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ENEMY LINES an opposing team's scout sizes up the Grizzlies
L. Jon Wertheim
October 27, 2003
This is an example of how you build a franchise. The Grizzlies have a lot of young assets who will not only help them move up in the standings this year but also can be traded if Jerry West decides to go in a different direction....
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October 27, 2003

Enemy Lines An Opposing Team's Scout Sizes Up The Grizzlies

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This is an example of how you build a franchise. The Grizzlies have a lot of young assets who will not only help them move up in the standings this year but also can be traded if Jerry West decides to go in a different direction....

You'll see their defense improve after a full training camp with Hubie Brown, who was brought in after an 0-8 start and led them to a club-record 28 wins. A lot of coaches don't want to risk making a bad situation worse by demanding a lot from players when things are going south, but Hubie confronts guys and expects that they show improvement. And the way they played last year illustrated the benefits of his approach....

Jason Williams responded by finishing tied for second in the league in assists. He still needs to focus on completing the simplest plays—rather than the glitziest—and on game management, which means knowing when to risk the pull-up three in transition....

James Posey can defend the one, two or three positions, and he'll be really effective in the open court with Williams pushing the ball....

It looks like the plan is to build around their young scorers Pau Gasol and Mike Miller. Gasol has shown resiliency in the paint against the bigger, stronger guys in the West, but he is still maturing. The arrival of center Jake Tsakalidis will take some of the physical burden off him. Miller can do a lot of things offensively and is becoming a better defender....

Memphis will be a tough opponent, because the team's deep enough to play hard for 48 minutes. Earl Watson is one of the best backup point guards in the league, Wesley Person gives them perimeter shooting, and Bo Outlaw fits in with Hubie's ball-pressuring style. Then there's Shane Battier, who's smart and does a lot of things well. He may never be an All-Star, but good teams need guys like him.

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