Now that the lockout has officially eaten into the preseason, one familiar face to San Antonio Spurs fans is hoping a deal will be resolved soon.
Zach Randolph is a household name in the city of San Antonio as he led the Memphis Grizzlies to one of the biggest upsets in NBA history as his eighth seeded team took down the number one seeded Spurs in the playoffs.
And after a recent radio interview, Randolph says the thrill of defeating a top team and going to seven games in the second round has only fueled him more in the offseason.
“It was a great feeling. The feeling was unbelievable. You could feel it. You can still feel it. Winning a playoff, going to the second round, game seven, it just got us hungry. We want to win a championship and to tell you the truth we are really ready to compete. That’s why I say the lockout happens when things are turning around, but once we get back in place we’re gonna be a team to be reckoned with.”
Randolph has a good point. The Grizzlies will definitely be a team that can contend if the 2011-12' season ever begins. With Randolph and Marc Gasol (if Memphis can resign him) controlling the paint in Memphis, they're one of the few post-heavy teams that still exist in the league. The other team is the Los Angeles Lakers who have Gasol's brother Pau and big man Andrew Bynum.
As much as Spurs fans can say that the team may not have lost the series if Manu Ginobili didn't have a broken arm, they have to remember Memphis was a man down as well as Rudy Gay was also injured through the post season.
Randolph believes adding a healthy Gay to Memphis can help push them to the top.
Just continue to work, stay in shape, and come in and really try to win a championship. I’m talking to my guys about winning a championship. Rudy Gay is coming back and we’re gonna add another piece. I think we’ll be able to compete with anybody.”
As much as Randolph wants to play, there's also a Spurs team who are ready to show that last year's record wasn't a fluke and if you ask Tim Duncan, Ginobili, and Tony Parker if they'd like to face Memphis again in a playoff series - they most likely wouldn't hesitate in saying, "yes."
Memphis are currently a better team than us. So if we consider our Spurs are contenders? Why can't they?Who is the real cocky guy?
@shawnthefreak Eh, them being a better team than us is debatable. They did beat us, but that was a mismatch. The Timber Wolves had an atrocious record, yet they matched well against the Spurs. We had a very difficult time beating them. The consistent re-bounder, Kevin Love, had the same effect on our team that Randolph did. You're right about them currently being a better team than us; however, like I said, a minor tweak is all that is necessary for us to contend for a title this upcoming season if there is one.
@Joey The difference between the match up against the Grizz and the T-wolves is that we played the Grizz in the PLAYOFFS! Gee... The T-wolves might steal a game or two from us in the regular season regarding their energy and young legs, but compare their position to either the Spurs or Grizz make nonsense to me. Manu was a superior during last playoff and his absense really mean something but the Grizz also lost Gay, and not for just one game! Gosh! the whole series! It's no shame AT ALL to admit the Grizz was better than us last postseason. They've been a bad team for SOOOOOO long and we've been in a dynasty quite a while, if you agree; now they have a really good young core with quality role players. I still think they'll be better than us, if there's next season, unless we do some Major trade.
Not to discredit the Grizzlies. Conley and Vasquez outplayed Tony Parker and George Hill.. Duncan and McDyess had their hands full with Gasol and Randolph. Shane Battier was a pest. Not to mention the fact that they beat us without Rudy Gay. But, to me, the real troublemaker was Randolph. All we needed was a stop - a stop to Randolph's onslaught. That could have been the real difference maker that might have resulted in a momentum change to our favor. I believe Leonard will be our new prospect that can defend the Zach Randolph figures. His arms are ridiculously lengthy, he's athletic, and he takes pride in his defense. I have high hopes with him, and I have the Spurs' management who traded Hill for that pick to back me up. I disagree that we need a major trade to contend against the Grizzlies. I'm still confident in our core. I'm still inclined to a minor tweak in height and defense.
