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Rudy Gay

Who are they building around? Toronto Raptors Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Kyle Lowry, SG DeMar DeRozan, SF Rudy Gay, PF Amir Johnson, C Jonas Valanciunas
 
Key Bench Players: G/F Landry Fields, SF Terrence Ross, PF Tyler Hansbrough, F Steve Novak, PG DJ Augustin, C Aaron Gray
 
Offseason Additions: F Steve Novak
 
Offseason Subtractions: PF Andrea Bargnani, F Linas Kleiza
 
FACT OR FICTION: Jonas Valanciunas is more important to this Raptors team’s future than Rudy Gay.
 
FACT. And it’s not even close.
 
In Toronto, the name on this Raps team (…if there’s a name at all), it’s Rudy Gay. He’s a career 18 ppg scorer, to go along with 6 boards and a steal every night. Gay can break opponents off the dribble and at any particular moment could shove it down his defender’s throat in a dunk that screams “two million views”. Most importantly, he’s still just 26 years old, despite starting his eighth professional season.
 
However, with the advent of advanced stats and daily video breakdowns, it’s become apparent (to some) that Rudy Gay is more flash than substance. If you thought he was a franchise building block, I wouldn’t blame you: he looks like the perfect prototypical basketball star. 6’9” with a massive wingspan, jaw dropping athleticism and a stunning mix of speed and explosive quickness. Gay isn’t afraid of being the first option on offense, as evidenced by his career 15.3 FGA per game. On paper, or even quarter to quarter, Rudy looks like a star.… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors get: F Rudy Gay, C Hamed Hadaddi
 
Detroit Pistons get: PG Jose Calderon
 
Memphis Grizzlies get: PF Ed Davis, SF Tayshaun Prince, F Austin Daye, Toronto’s 2nd Round pick
 
The Grizz finally jettisoned Rudy Gay out their hallway this afternoon, shunting off the extremely talented but often disappointing forward off to Toronto in a three-way deal that also involved the Detroit Pistons.
 
Today’s trade was the culmination of years of speculation. Gay had been on the block for years, ever since he was notoriously absent for the Grizzlies’ greatest run of success in their Western Conference semifinals loss two seasons ago with a shoulder injury. The summer before, Gay had signed a near-max contract extension with Memphis, paying him $82 million. Usually, money like that isn’t an issue with a team–after all, do you think Houston is blinking at the $80 million dollar price tag attached to James Harden’s beard?
 
The biggest problem with Gay’s contract wasn’t how well the team played without him, but that Gay simply hasn’t improved and shown himself worthy of his massive payday. Since his second season, Gay has remained nearly the same player–an athletic specimen who could use his size, strength and speed to get anywhere he wanted on the court, but simply lacked the outside shooting touch or post game to dominate on all angles. His statistics are extremely telling–season after season, he essentially looks like the same guy. Defensively, he remains an above average player, but offensively there hasn’t been much progress to his game. Just watching against other small forwards like Andre Iguodala and Luol Deng, it’s clear that Gay has more physical gifts than either–and yet, both have the All-Star credits to there name that Gay does not. There’s something to be said about fulfilling potential in this league, even if that player is still providing better than average production. Deng and Iguodala play extremely hard every night, and seem to hit whatever ceiling is in front of them. Gay as still left us wanting year after year.… Read more...

Need Some Rudy Gay – Memphis Grizzlies Season Preview

I didn’t think it was possible for anybody to love my skin more than I do, but the entire race of mosquitoes has apparently descended upon my apartment as if it has exhausted every single host elsewhere. Since early fall weather on the East Coast is clearly the tits, I enjoy keeping one of my bedroom windows open at night. Every evening, I make a cost-benefit analysis, with the cool breeze of September air always winning out.

It was one night last week where the mosquitoes had enough, as if my opening of the bedroom window mocked them, daring them to unleash their fury on me. So I closed the window completely, and went back to some light air conditioning.

The Memphis Grizzlies aren’t particularly old. They certainly aren’t inexperienced. But their window to do some damage in the Western Conference playoffs is about to close because a particular species of mosquitoes residing in Oklahoma City have flown right on through and put their marks on the entire league.

So what has to be done for Memphis to become the force that they were two seasons ago?

On paper, it doesn’t look like roses for the Grizzlies. The Thunder have two of the best five players in the league, two players who may have yet to show us their absolute best brand of ball. The Lakers partook in the summer of LA, acting fast to acquire Steve Nash and slow-playing another hand perfectly to cash in on Dwight Howard. The Spurs will always be good as long as Popovich and Duncan are BFFs. The Clippers, the team that sent Memphis fishing last spring, are run by the smartest front office point guard in the league and will feature an improved Blake Griffin. So in my estimation, that leaves the Grizzly bears at #5, or #6.

Less of this…

There are two types of people in this world: those who know they belong and those who feel like they belong. When it comes to true franchise players, Rudy Gay thinks he’s in category 1, but thus far, he’s in category 2. For the most part, his numbers do his contract some justice, but to lean on those would be akin to being a nihilistic basketball robot. The Grizzlies feature a unique frontline. Not only are Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph All-Star caliber players, but Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur can fill out the box scores in a pinch.

Gay’s skill set can enhance the impact that the Memphis bigs have on a game. With O.J. Mayo suiting up for Dallas next season, the Grizz have lost an energy guard that can attack the rim. Gay can go from 3-point line to the paint area in two strides, but too often he settles for contested jump shots. Case in point: he took almost three shots from downtown per game, but shot at a less-than-average 31% clip. Those Melo-ball type possessions take the offense away from its strength, which is playing inside-out, from Gasol or Randolph back to Mike Conley and Gay.

…more of this.

Attack more, and Gay will earn more trips to the line, where he’s shot about 80% in each of the last two years. Attack more, and help defenders will leave big men and create passing lanes wide enough that even Tony Allen could find them. Gay is far too talented to have a win share of only 6.0 (to compare, the less talented Thaddeus Young of the Philadelphia 76ers produced a win share of 6.3).

On the defensive end, Gay can have an effect without even trying that hard. The aforementioned Allen is arguably the best on-ball defender the Association has seen since Metta World Peace started making regular therapy visits. He routinely matches up against the opposition’s best offensive player, which gives Gay more opportunitie… Read more...