By: Anthony Sain ( @ SainAsylum )
No you are not seeing things, your current Memphis Grizzlies roster has six players on it that are either rookies or second year players. This is especially surprising considering the Grizzlies previous history of notoriously giving up on young players prematurely. Names like DeMarre Carroll, Greivis Vasquez, Tony Wroten and Kyle Lowry come to mind as players that we dealt away too soon, only to see them blossom and develop properly somewhere else. This does cause an interesting conundrum for Chris Wallace and company being that our roster currently sits at 16 players assuming that Nick Calathes will not be returning. Simply not signing Andrew Harrison and maintaining his rights would get the roster down to the maximum 15 but the Grizz are also known for wanting one empty roster spot. This of course came back to bite us in hindsight when we cut Hassan Whiteside to keep this spot available for emergencies. Grizz trade rumors for 2 for 1 and 3 for 1 trades have been heavy but until one of those actually happens, getting down to the desired number of 14 will be difficult, IF the Grizz want to keep 5 of the 6 rookies not including Harrison, who of course currently is not under contract.
By: Anthony Sain ( @ SainAsylum )
The 14th Amendment of the Constitution basically states that anyone that is accused of a crime has the right to a fair trial before they are subject to the punishment suitable to the violation. There is no comparable rule in the NBA unfortunately which has lead to rookie guard Jordan Adams playing among the least amount of minutes of all first round rookies this season. Chip Williams of GrizzlyBearBlues.com shared the specifics on this by stating that only Joel Embiid (injured for the season), Julius Randle (injured for the season), Dario Saric (overseas), Bruno Caboclo, Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic (overseas) & Josh Huestis (NBA D-League) are the only first round rookies that have played less than Adams. He also stated that both TJ Warren and Doug McDermott have both nearly doubled Adams in minutes played this season. Doubled. A first round pick drafted number 22 overall played in only 30 games this season averaging about 8 mins per game. This lack of playing time from a player that has shown signs of the ability to score of the dribble, shoot from long range and be a playmaker is frustrating when you are a fan of team that lacks well..scoring, shooting and playmaking. Seeing Adams’ rookie season be seemingly wasted away has led myself among others to adopt the #FreeJordanAdams hashtag in verbal protest of the unjust imprisonment of our high upside shooting guard.
Immediately after Adams was drafted many questioned where he would get minutes this year in a stacked wing rotation that at the time included Courtney Lee, Tony Allen, Tayshaun Prince, Vince Carter and Quincy Pondexter. There was also the media induced logic that teams that are contending for a championship don’t play rookies which I myself attempted to debunk by finding several examples of players that were rookies that played in at least half of their teams games that season. In the last 5 years alone there were 9 out of 20 conference finalist that had players that fit this criteria. When you see that not only players like Kawhi Leonard, Reggie Jackson, Steven Adams and Norris Cole have played significant minutes for title contending teams as rookies but also that players like Orlando Johnson and Greg Stiesma have as well, it’s troubling to see how little opportunity that Adams has been given this season to develop. Yes, he’s gotten practice time and yes he’s spent time in the D-League but none of that is the same as actually NBA time in an NBA game. Not even close. I’m not saying at all that Adams should have replaced anyone in the rotation or played a ton of minutes but there simply should have been more minutes given to him. There were stretches of games and of the season where playing time was available, most notably after the injury to Vince Carter. I won’t touch on reasons why Adams should have been playing even while Carter was at his healthiest but I will say that what Adams has shown flashes of being able to bring has been more than what he have counted on from our wings this season. What is probably the most frustrating thing to me is how many fans and media members are now suggesting that Adams be thrown into the fire of the playoffs instead of Carter, who many believed would find some playoff magic this postseason. While that sounds amazing it’s also almost ridiculous to try to literally develop him on the fly based on the lack of time that he got during the season. A bad outing in the playoffs filled with rookie mistakes that could be detrimental to the team and to Adams psyche and career in the long term. I also almost kicked my television when I saw how well Rodney Hood, a player Adams is often compared to, and who in my opinion is not nearly as good as Adams has developed into a good players after being brought along from the very beginning of the season. It was laughable when I saw fans on twitter say that we should have drafted Hood instead of Adams knowing that if the roles were reversed that Adams would probably be thriving in Utah and we would be in Memphis saying #FreeRodneyHood. It’s maddening, it’s saddening and it’s also unfortunate that Adams is not ready to play in the playoffs this year. We could use a lot of what he has shown the ability to do albeit in a small sample size this season but do to the circumstances of the season he will be limited to the confinement of the bench in the playoffs. Until then keep the #FreeJordanAdams tweets trending my friends.
The Sain Asylum
The Sain Asylum
By: Anthony Sain
When the initial returns from the 2015 All Star fan-vote were released last week, Grizzlies Center Marc Gasol was among the top 3 frontcourt players in votes, placing him for the time being in the starting lineup for the NBA All Star game. The 64th Annual All-Star game will be held in New York City on Sunday February 15th, and if Gasol is indeed voted in to be a starter, he will be the first ever Grizz in franchise history to achieve that lofty feat. The release of the first voting returns also had Grizz fans looking for fellow teammates Zach Randolph, who leads the team in rebounding at 11.4 rebounds per game as well as Mike Conley, the teams second leading scorer. Although Randolph has definitely showed his worth during his absence in the last few games after suffering a bruised knee, in this first edition of Noise From The Sain Asylum here on BLU3WorldOrder.com, I will take a look at what makes Mike Conley All Star worthy.
I, like many other Grizz fans felt the initial disappointment when we saw that Mike Conley was not even ranked among the top 10 guards in early all star vote returns. Questionable vote getters like Laker guard Jeremy Lin as well as a recent addition to the Western Conference, Dallas guard Rajon Rondo were both ahead of Conley which leaves many scratching there head as well as questioning the NBA fan vote process. Even a player like probable starter Kobe Bryant, while even though he is amongst the leagues leading scorers, still plays on one of the worst teams in the NBA. It will be a hard hill to climb for Conley, who is again having his best statistical season of his career averaging 18.3 points 6.0 assist and 1.2 steals per contest. The reserves are selected by NBA coaches league-wide and they are responsible for selecting an additional two guards, three frontcourt players and two more players of any position. With Curry and Bryant more than likely being awarded the nod as the All Star Game’s starting backcourt, it’s also probably safe to assume that NBA leading scorer and MVP candidate James Harden as well as Klay Thompson, will both get the next two backcourt spots. Thompson, who is the second leading scorer on the West’s current conference leading team the Golden State Warriors, is averaging 21.1 points per game and shooting 42.3% from three-point range. Conley could in essence be selected to one of the final two reserve positions, but with incumbent All Star Damian Lillard as well as multi-time All Star selection Chris Paul both having seasons comparable to Conley, this may be a tall task even if both of the last two spots are given to guards.