Across the course of the preseason, NBA teams will often take on teams from other countries. Occasionally, as we’ve seen already this year, foreign teams will knock off their NBA opponents. Last night, however was not one of those nights. The Memphis Grizzlies took on Maccabi Haifa from Israel in an early evening affair at the Grindhouse (Fedex Forum), dismantling them 116-70.
Leading the way for the Grizzlies, as he will all season, was the defending Defensive Player of the Year: Marc Gasol. Filling the box score, per usual, Gasol finished with 17 points, 7 rebound 4 assists, and 3 steals. Two of those 4 assists were beauties, to Mike Miller and Zach Randolph, respectively.
Both examples of Gasol’s passing ability came in the 2nd quarter. First, was his dish to Miller. It starts with Miller (in the corner) dumping the ball into Gasol in the post. As soon as he released the pass, Miller cuts baseline, leaving his defender in the dust. Gasol spots him and flips a slick little pass to him that Miller finishes with a reverse layup.
The second pass is classic Grizzlies. Gasol catches the ball at the high post – one of his favorite spots to go to work. Down on the block is his frontcourt mate, Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies love running a high-low post action with Gasol and Randolph. When Gasol catches the ball at the elbow, the Maccabi defenders immediately shift their attention to him. Randolph, meanwhile, has found a soft spot in the zone Maccabi is playing. Gasol spots him and feeds him with a beautiful bounce pass. The defense was too slow to react, and Randolph easily puts it in for two.
If you have any suggestions for a pass we should consider, contact me on Twitter (@jmaloney9) or by email at maloneyj(at)xavier.edu.