@shawnthefreak i consider them contenders, no question about it.
the Grizzlies would be lucky to a) re-sign Gasol and b) have a healthy Gay, but i doubt it because if there is a hard cap whenever the next season begins, how would they be able to re-sign Gasol, when they're already paying big money to Gay and Randolph? not to mention that Battier is a free agent, so if they wanted to try and keep Gasol, Gay, and Randolph together, Battier would be out.
Randolph's cocky attitude and continuation to opening past wounds is ticking me off. I hope we get that last piece that we needed last season (a legit big) and face Memphis in the playoffs again. This time we're going to spank their dingle berry Charmin a$$es. I say the playoffs because this is the Spurs - we're always in the playoffs despite the media calling it an end to our reign. "Fallen dynasty" my butt.
@Joey Yeh !!!! We need more fight. as a team, and as fans. This take it as a given is just bad attitude. . Keep fighting bro'!
@jojo707 I still believe in this team. TD may be getting old, but he's still better than most of the PFs out there. This team brought us 60+ wins last season, I refuse to give up on them just because of a silly playoff blunder.
Just like the Mav's were going downhill in 2007. Doom and gloom, ignoring everyone else's limitations. If such pronouncements make your day, so be it !
There's a couple differences between the Celtics of 20 years ago and the current Spurs. First, Reggie Lewis' death couldn't have been anticipated, so losing Bird one season, then Reggie Lewis was just terrible and made it so tough for the franchise to recover. Second, the salary structure now is radically different now then it was in 1992. Also, the Celtics management was awful in the 90's and really until Ainge arrived. So I'm not saying the Spurs aren't going to go downhill in a hurry, but I don't think they're going to get a point where they become a laughing stock of the league for several years.
@slapdoghoops All we need is a little tweak in our team - add a proven big and tighten the screw on defense. They're not going downhill, it's just that we're used to high expectations with our Spurs. We didn't expect anything short of a championship or a major playoff run. Two seasons back, Dallas got eliminated in the 1st round by us in an almost identical series with us against Memphis.. They got Tyson Chandler and won it all the next.
@Joey i agree, Joey. they're not going downhill. just bad timing with injuries near the end of the season. but Joey's right, there needs to be a tweak to the team, and they'll still be in it even though people count them out (and we're already used to that). and even after Duncan retires, i still think they're a playoff team (not contending though unless trades happen) because of having the younger talent developing right now such as Splitter, Anderson, and Leonard.
well, you made it sound like it was going to happen this upcoming season, so i'm sorry i took it wrong. if you noticed last season, it was unusual to see the Spurs start that well in the beginning of the season when they are known to do better in the 2nd half of the season, and that's where all the injuries started to happen last season and chemistry being a little tough with the different lineups. i know all good things must come to an end and i know they'll be in decline when Duncan retires, but i won't go as far as saying they're no longer a playoff team. if history shows it, it's been only 4 times that the Spurs have not made the playoffs in the NBA, and with one of the best front offices in the NBA, having young talent like Splitter and Leonard, and possibly still having Coach Pop, as well as Ginobili (as long as he or Pop doesn't plan on retiring with Duncan) and Parker, i'd still consider them a playoff team unless a breakout happens with the front office. but as of now, we'll have to wait and see what happens with the CBA negotiations.
I never said that it was going to be quick. It may take couple more years, but from what I gather from last season, that was the best the Spurs would ever do. To shut down so badly in the playoffs like that is a sign of that team's decline. Maybe it was a fluke, but I doubt it.
@slapdoghoops@Joey i understand, jtshoopsblog. make no mistake, i know this joy ride is going to be over, but i don't think it ends next season (if there is one). fortunately, i don't have false hope in my team because no matter what happens now or in the future, i'll continue to support them. if the older teams like the Lakers, Celtics and Mavs can still be in the fight, so can the Spurs. and if it happens to be a shortened season, then all bets are off. that's all i'm gonna say.