8. THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES’ OFFENSE
The Grizzlies’ offense is one of the most unorthodox things I’ve ever seen. They play a free throw line-down style of offense, which means they pride themselves on playing close to the basket, and don’t really focus on getting threes involved in their game. In the ’80s and ’90s, this style would be more normal, but in today’s game, it’s a definite oddity to see a team shooting a lack of threes and winning.
The Grizzlies functioning like this is a breath of fresh air for hoop fans, and the way Marc Gasol has the gears turning is unbelievable. He controls the elbow like no other player in the game. The Grizzlies pinch the post, run high-low plays, and attack the post all through Gasol. It’s no wonder he has a 133 offensive rating, and is averaging 4.6 assists per game.
7. KEVIN MARTIN’s PRODUCTION
Before the season started, the Thunder threw us that first gut punch by trading James Harden to Houston, and getting back Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and a bevy of draft picks. Many of us thought that the Thunder would fall off after trading Harden, a sure All-Star-caliber player. But Martin has stepped into that role without losing stride at all.
Right now, Martin is averaging 17.8 points and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 95 percent from the free throw line and 54 percent from beyond the arc. His per-36 numbers (21.3 points and 2.5 assists) are even better, per Basketball-reference. He also among the league leaders in true shooting percentage at 71 percent, which blows James Harden’s 66 percent from last year out of the water.
Kevin Martin has been amazing for the Thunder and I’m sure they’re thankful for the scoring touch he brings off of the bench. The Thunder will be just fine.