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Eric Hasseltine - ESPN Memphis

Jan 28, 2014|

Eric Hasseltine, play-by-play man of the Memphis Grizzlies joined Travis & Wilcox to talk the resurgence to the Grizz and preview their match up with the Trail Blazers

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Tonight the Memphis Grizzlies who went seven of eight they are here at the rose garden and joining us now is the play by play voice of the grizzlies -- team. -- look in the Portland area don't I'm doing great thanks -- us so this grizzlies team over the last couple weeks has been getting a lot better market -- healthier now what is the difference your -- you know late December. They're winning games and -- -- and it's that easy when I think they've made some moves aside from getting healthy. Either really bolster their depth they went out and got James Johnson from the developmental league who had begun his career in Chicago. Went to Sacramento went to Toronto actually had a a tryout with the Houston Rockets 69 legitimately the you know one of those freak athletes they can do a lot of different things but. Never clicked for him for whatever reason and he said it was a lack of maturity he's admitted to that so he got an opportunity to come back to the NBA's made the most of it. That help the grizzlies athletically on the wing and and treating Jerryd Bayless to get Courtney Lee brought in a more proven. Outside threat and so that the point starting go up -- mark came back and the space things there at their numbers went down scoring wise but they're never going to be a team like Portland its course a 110 game. They're going to be a team big grinds it out but if you look at their points per one under Oprah's actions. They're much more efficient -- they happen and that's just mark being on the floor renewables spread out. If you leave -- alone from seventeen TDs and if you don't -- guard him you're in big trophy -- tournament opens up driving -- for Mike Conley. And it's crazy because Tony -- a first team all defensive player when he went down and gave Courtney -- a chance to go out and played big minutes and really learn how to play alongside these guys. And now there's going to be that much better for -- of the injuries have been someone of a blessing in disguise that the injuries typical early. Season pressure coming seven probably one disasters ever as a pro inning if this is a light -- just come on as he just seemed take that kind of leadership as well as is putting points up. You know it's funny because you guys -- spoiled with such a terrific player and -- Willard guys don't generally just kind of NBA and and take over teams and run teams the way he did last year which. You know especially at a place like we were Stater. You know where it's not a big time program he saw Chris Paul do it there and William Stewart but for the most part point guards can take a couple years in Mike's. Mike's early part of his career was you know hampered by injury in the first season. A coaching situation where. They were platoon in Hammond Kyle Lowry who is gonna grizzly and when final Holland support blazer took over the first thing he dead was. And I evaluated practice and it didn't sit well with Kyle but he basically went to my talents in -- my guy and he -- Collison we're gonna trade. Because it's not fair to you to sit here and in the prime -- your career play 1516 minutes a game when you could probably be playing a lot more somewhere also we're gonna movie and he went on to do good things in Houston fact killed the grizzlies every time I faced him but. -- it's this year in year out he continues to get better his work ethic in and the biggest difference in Mike is. He's not just worked on his shot which is now become very consistent and he started slowly in the year but up to about 37% from three now. When he started fortress for 25 so do math he's been shooting over 40% to wrest away. He worked on his body where he now can get bumped in mid air. Knocked around whereas before it looked like he was gonna fly into the third row now he can absorb that contact and finish and that makes all the difference in the world. The story with Zach Randolph has been inch to get a couple years ago he was twenty point A night guy have a C -- his. Past your Portland as well documented many had your news banged up a couple years ago and no didn't start even when he was playing now he seems to be getting back closer to that level but he still not there receiver gonna get back there and whats is role bend light. Well the I don't think anybody for the grizzlies is it with the way they play is going to be a twenty point per game guy's so it's a little on -- -- -- -- fair to look at its acting go while in Portland he was 222324. Point tonight and that was a different situation and I saw Zach. When he was a -- score I think 43 points but took forty shots to do it. If one player on the grizzlies ever takes forty shots you know you -- might wanna run for cover as the world's come into