NBA AM: The Grizzlies Have Grown Up
Growing Up Grizzly: If you have followed the Memphis Grizzlies long enough, you’ll know what this means, the Grizz have finally grown up together.
It was not too long ago that the Grizzlies were a joke in the Western Conference. Lots of young talent, but winning and winning convincingly was not in the cards.
Last season the Grizzlies showed signs of being a good team, but where still hampered by growing pains and injuries, this season the Grizzlies have been on a tear and find themselves among the elite in the West. Memphis big man Zach Randolph talked with HOOPSWORLD about what’s changed in Memphis and how good this Grizz team can be:
The Grizzlies are currently 14-4 on the season including 9-2 at home and 7-3 in conference. If the Playoffs started today Memphis would be the third seed in the West.
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Gordon and Davis: The New Orleans Hornets are hoping to get top overall pick Anthony Davis back in the lineup as soon as this week. Davis has been training relentlessly to rehab his injured ankle and is likely going to see action in the coming days. Not too far behind Davis is Eric Gordon, who could also see his return to the floor some time in December, and possibly around Christmas.
Gordon has been working with strength trainers and rehab specialists in LA, trying to overcome a setback in his knee recovery. Hornets’ sources say Gordon is making tremendous progress; so much so that they are hopeful he can make his season debut before the end of 2012.
There has been talk that if Gordon cannot make a recovery after this extend rehab stretch that he may require additional surgery, so there is a lot riding on the success of this treatment and rehab.
The Hornets have been a scrappy bunch that plays incredibly hard; they just have been outgunned on most nights. The return of David and Gordon should solve that problem.
As HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy pointed out last week, before his injuries Davis was on pace to have one of the best rookie seasons statistically in the modern era.
The Hornets are 5-14, which puts them dead last in the Western Conference and fourth worst in the NBA.
Think you have what it takes to out pick us? Week 6 of the Weekly Pickem game produced just two winners this week. HOOPSWORLD’s Weekly Pickem game is a free picks game, with weekly winners getting an adidias HOOPSWORLD T-Shirt. The season long winner will get a chance to win an Apple Gift card or an iPad. So far there is just one possible winner, and she’s won the weekly game just twice, so it’s not too late to get into the game and win the grand prize. Week 7 is ready for your picks, so log in and start picking.
Gasol And The Rumors: The word form the LA Lakers is that they want to try and make the Pau Gasol situation work this season and that getting him healthy and back on the floor is one of the keys to righting the unsteady Laker ship.
The Lakers have been pretty consistent in this stance, but that has not stopped teams from calling, agents from speculating and media outlets from reporting trade scenario involving the seven foot Spaniard.
So what’s real?
For economic reasons the LA Lakers would love to cash Gasol’s $19 million salary into a couple of small dollar, better fitting pieces. The problem is that kind of deal is not out there for the Lakers and they know it. What’s out there for the Lakers are sideways deals, deals for other dented can-type players that have somewhat questionable fits or terrible contracts.
The Lakers value Gasol tremendously and just giving him away is not in the cards and just giving him away for lesser talent is also not in the cards.
The Lakers want to try and get Gasol healthy. They want to get Gasol on the floor with Steve Nash and see how that changes the dynamic of things.
If after those two things happen and Gasol still doesn’t fit, then the Lakers may entertain some of the ideas being kicked around in the media, but for now all of the parties involved are denying that Gasol is being shopped around and the teams that have been linked to him have been equally as quick to downplay talks or involvement.
The Lakers have done the dance with Gasol suitors long enough to know who has real interest. What the Lakers really want to see happen is for this scenario to work out.
If it doesn’t, then you may see more interest in a Gasol deal for basketball reasons, and right now the Lakers just want Gasol to get healthy, because even if it doesn’t work, trading Gasol becomes a lot easier when he’s playing than when he’s sitting, especially if the Lakers want anything of value in return for him.
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NBA Chats: There are two NBA Chats scheduled for today starting with HOOPSWORLD’s Bill Ingram at 11am. Bill’s chats do fill up fast so getting in early is always wise. HOOPSWORLD’s Stephen Brotherston will hold down his weekly NBA chat at 3pm EST. You can always find the next NBA Chat here: http://www.hoopsworld.com/upcoming-chats and if you are looking for Previous Chats try here: http://www.hoopsworld.com/previous-chats