Memphis to prioritize size, versatility after Kyle Anderson acquisition
The Memphis Grizzlies are not the Grit N’ Grind version of yesteryear, but still plan to keep a part of that tough-minded identity moving forward after signing forward Kyle Anderson.
The team; which finished with a 22-60 record last season, good for second-worst in the league, will model the team after Anderson’s best skills — length, athleticism, and willingness to play hard at both ends of the floor.
“He’ll be used at his strengths, which is versatility,” said coach J.B Bickerstaff, according to Mark Giannotto of The Commercial Appeal. “He can play multiple positions. He can impact the game on both sides of the floor. I’ve been impressed, just going back and watching him and seeing him, is just how smart he is and how easily he thinks the game. Very rarely do you find him in the wrong spot, offensively or defensively, and he’s always doing something to help his teammates. I think guys like that are invaluable and his ability to play one through four, you can throw him on the floor at any position.”
If things go according to plan, the team will also adopt parts of his game, already boasting the physical aspects to evolve into a different team, despite the NBA’s transition into small ball lineups.
“We’ve been preaching playing a unique style of basketball,” said Bickerstaff. “Obviously, not reinventing the wheel but playing a game where size, physicality and toughness prevails. I think we’re fortunate that we have some big guys, some long guys, that are very skilled as well, so that they can do both.”
“You can be physical. You can defend. You can protect the paint. You can challenge shots. And then offensively, you can still dribble, shoot and pass. So we’re fortunate to have guys that can do those things, so that’s where we’re headed. Our guys are excited about it in the conversations we’ve had with them and I think we’re built for it.”
How far the Grizzlies go will hinge on the health of their stars as well, as Mike Conley comes back from a season-ending injury and center Marc Gasol from one of the worst years of his career.
Kyle Anderson, obviously, should play a huge role in all of this.