Max Mandel's Blog

Max Mandel

Nov 27

Getting to know the opponent: Q&A with Pete Pranika of the Memphis Grizzlies

By Max Mandel Posted in: Blazers, Grizzlies
Much has changed in Memphis since the last time these teams met in early November. Allen Iverson is no longer a member of the team, and Jamaal Tinsley was brought in to be the veteran point guard behind Mike Conley Jr. After a terrible start to the season, the Grizzlies have also started to play some solid basketball, having won four of their past six games. In order to get a better sense for this Grizzlies team and what has been the main reason behind their turnaround, we decided to check in with Pete Pranika, the TV Play by Play guy for the Memphis Grizzlies. We would like to thank Pete for taking the time to provide his insight on the Grizzlies.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: This Grizzlies started the season struggling and were receiving more attention for Allen Iverson then for the actual play on the court. However, the Grizzlies have now won 4 out of 6 games. What do you think is the biggest reason behind the improved play?

Pete Pranika: The Grizzlies are the youngest team in the league and they've needed time to gel, especially in light of the Iverson acquisition.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: From his time in Portland, Trail Blazers fans obviously know how productive Zach Randolph can be. How has Randolph fit in with Marc Gasol in the front court?

Pete Pranika: Zach and Marc have been a great combination. Their games compliment each other. Both are basketball savvy and team-oriented and know that if they share the ball, the team is more effective.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: Rudy Gay is a guy that is blessed with tons of natural athleticism and skill. What improvements have you seen this season from Gay, and what do you think his ceiling is?

Pete Pranika: Rudy spent a lot of time working out this offseason. It's a contract year and his focus and effort are off the charts. His ceiling? I think he has a chance at the All Star game in the future.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: Who is one guy on the Grizzlies that doesn't receive much national attention that Trail Blazers fans should keep their eyes on tonight?

Pete Pranika: I'm going with Marc Gasol. A lot of people just think of him as Pau's little brother. He's totally legit.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: Last time these teams played, Hasheem Thabeet seemed to suffer a pretty serious jaw injury. How has Thabeet rebounded from the injury, and is he starting to get more comfortable with the NBA game?

Pete Pranika: Hasheem has rebounded well and in fact is coming off the best scoring game of his career. He's working very very hard and we're starting to see flashes of how good he could be. In fact, his play after the jaw fracture has been much better.


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