No time like the present (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday November 7, 2007 3:13PM; Updated: Wednesday November 7, 2007 4:10PM
We asked a scout to assess the new-look Grizzlies, who in the offseason hired Marc Iavaroni as coach, drafted Mike Conley Jr. and signed free agent Darko Milicic.
"I'm impressed with Iavaroni. He's trying to teach and be positive and build on the good things. He'll take more of a Phoenix-style approach; he's got guys who can run to the corners or run to the three-point line and spot up and hit an open shot, he's got athletic guys who can fill the lane in [Hakim] Warrick and [Stromile] Swift, and he's got a point guard who can make the decisions out there.
"Conley's going to be a good player, but I don't know how much playing time he's going to get with Damon Stoudamire and Kyle Lowry in front of him. Lowry can score a little bit better from the perimeter than Conley, who will penetrate and set up his teammates a bit more, but both of them are quick and will push the ball.
"But if you raise the tempo, I don't know how much Milicic is going to be able to contribute. I've always liked Milicic, but when you put a smaller lineup on the floor that's very quick and very mobile and very athletic, sometimes it takes the big guys out of the picture.
"One guy who won't be affected by the change of pace is Rudy Gay, who's a terrific player. He's strong, he's athletic and he's active. He can shoot from the perimeter and he can put the ball on the floor and take it to the basket. He also can play the 3 or the 4. With Gay, [Mike] Miller, Casey Jacobsen and Juan Carlos Navarro, they have four guys who on any given night, if one or two of them get hot, will make them awfully tough from the perimeter."
The Top 10: Most difficult road trips
There are few better indications of a club's quality than its performance on the road. Which teams this season face the sternest tests? Let's take a look at the 10 toughest road trips.
10. Miami Heat
Dates: Dec. 3-10 (six games)
9. Chicago Bulls
Dates: Nov. 15-25 (six games)
8. Toronto Raptors
Dates: Dec. 19-31 (six games)
7. Cleveland Cavaliers
Dates: Nov. 4-12 (six games)
6. Boston Celtics
Dates: March 15-22 (five games)