Pretty Much Screwed: The 2013-14 Memphis Grizzlies

  • Rick Chandler

When your owner challenges Michael Jordan to a game of one-on-one for a million bucks, you might be Pretty Much Screwed.

Taking on Mark Cuban is one thing …

But MJ? That’s showing signs of delusion — not a good trait for an NBA owner. San Jose Mercury News:

After Tuesday’s 102-99 preseason win over the Milwaukee Bucks, several Grizzlies players were a bit diplomatic, but seemed sure their owner could not compete with Jordan. Center Marc Gasol said it’s an indication Pera is competitive, just like Gasol would like to play a soccer match with Lionel Messi or other members of the Barcelona team.

“I don’t think so,” Gasol said when asked if Pera could beat Jordan. “I don’t think he has a chance, but he’s a competitor, that’s for sure. ”

Guard Mike Conley also had his doubts that the Grizzlies owner could stay with Jordan.

“I love Pera, but I don’t think he could beat Mike,” Conley said.

Actually the Silicon Valley billionaire isn’t bad (see video he posted) — I have no doubt he could dispatch Cuban. Pera had originally planned to play Tony Allen for $100,000, to be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, but that fell through.

And Speaking Of Conley …

Enough about the owner. The Grizzlies will be powered by actual active players: chief among them Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Point guard Conley is coming off his best season, in which he averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 assists and 2.1 steals. But he averages 17 points in the playoffs, proving he can produce when needed the most.

Forward Randolph (15.4 points, 11.2 rebounds last season) and Everything Player Gasol (last season’s Defensive Player of the Year) complete the Memphis Triplets.

Why They’re Probably Screwed

The Griz were 56-25, last season, second 2nd in the Southwest, losing in the Western Conference Finals to the Spurs. It was their lack of scoring punch that prevented them from getting over the hump, and we’re pretty sure that the addition of guards Mike Miller, Andre Barrett and Jamaal Franklin and center Kosta Koufos will not be the answer.

New Head Coach = Big ?

Dave Joerger is a head coach for the first time, and I think it’s pretty much incumbant of first-time head coaches to have to say things like he’s going to speed up the pace, spread out the offense, take shots earlier in the shot clock, etc., etc., blah, blah. The reality is that the offense can’t take what the defense doesn’t give you, and Memphis needs one more big playmaker to be a threat to win the whole thing.

This Just In …

“I think that’s comical,” Jordan told the Charlotte Observer. “It didn’t make any sense. Why would I play one one-on-one? It’s a no-win situation for me no matter what.”

Also, This Just In …

Their Mascot Is Really More Of A UFC Fan

Here’s Grizz, squaring off with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who is a Memphis native. The Grizzlies were behind the recent effort to legalize MMA and boxing in Tennessee.

Season prediction: 51-30, 2nd Southwest.