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Tony Allen states the obvious: Memphis better without Rudy Gay

Mar 15, 2013, 12:04 PM EDT

Tony Allen AP

Remember when Memphis traded Rudy Gay, getting back Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis, and the consensus among television talking heads was this was going to set Memphis way back because they gave up all that shot creation?

What they gave up was inefficient shot creation. What this trade allowed Memphis to do was focus on what it does well. (For the record, I had said it was a good trade for Memphis but that they might take a small step back on the court with Prince on the wing.)

Memphis has now won 14 of their last 15, moved into the three seed, and they look like a team nobody wants to face come the playoffs.

Tony Allen was honest in an interview with Hoopsworld — Memphis is better without Gay (hat tip to SLAM).

‘Well, I just think we turned into the team that we were two years ago, without the guy that we traded. Obviously, we’ve made some additions, but for the most part we’re the same team from that 2010-11 season…. Just Grit and Grind, in and out basketball. Everybody playing hard, playing together.’”

It tends to be a hockey thing to say a team is “built for the playoffs” but in Memphis’ case it applies to the NBA. They have the second best defense in the NBA for the season (behind only Indiana), they have a real Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Marc Gasol, and they want to pound you inside on offense with Gasol and Zach Randolph. The share the ball, they have a couple guys who can create and they play smart. In the last 15 games the Grizzlies offense is 5 points per 100 possessions better than it has been on the season overall — they are scoring more now without Gay.

Nobody wants to see Memphis come the playoffs, and that includes the squads in Oklahoma City and San Antonio that would still be favorites over them.

  1. dirtydavis - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    “Without the guy that we trade”… ouch!!!

  2. urodaddy07 - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    No love lost, I guess

  3. aboogy123456 - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    As a lakers fan I think this memphis team is very scary. I think the formula to beating a healthy laker team in a 7 game series is to be able to get away with single guarding kobe, and you need size to contend with howard and pau down low. The only three teams that fit this are the spurs, the thunder, and the grizzlies. they have the elite wing defender you can put on kobe (tony allen, kawhi, and sefolosha) The grizzlies have the best big men out of that group and marc gasol can pretty much shut down dwight. It’s fun to watch him and Z-bo play together and hopefully the lakers get lucky and can somehow play the clippers in the first round.

    • smoothaswilkes - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      What are you talking about? First, the Lakers need to make the playoffs. Second, if they do, healthy or not, it’s pretty clear how to beat the Lakers. Their transition defense is horrible, so that’s were teams will start. Second, if you single cover Kobe, he’s going to shoot the team out of games. Third, reread #1. It would help if they didn’t continually lose focus and NOT get the wins that they should (see the ATL game).

      Maybe I’m more of a pragmatic Lakers fan but I’m also humble enough not to troll a Memphis post with my rampant homerism. If the Lakers did catch Memphis in the playoffs, it would be a sweep.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        “if you single cover kobe, he’s going to shoot the team out of games”

        I said that to beat LA you need to get away with single guarding kobe, so are we not agreeing here? Most teams are forced to double him which opens up the offense for everyone else. BUT there are a few defenders out there such as the ones i mentioned that allow the team to not have to double kobe. It will lead to kobe having to shoot more because the offense is not as open, and kobe will be less efficient against these guys, it really makes a difference.

        please read my post before you post and act like you know what you’re talking about. I said what I thought are the two key factors to beating the lakers, not the only way to beat them. Transition defense, effort, etc..those are things I think they can correct in the playoffs where the games matter the most. Yes they may not make it but this is a very unique team in that the season is almost over and we still haven’t seen them at their full potential. My post was clearly respecting how awesome the grizzlies are and how I don’t want to face them.

        @lucifer

        you should learn how to read too. My post was about actual basketball matchups, and I said lakers would be lucky to play clippers, not that it’s going to happen. too much trash talk on this site and not enough basketball analysis.

      • lucifershuttlesworth - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:31 AM

        Thanks for sharing your clever insights and advice aboogy. Perhaps after I learn to read, i too will focus on analyzing actual basketball match-ups that aren’t going to happen. Additionaly i couldn’t agree with you more about the amount of trash-talking that permeates this blog.

    • lucifershuttlesworth - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      The only way the Lakers and Clippers meet in the first round is on your X-box. The way things are going, Memphis and Denver will have the 3 & 4 seeds, the Clips at 5 and Lakers at 7 or 8.

      • zacksdad - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Actually the Clippers would be the 4th seed. As division winner, they cannot fall below the 4th seed. Lakers have a small chance on getting to the 6th seed. So if the Clippers can move back to the third seed, there is a chance.

      • lucifershuttlesworth - Mar 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        Good point zacksdad, I stand corrected, forgot about the re-seeding. i dislike this for two reasons though. Firstly because i hate being wrong lol, but really because Denver has won the season series vs Clippers and if they compile a better record in a tougher division they deserve home-court if the two were to meet.