demanded that that's the end of it right there. He's been fantastic and I know. They had issues here and he had off the court issues -- -- and all the stories and then going to new York and that didn't work and I'm going to. To the clippers and then they ended up with Blake Griffin so he became expendable. He's been nothing more than a model citizen in Memphis and there's been a couple things that that happened. With his name involved errors Aussie Sam Jones act but they've just kind of going away he's one. The NBA's community assist award three times. And on the floor after that injury it was that lock out year in it was just a freak occurrence OJ Mayo. Got up landed rolled right into his knee and -- missed three or four months and that was a big loss though. He came back and maybe came ankle early I don't know if he'll ever be the same again because when you get your thirties and injured you know it's tough that it's tough to bounce back and be that same guy he worked when he usual. But tonight if he gets a double double they'll have a 190 double doubles in Memphis Grizzlies uniform what to break the record. A pal Gasol who -- on an 89 assault took probably twice as many games to do it. When he tied the record in Saturday night's game against the rockets I was happy idiot you -- home floor. Because he got a a big round of applause and and people really appreciate what he's brought to the table in the he kind of just him. Analyzes the city of Memphis it's -- it's hard -- it's you know it's got some nice parts to it but for the most part -- -- you know it's not you know booming metropolis -- on the cutting edge of fashion it's -- blue collar hard work and put your nose to the -- -- own group of people and they respect what's -- on and he's flat out said he wants to retire in a -- Jersey they gave him a second chances at a career and I he's got a player option next year I can't blame a guy for opting out of you thinking get a four fighter deal somewhere else. You don't -- -- so many years to make as much money you can't but I would love to see him retire and I think. His in my comedies and and probably Marcus sells would be that the first three grizzly jerseys to ever be retired in wouldn't be too long after -- About this west this year -- -- -- talk about depth wise and then we were talking as well someone to get to this is even talk about -- when a couple games and in a close window look you're talking for the show it. This has an unusual schedule coming up for them in terms of home vs away games yet. Brutal they had a heavy dose of home games in the beginning of the year and we were all excited about that because they've been so good on the home floor and you know they started drop in home games -- like -- you can't really afford to do this out right now because. You know other teams are not drop in home games and just all you do is look at the NBA standings and you can see it but for the -- -- They're twelve and thirteen at home so they've only played seventeen road games. They had a three game trip that starts tonight their play tomorrow night Sacramento finishing in Minnesota. I think it's I it's good for them that they get the best team. On the first night rather than at the end of the trip. Minnesota's going to be without Nikola Pekovic say catch a break there -- Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins -- Sacramento you catch a break there. But still winning on the road they've been able to do that they're really good home record last -- twelve and thirteen now. And he's -- boy can't drop him anymore so only sixteen left and the reason is. The city's hosting the American athletic conference with Louisville -- you're on in Memphis and SMU and that. That can Cromwell conglomerate that was conference USA in the big east that came together. That conference tournament's going to be an artery and it FedEx Forum and then two weeks later they're gonna have the sweet sixteen and we date for the south region. So that meant right off the bat we knew go on and -- march don't. Get used to see in our faces because we're not going to be. Now that's -- that's tough stretch for anybody to go on we saw the lakers have to do that the last couple weeks at the grammar -- is being there. I -- wouldn't we look at these two teams are very very contrasting it to the grizzlies. Have given up what the fewest amount of points per game a lot has do with on both sides of possessions per game so how important is the pace tonight is that really a factor it's huge and I think it. Not to sound like a home are not to sound like I think that they have a shot tonight that because I think they shot pretty much every night I think they're that good but I also know how difficult it is to play here. They have a huge benefit going into this that they just played a team. It's very similar to the blazers and back to back nights playing the Houston Rockets and they were able to dictate to temple. In those games Q2 huge wins one. Avoiding -- second half collapse which they've done twice