Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph has made a living in the NBA for years as a high-volume shooter and scorer out of the post. But in the Grizzlies balanced attack, fewer yet more efficient shots for Randolph appears to be the recipe for success for Memphis.
Randolph was a 18-20 point per game scorer during his days with the Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks before being traded to the Grizzlies after a half season with the Los Angeles Clippers. Over that span, Randolph averaged about 17 shot attempts a night as his team’s first option on offense.
This season though, Randolph has had a different role. Randolph is still playing heavy minutes as a starter, but his shot attempts are down to just 13.4 as just one of the scoring options the Grizzlies can rely upon any given night with Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Tayshaun Prince all in the mix.
To the Grizzlies pleasure, fewer shots have not resulted in a decline in production in other areas. Randolph has never been much of a defender due to his limited athleticism, but he is an above average rebounder and is pulling down 11.3 boards to go along with his 15.5 points, both numbers that are exactly in line with what Memphis needs from him on a nightly basis.
Randolph may not be the high volume scorer he was in the past, but that may be a good thing for him. The Grizzlies need Randolph’s rebounding and offensive presence to balance out their lineup, and the role is perfect for Randolph at this stage in his career.