the Clippers, but they just traded bad for inconsistent. And there is no telling how that will turn out.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter and check me out on Facebook.

Advertisements

The Window Has Closed On The Memphis Grizzlies

(photo courtesy of Justin Ford/USA Today Sports)

(photo courtesy of Justin Ford/USA Today Sports)

The Memphis Grizzlies have been a physical team that bludgeons the opponent into submission over the years. Their combination of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in the post would constantly beat up opposing teams inside. And with that combination inside and Mike Conley Jr. giving them good point guard play, they have rode that success to playoff appearance after playoff appearance. But unfortunately for them, they have not been able to turn the corner and win a title. Each season, the Grizzlies continued to use this formula to win games and make the playoffs. Last year, they ran into a buzzsaw when they faced the Golden State Warriors and lost in the Conference semifinals. Going into the offseason, the Grizzlies had to make a decision on center Marc Gasol. Were they going to let him walk in free agency or were they going to bring him back and team him with Randolph again? Well, the Grizzlies decided they were not done with him just yet and signed Gasol to a five-year, $110 million deal to remain with the team. The thinking was they would pick up right where they left off. But unfortunately, the Grizzlies have not gained the traction they thought they would. The team currently stands at 19-17 which is good for sixth place in the West. But looking at this team as they currently stand, they are not ready to win a title at all and are not serious contenders. They have moved Zach Randolph out of the starting lineup and have went to a small lineup with Matt Barnes and Jeff Green starting at the forwards. But in all honesty, this team has missed the window of opportunity they had to win a title.

The Grizzlies were a team that seemed to have all the pieces except for one during their runs in the playoffs. They had solid point guard play and great inside play with Randolph and Gasol, but they never were able to get someone consistent at the small forward position. They once had a guy there at that position in Rudy Gay, but they traded him away to Toronto in 2013. But ever since then, they have never been able to replace his production at the position. It seems like everyone in the West had a small forward or wing player that could defend and make things happen on the offensive end but them. And now they are stuck with a guy like Jeff Green. The Grizzlies traded for him from Boston and thought they had solved the small forward position. But Green has been the same inconsistent player he has always been and that has not helped the Grizzlies at all. And what hurts them even more is they are paying Green $9 million this season for 10.7 points and the inconsistent play that has plagued him for virtually his whole career. Another thing that has plagued this team is consistent bench scoring. This year they have a solid bench in terms of scoring. With Zach Randolph and Mario Chalmers coming in off the bench, they surely have firepower that can pick them up when they have droughts. But over the years, they have had some pretty pedestrian bench scoring. And that has not helped when they are in the playoffs and need someone to give them a lift on that end. These two things along with bad shooting has cost the Grizzlies time and time again on their playoff runs.

Going forward, the Grizzlies have to make a move. This team is 19-18, but they are 5-15 against teams that are over .500 this season, which is not good at all. The team has been shaken up a little by going with the smaller lineup. But even with that, the Grizzlies have not gone on a run like they usually do. So since the team is not likely to go anywhere, it is time to make some deals. The first deal that would happen is Jeff Green going somewhere. The veteran small forward has a contract that is expiring at the end of the season. Some team trying to contend will get fooled by the potential of Green and want to give up a pick for him or either some talented young players. With that happening, that gives the Grizzlies more cap space to operate going into the 2016 season and potentially some picks to work with. The move also could free up playing time for young wing Jordan Adams. The next player that needs to go is Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies are paying him over $9 million to be a bench player for them. His stats have declined for the last three years. And although he has endured himself to the city of Memphis, the relationship has gone as far as it can go. They may have missed the window to get rid of him, but they may as well try to see what they can get for him. The main thing with potentially trading both of these players is to shed money and to get younger. At some point, the Grizzlies have to retool. They cannot continue to try and add pieces to win and struggle like they are right now.