before against the rockets despite Chandler Parsons having ten threes. In half which is fourteen years into an -- I've never seen anything like it was amazing. On hopefully we don't seem -- got from grizzlies fan's perspective do that tonight but if they move the ball while -- there could be some open shots but they controlled temple that game. And then they came back the next night and the rockets' bench banged up the way it is it was of advantage for the grizzlies I think the bench will be key to again tonight is. The blazers are gonna wanna play fast they're gonna wanna move the ball they're gonna wanna shoot they're gonna wanna stretch the floor. I think the the addition of Robin Lopez has been one of the most under rated and under discussed moves in the Western Conference because what it did was give LaMarcus Aldridge a chance to play a little bit away from the physics tally down low. Open up stretch out the floor I know I've got him down there to help me out. And he's an -- Active guy he's an energy guy in one of those guys that. You look up and also -- get ten and eight but you didn't remember seeing any and he's helping you there so. I talked to Brian Wheeler today and -- and we were discussing -- he just said you know this is the way Terry Stotts wanted to play stretch it out shoot threes and you got the horses to run that race. The grizzlies do not and so they can't get caught up into -- just made a three let's try one of our own heyday just. Ran out of a 60 Ron let's go and try to play faster -- they're gonna have to really. I wouldn't say take the air out of the ball that work for their opportunities the difference in the defense is just Marcus -- it gives guys like Courtney -- Mike Conley whoever's at the wing weather station owner James Johnson the opportunity gamble. You can gamble now those passing it's because you know more missiles behind you it's not just blocking shots. He had a defensive play that nobody would have even noticed unless you go back and really wants to tape. In that game against Houston on Friday night where. They tried to run a screen -- dropped into the slot where they were trying to get to you that cut off that animated -- he drops into the next slot. He does this in a matter of five seconds but takes three options away the -- now they have to shoot contested right corner three so. I think that's going to be the interesting thing to watch see if the blazers get the shots they want and if they don't what adjustments do they make they make those adjustments. What kind of shots and ending up -- in those adjustments but it ones that make aboard the ones they're comfortable with the early ones that. You know are out of their rhythm and and take them out of the loop and -- the frustration sources you know as far as that temple is concerned if the blazers continue to issue like that last couple games are going to be a lot of long rebounds that transition game so be against Portland. Is meant is gonna get in that situation were they get those long rebounds are they gonna push the transition game a little bit of a slow things down play more than half court game they'll round. And people think that they don't they will run and they catch teams off guard with that they're not a fast break team by any stretch the imagination of my comedy. I you know is this fast and ends on the -- is just about anybody there's probably a couple that are faster but not many. And like -- James Johnson with Courtney -- these guys will get out run now. The interesting thing and if he plays tonight and I don't know that he will but -- Tony Allen's leading the break you don't know if you're gonna get a highlight -- Lampard dunk or you're gonna get. -- not top ten pass that hit somebody in the front row and spills a very expensive drink so they've got to run with purpose though and and sometimes. I think in the -- you need to get caught up in that and tried to run at times really really didn't have really tried to force and bad passes. They're very good at taking care of the ball and I'll say this that the blazers start forcing turnovers that's really grizzlies get into problems because. The possessions are such that they can't afford to have 151617. Turnovers they need to keep -- thirteen and below and they went through a stretch of I think five games weren't for those games they had less than ten turnovers and and the fifth that was and -- so. They're good at taking care of the ball when they are they give themselves a chance to win if they don't make serotonin -- over the blazers are getting run outs and easy baskets can be a really long night. Eric -- scene is our guest sees the play by play voice of the Memphis Grizzlies grizzlies at the blazers tonight 7 o'clock at the -- center. -- social time to talk to you guys thanks for having me now is appreciate the hospitality here at dinner come on you in the studio to show back to Memphis although sometimes that when minded -- maybe both that studio next the ideal thing -- I -- Obama -- -- I appreciate -- thanks guys.