It’s a shot in the dark. A Hail Mary. It’s you at the bar at 2 a.m. looking at that girl finishing her Cabernet.
Memphis is taking a shot on Gilbert Arenas that is not likely to work out, but neither side has anything to lose so they have decided to go for it.
Arenas will sign with the Grizzlies, general manager Chris Wallace confirmed to the Commercial Appeal.
Arenas, who was in Memphis the past two days, passed a physical and signed a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. Memphis will pay him a prorated salary worth about $300,000. The 10-year veteran is expected to join the Griz Wednesday in Portland. Memphis begins a four-game West Coast road trip tonight at Sacramento.
Mike Conley will still be the starter and see the bulk of the minutes at the point for Memphis. But behind him has been Josh Selby and Jeremy Pargo, and coach Lionel Hollins clearly does not have a lot of faith in them. They needed to take a shot and Arenas was out there.
The problem is Arenas was not good at all playing for the Magic last season — he shot just 34.4 percent on the year, compiling a sad PER of 8.6. And is defense was actually worse than his offense. He was better the first part of the season in Washington, but not much. He blamed all that on health issues.
Arenas has worked out for a few teams and reports have been consistent that he has lost weight and is moving pretty well. He said he had the Kobe Bryant procedure on his knees and he did pass the Grizzlies’ team physical.
What’s the risk? Well, this is Gilbert Arenas, a guy not exactly known for taking this seriously in the locker room. And bringing in guns. So Memphis is banking on him having grown up and will not screw up the chemistry of everyone’s favorite Western Conference dark horse. The easy part is if he doesn’t work out on the court, you just bury him on the bench with the other PGs. And run Conley into the ground.
Memphis feels they have nothing to lose on this, so they are taking their shot and giving Arenas one.
So much attention is paid to Lonzo Ball‘s father, jumper and passes. Those are the major storylines for the Lakers rookie.
But he has such a diverse skill set, and this is absolutely part of it. Ball is a savvy off-ball cutter in the halfcourt with the athleticism to get above the rim and finish alley-oops.
But finish them over 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, who was tracking the play (though slightly late)? That’s an eye-opener, even in the Kings’ 113-102 win.
When Marc Gasol‘s 3/4-court attempt went through the net, it seemed to barely matter the ball left his hands just after the first-quarter buzzer. After all, the Grizzlies led the Mavericks by 15, anyway.
Turns out, Memphis really needed that basket.
Toronto has been the second best team in the East this young season. Not that anyone is really convinced they will be called that by the time we get to the playoffs (or even the All-Star break, or even Christmas), but for the first 16-18 games of the season their new move-the-ball offense had them at 11-5 and looking solid.
Wednesday night the Knicks dismantled the Raptors.
Especially in the third quarter when the Knicks went on a 28-0 run to blow the doors off the Raptors (video above). The Knicks dominated the third 41-10, when Toronto shot just 1-of-16 from the floor.
New York is gaining confidence with each win this season, they are a fun team to watch that is starting to find an identity (now that a certain three-sided shaped one is not being forced upon them). Kristaps Porzingis is a monster, and while the Knicks overpaid the market for Tim Hardaway Jr. he has lived up to his contract this season. With rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina showing some nice defense and playmaking skills as a rookie (although he is undoubtedly still a work in progress), you can see a path to a strong future unfolding. There are real reasons for hope in New York. Someone just keep James Dolan distracted and away from the basketball operations side of the building.
I’m not sure who benefited from Devin Booker‘s buzzer-beating, overtime-forcing 3-pointer. The Suns still lost to the Bucks, 113-107. The extra five minutes featured more of the same relatively bad basketball we’d seen between Phoenix (bad) and Milwaukee (shorthanded) through 48 minutes.
But darn if this shot wasn’t really cool and clutch.