The run has been great to watch. The Grizzlies did it their way and did it better than anyone else. But unfortunately, they did not have the pieces that they needed to win that elusive title while they were searching for. Now the Grizzlies are a team that is past their expiration date. And that means it is time for them to start making some wholesale changes and get younger. We shall see what happens, but the writing is on the wall about this team already.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

Memphis Versus Golden State: Grit And Grime Versus Flash And Splash

Draymond Green got the better of Jeff Green this time on a swoop to the hoop. (photo courtesy of www.chatsports.com)

Draymond Green got the better of Jeff Green this time on a swoop to the hoop. (photo courtesy of http://www.chatsports.com)

Two of the top teams in the NBA’s Western Conference are meeting up in the Conference Semifinals. The Golden State Warriors have been resting for a while since they swept the upstart New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs. Point guard Steph Curry was spectacular and so was his Splash Brother, Klay Thompson. The Pelicans stood no chance against Golden State honestly. The Memphis Grizzlies gave the basketball world a little more drama in their series against the Portland Trailblazers. Up 3-0 in the series, the Trailblazers pulled out a game to send the series back to Memphis. But that was where their playoff journey ended as Memphis rose up and finally knocked the Trailblazers out. Along the way to the Grizzlies winning the series, they unfortunately had a big injury occur. Point guard Mike Conley, Jr. suffered facial fractures when he collided with Trailblazers guard CJ McCollum in the first round of the playoffs and he had to have surgery to repair the fractures. As far as his outlook for the series, he will be traveling with the team but it is uncertain whether Conley, Jr. will be playing or not. Many expect him to play this series, but there is just no assurances when it will happen. Anything can happen with these two excellent teams doing battle. However, the one thing we can be sure of is there will be a battle of styles between them.

The Golden State Warriors have been a team on the run for most of the season. They are known to pick up the speed when they run their offense and are in perpetual motion at all times. The results of that perpetual motion is usually a wide-open layup or a great play by either Steph Curry, Klay Thompson or Draymond Green. The biggest mismatch if Conley is able to make it on the court will be Draymond Green. The Warriors may be driven by their star guards, but the undersized power forward of the Warriors has been thriving when they have found him trailing the play for those wide-open three-pointers. The tempo allows him to get those type of looks and the more the tempo is pushed, the better he will be. The biggest thing that Memphis can do to stop him is slow the tempo as much as possible. The more they dictate the tempo, the less amount of possessions the Warriors can have to make things happen. But if the Grizzlies are not able to make that happen, then they acquired another option that could come up big in this series. Forward Jeff Green was acquired by the Grizzlies in January. Some envisioned him as the guy that could put Memphis over the top this season. But so far, he has been missing in action in the playoffs. He awakened some in the last game of the Portland series, but he just seemed to be passive and could not buy a shot. In this series, his versatility will be very much needed. Standing at 6’9”, Green can man the power forward position for the Grizzlies as well as play the small forward position. His quickness and length could be something that could both Draymond Green due to him being used to guarding perimeter players. The trade off, however, will be that Memphis will only be able to have one of their big men on the court at that time. And in this situation with their opponent, it could be Zach Randolph as the guy that loses playing time. However it pans out, the Grizzlies have to find a way to either matchup with the Warriors or assert their will on them.

The Grizzlies, unlike the Warriors, have a deliberately slow tempo. And unlike the Warriors, their system is built around inside play. For a few seasons, Memphis has been pounding their opponents into submission while winning at a high rate. And no other player has been the face of that movement other than Zach Randolph. The bruising power forward has been a revelation to Memphis ever since he landed there back in 2009. And in this series, he could be the focal point of the offense. He is undoubtedly more physical than LaMarcus Aldridge, who Golden State played against last series. And to add to it, he has the feathery touch to hit the midrange jump shot as well. His physical abilities along with his work on the offensive boards could cause a guy like Draymond Green some issues in the post. And as a result, there could be some foul trouble in his future. Because of that post mismatch, it will be important for Golden State to pick up the tempo so that Green can take advantage of Randolph at the other end of the court. But if the Warriors are not able to slow down the tempo, then there will be two reserves that could be vital. Power forward David Lee has fought injuries for much of the season. And even when he was playing, he did not get the minutes he was used to as a reserve this season. His role may not be as big as it once was, but this series he could be big in defending Zach Randolph. The bigger body could help keep him off the boards and make things a lot harder for him to score. Another reserve for the Warriors that could be off assistance more is Marreese Speights. Speights made a small albeit important impact on the last series versus the Pelicans and this series he could see more action. He, like David Lee, is a bigger body. And that bigger body could again be something that causes problems for Randolph. The Warriors have to find a way of matching up with the bruising Grizzlies lineup.

The speed of the Warriors versus the power of the Grizzlies. Which one will take over this series and assert their will? It will be fun to see what adjustments each team makes with each game that passes. And ultimately, it will be interesting to see what happens when one team gets hit with a body blow and how they responds. It should be a good series between both teams and ultimately a good test for both teams to see if they are as good as they think they are.

Post Navigation