“They don’t have any spacing. They need three-point shooters.” These have been two of the biggest common arguments against the Memphis Grizzlies and their abilities to contend for the NBA Title. This offseason, however, was a major step towards change for Memphis, and for Marc Gasol.
In the offseason, the Grizzlies added the abilities of Chandler Parsons and Troy Daniels to go along with Mike Conley and James Ennis, showing that they wanted to make it a point to grab at least a couple more shooters for this team. On top of that, the Grizzlies new head coach David Fizdale, has given Marc Gasol a goal for three-point attempts every night, and decided to split up the usual starting duo of Zach Randolph and Gasol that has clogged the paint for multiple seasons now. Fizdale has even told Gasol that he will bench him if he gives up open looks.
Last season, Marc Gasol only attempted 17 total three-pointers. So, the fact that Fizdale wants him to put up at least four threes per game can come across as a little surprising. He will not automatically become some sort of Anthony Davis or Karl-Anthony Towns shooting jumpshots from all over, but being able to stretch the floor some more is only going to help. Gasol already possesses a great passing ability, and if he can become a threat on the perimeter, this would translate to more open lanes and even open shots for teammates. While on the perimeter, Gasol’s ability to find cutters with a lead pass would suck a defense inside, and then if he can hit upwards of 35% from three, well, that’s just absurd for a 7-footer.
What this means in the grand scheme of things is that the Grizzlies are finally joining the rest of the NBA towards the three-point trend. Sure, the “Grit and Grind” mentality will still be there, but there is also a finesse side of things this time. Bully ball isn’t the only thing that they will be known for from now on. This season is about a fresh new offensive mindset, and an extension of the floor that the Grizzlies desperately needed.