2005 Memphis Grizzlies Preview
At the time of publish the NBA regular season is around the corner. What better way to get you locked and loaded for a winning season than a free season preview from Maddux Sports. We remind you that MadduxSports.com is an expert NBA handicapper and offers NBA Picks against the point spread. For more information on this years basketball package click here. Onto the individual team preview for this years Memphis Grizzlies.
2005 Memphis Grizzlies Team Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies have a different look this year. Their free agent forward Stromile Swift signed with Houston and the club traded forward James Posey and guard Jason Williams to Miami. To fill the void left by Swift and Posey the team relied on this year’s draft. In the first round, they drafted Syracuse star Hakim Warrick and then traded to acquire Mississippi State forward Lawrence Roberts in round two. Can these two players make a difference?
Warrick is strong off the offensive boards and has a big vertical leap. He’s got a lot of energy and drive and that should help in the rebounding area. As a shooter Warrick lacks moves and finesse, which he’ll have to develop to be a true force on the court. At Mississippi State Roberts was a master rebounder—an area in which the Grizzlies are severely lacking. The hope is he can police and control the hoop, creating more chances for Memphis to score.
The heart and soul of the Grizzlies, power forward Pau Gassol and center Lorenzen Wright, are returning. Gassol, who missed 23 games in 2004-05 with an injured left foot, led the team in points per game (17.8) and shooting percentage (51.4%) and was second in rebounding (7.3). Gassol, in his fourth year at forward, is a skilled player with a penchant for inconsistent play. If he can rev it up every night, the Grizzlies will be that much stronger.
At 6’ 11” Lorenzen Wright is not your typical center. But despite the fact that he’s not a BIG big guy, he’s tough inside and shows up ready to slug it out every game. Wright is good at getting the ball off the glass and has a finely tuned jumper from mid-range. This will probably be his last year in a Memphis uniform, which means maybe next year Grizzlies’ President of Basketball Operations, Jerry West, will make an all-out effort to get a big man at center.
The other important acquisitions this past year were at point guard, with Memphis signing free agent Damon Stoudamire from Portland and trading to get point guard Bobby Jackson from the Kings. These are both quality players who can provide leadership and consistent play in the backcourt.
With Mike Fratello-- a controlling, defensively minded coach-- at the helm for a second year, the Memphis Grizzlies may develop into a stronger and tougher team. Fratello demands that basketball be played with unrelenting focus and energy through a disciplined half-court game. He sees it as a team effort and, unlike his predecessor Hubie Brown, Fratello does not rotate players every six minutes. He plays who’s hot and who he feels can contribute.
For Memphis this year, with all of the roster changes and questions, should be, if nothing else, a time to experiment and grow.
For more information on the 2005 Memphis Grizzlies Team, click here to visit their official team website.