    • turdfurgerson68 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Wow, Laker fans ARE just like Yankee fans: arrogant and entitled.

      Face reality chief..even if the Lakers make the playoffs (even if 100% healthy) they gonna get steamrolled by either the Spurs, Thunder, Grizz, or even the Nuggets (Clippers = maybe).

      Get ready for a return to mid/late 1970’s Laker BB; 40-45 wins per season, max.

      • cmehustle - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        Wow as a Yankee fan I feel disrespected by that.We dont put superteams together and expect just because we’re the Yankees we should win it all every season….wait. Ok I take all that back

  4. mendenhallfumblemachine - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Aboogy i think the formulas been out all season long, no offense.

    • aboogy123456 - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      I’m not sure what season you’ve been watching, but when have we seen the lakers healthy? Maybe I’m being too optimistic that they will be healthy come playoff, but that’s the formula needed to beat them in my opinion.

      • progress2011 - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        In the words of Fake MJ…..”Want a Cookie” !!!

        Is someone supposed to care if your team has not been healthy.

        They chose to assemble all those old dudes and act surprised because they are injury prone!!!

        aahahah

  5. lucifershuttlesworth - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Looks like Memphis is the team that NOBODY wants to meet in the playoffs and I don’t blame them. Heat fans beware, your team’s rebounding issues will be fully exposed and exploited if the Grizz make it out of the West.

  6. burm61 - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Dude the Lakers are in a battle for the 8th seed. Can you stop acting like they have a prayer in the playoffs?

  7. bougin89 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Guys like Joe Johnson and Iggy are said to be overpaid and not franchise players(and rightly so) but you never hear people so that about Rudy Gay, never understood that. He’s never really seemed that good to me yet he’s paid like a true franchise player and Toronto is talking about extending him early.

  8. fotydaze - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    WHEN DID THIS ARTICLE BECOME ABOUT THE LAKERS? LOL

  9. alfiemonstaa - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Tony is just mad at Gay for stating that derozen is the best 2 hes ever played with LOL!!!!

  10. bifford - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Lol, Memphis doesn’t need to worry about the Lakers. They aren’t playing lottery teams in the playoffs.

  11. gotchangeforadollar - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    There’s no love lost between TA and Rudy. When Gay first got to Toronto he proclaimed Demar Derozan the best two guard he’s ever played with. TA plays the two in Memphis, so this is just him getting a jab in to Rudy.

  12. michaeljordanseviltwin - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Advanced stats have become so good that I can’t believe anybody still thinks Rudy Gay is a good player. He takes 10 shots a game from 16+ feet and shoots about 20% on those shots. He’s a HORRIBLE shooter. His defense is good sometimes but terrible other times. So Toronto wants to give a huge contract to a terrible shooter with average defense? Good luck with that.

    • dedalus13 - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      agree, but 2 game-winner-shots later, what happens?

  13. kinggw - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Maybe we should wait until the Griz play some quality competition before anointing them. They have won 14 of 15 but they went a month between wins over playoff teams. During that streak they’ve only beaten two playoff teams in the Warriors and Clippers.

    I think the Griz are a decent team, but I dont think they are better without Gay. They are playing good basketball but they are playing mostly garbage teams. Lets revisit this after they play the Nuggets and Thunder.

  14. zacksdad - Mar 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Hey where are all those Laker haters claiming the Paul Gasol trade was only in the Lakers’ favor. His brother was included in that trade.

    “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Marc Gasol”

    • progress2011 - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      Who is “Paul” Gasol……ahahahahah

      Dude come on here, making a lame comment…when “PAU” was a proven All Star and his brother was still developing, at the time.

      The statement that the FAKERS got “PAU” for FREE is because they didn’t give up ANYTHING to get “PAU”.

      We are not discussing what Memphis got…But the FACT the FAKERS gave NOTHIN to get a premier player.

      Laker RETARDS….go learn the names of your players….ahahahaha

      • cmehustle - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        LOL!!!

  15. sportsnut101 - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Tony Allen lucky he plays def really well or he would be out of league already

    Before that 2010-2011 miracle playoff run without gay gay was the team

    Love how he threw him under bus after he left. Man up n say it while he’s here.

  16. progress2011 - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Rudy Gay = Joe Johnson

    Two guys with size and ENORMOUS “POTENTIAL” !

    But both are stuck in The Wizard of OZ….because they both play the role of the Cowardly Lion !

    Neither guy have a HEART….they PONK out anytime they are faced with a potential challenge.

    Conversely, if they are playing a guy they are hands down better than, then they show the “POTENTIAL” they have.

    Both have received max contracts because of their “POTENTIAL” not actual Consistent Elite Player play.

  17. conjecture101 - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    we will see how “efficient” they are when they get bounced in the first round because they cant make shots down the stretch.

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