by Kelley D. Evans
Remember last year when Dave Joerger took the reigns as the Grizzlies new head coach and shared his intention of engineering a quicker offense with more outside shooting?
He wanted to keep opponents from clogging the paint, which would open shots for more players and keep the bigs – most notably Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph – from getting bruised in the paint.
During the first half of last season, he tried to incorporate that philosophy. However, the team was ingrained into a defense-and-inside-out-shooting approach. Onlookers watched as the team struggled with Joerger’s vision. Many wondered if the offense would pick up. Grizz players were frustrated; Joerger seemingly even more.
By the second half of last season, the first-year coach made a strategic adjustment. He regrouped, taking his hard-core bunch back to what had been its bread and butter.
Fast forward and guess what? Joerger’s philosophy has come to the forefront.
The Grizzlies have a quicker offense and they make more outside shots. The players now spread the floor better, which keeps the bigs from being bruised down low. This has created more shots for center Gasol, who has turned in 30-point performances that have turned NBA heads.
“The right play is move, catch it, pass it or catch it and drive it,” said Joerger. “Just be very decisive about it.”
Joerger has shown decisiveness without forcing his brand of basketball and the record reflects that things have pretty much fallen into place.
Following a whopping 107-91 win that left the Los Angeles Clippers in dismay, Joerger offered this reflection:
“It’s just having guys that can space the floor and create closeouts to people. We are making shots and making threes.”
NOTE: On the road, with a trip to the West Coast and to Houston, the Grizzlies return to the FedExForum to face the defending NBA Champions, San Antonio Spurs, on Dec. 5.
(Follow Kelley D. Evans on Twitter: @KelleySthrnGrl.)
- Written by Kelley Evans
- Category: Original