When the Memphis Grizzlies open training camp in Nashville, Tennessee on October 1 on the campus of Vanderbilt University, fans will not only be introduced to a new head coach in David Joerger, the return of Mike Miller and the arrival of Nick Calathes, but in many ways a new look Grizzlies team despite bringing back the majority of the roster from last season.
While Memphis is coming off their best season in franchise history, made complete with their run to the Western Conference Finals, the 2013-14 are set to become the “running Grizz".
Okay, so maybe this Memphis squad isn’t yet the second coming of Mike D’Antoni’s “7 seconds or less” offense during his time with the Phoenix Suns, but Coach Joerger is already planning to play up-tempo more.
With guys like Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Tayshaun Prince, Marc Gasol and Miller, the pieces are certainly there.
"Coach Joerger has been there for six years," Gasol told ESPN.com on Wednesday from the European Championship in Slovenia.
"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.
"He's going to push the tempo and have a lot of plays from his pocket that he's told me [about]. And I'm excited about next season.”
That excitement should spread across the league if the Grizz can execute their new up-tempo game plan.
Memphis is already one of the more attractive teams to watch in the NBA, so pushing the ball only feeds into their strengths. The question is, can they continue to embody end-to-end defense -- an aspect those D’Antoni Suns’ teams never truly embraced.
We will find out when the Grizzlies open their preseason on October 7 and the regular season on October 30.