In the midst of Spain’s campaign at the 2013 FIBA Europe Championships, Marc Gasol found time to comment about his new Memphis Grizzlies head coach and the style he’ll bring to the team. And he’s excited about the plans for the Grizzlies to use a more fast-paced offense for the new season.
“He knows us pretty well. He knows how we play. He knows us personally, how we like to play basketball. He, of course, wants to push the tempo, which has been a problem for us, getting up and down the floor to score easy buckets. Because when you always go inside, everybody collapses on you in the paint and it's hard to operate down there.” Gasol said in an article by Mark Woods of ESPN.COM.
The Spanish center is referring to new head coach Dave Joerger, a long-time assistant with the Grizzlies and is coming in to replace Lionel Hollins. The latter was more of a defensive-first type of coach as the latter emphasised slowing the pace down and taking advantage of the team’s inside play.
Joerger, who served as an assistant with the Grizzlies since 2007, handled the Dakota Wizards as the head coach in the International Basketball Association, Continental Basketball Association and the NBA Developmental League with championships in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2007. He was the head coach of Sioux Falls Skyforce from 2004 to 2006 and has one title with the team.
The Grizzlies are coming off a Western Conference Finals appearance behind one of the stingiest defense in the league. Memphis was the number one team in points scored allowed, giving up only 89.4 points per game.
The core of the Grizzlies remains the same for the 2013-14 season. Aside from Gasol, returning are Zach Randolph and Mike Conley. New acquisitions in the off-season include veteran shooter Mike Miller and Greek guard Nick Calathes.