By Anthony Sain ( @SainAsylum )
Second year point guard Nick Calathes is causing quite the conundrum these days with his stellar play on defense coming off the bench since the Vince Carter injury. Calathes, who has had a true roller coaster career here in Memphis in his short stint, has been remarkable lately doing things that effect the scoreboard in numerous ways. Whether it’s elite level on the ball defense, breaking up a play in the passing lane, or just being generally disruptive, Calathes has definitely given Coach Dave Joerger a difficult decision to make when veteran Vince Carter ultimately returns. Calathes was booed on his home court after the Bayless trade and then was cheered when he played well (not to mention his new buzzcut) after the Conley injury when he was forced to start. He was awarded NBA Rookie of the Month for February 2014 but was later labeled as the scapegoat when he was found with tamoxifen, a banned substance, in bloodstream. Many still speculate that Calathes would have been the difference in a pivotal game 4 against the Thunder in the playoffs in which then Thunder backup torched the Grizz for 32 points. After his suspension Calathes came back showing signs of rust and was not able to regain his backup point guard spot from veteran Beno Udrih, who has been a vital part to the teams bench production. Since then Calathes has definitely shown his worth coming in off the bench and playing along side Udrih in basically a three guard lineup with Tony Allen at small forward. Calathes has thrived in this lineup and has some Grizz fans in no rush to see Vince Carter back in the rotation.
By Anthony Sain ( @SainAsylum )
In a city that is known for it’s rich tradition in basketball as well as it’s passionate fan base, the upstart Memphis Soul Kings are ready to debut before their local fans. Members of the Central Basketball Association, a minor developmental league composed of teams mainly from the southeast region of the country, the Soul Kings are preparing for thier second season. The purpose of the league is to give players exposure to coaches and scouts for potential deals overseas, in the NBA or it’s developmental league. Last season the Soul Kings finished 4-6, losing four or their final six games; ending the season in sixth place out of seven teams. Assistant Coach Cedric Lewis spoke on some of the obstacles that he faced last season as well as how they will address them this year. “It’s a big difference. The pace of the game is a lot faster than we anticipated” said Coach Lewis. “We had a lot of players that we shuffled in and out landing deals overseas, so that kind of hurt us. We didn’t have the same team or team chemistry throughout the year so that’s why we took a couple of losses.” Coach Lewis mentioned that being that the CBA is a developmental league in which many players use the opportunity that the league presents to be seen by overseas professional teams, that it is often their biggest obstacle because guys may get called up to a more lucrative opportunity at any time. He takes pride in preparing his players for the next level, but admitted that it can come as a blow when a key player gets called up. Last season the Soul Kings had players called up overseas as well as the ABA and other pro leagues, which was something that Lewis stated was one of his greatest accomplishments.
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.