The Memphis Grizzlies, as I have said many times before, were interested in assuring some kind of consistent production from their bench this season, particularly from the wings. As I’ve also said before, they made a wise move in jumping on the opportunity to sign veteran sharpshooter Mike Miller when he became available.
Though their reserve wing situation may be more assuring right now, this team certainly isn’t. Through eight games in the 2013-14 NBA season, they sit at just 3-5 and haven’t been playing their trademark defense. Their big-name players haven’t been performing at star levels and they haven’t been going out on the floor and playing like the team that had a chance to make it to the Finals last season.
Obviously their stars and starters underperforming a bit is concerning, I still believe that this team has the ability to turn it around. There are just too many veterans and tough-minded players for them to roll over on this season. Ultimately, I think they end up in the playoffs.
If this team is going to make the postseason, though, the way they are using their new reserve wing in Miller early in the season is concerning. After playing less than 20 minutes per game the past two seasons and around a third of the games over the 82-game schedule, Miller has played in all eight games and is seeing the floor for 24.1 minutes per night.
Miller is just 33 years old, but this is also a guy who has experienced a slew of lingering injuries in recent seasons and a player whose body is much older than his age suggests. Quite simply, the Grizzlies can’t continue to push him at this level. I understand he’s a big part of what they want to do, but pressing him into an injury only hurts their team even more. If I’m the Grizzlies coaches right now, I’m dialing back on the Mike Miller time and doing so very soon.