Well, it's officially the weekend, meaning there isn't much happening in terms of D-League news. The Hasheem Thabeet Hype Train (Yes, that is a link to the section of RU that I've dubbed Hasheem ThaBlog) is still going full steam ahead however!
As some of you know, I occasionally moonlight at the Bismarck Tribune as coverer of sports nobody else wants to cover along with being a part-time box score taker and typer. My boss is the venerable "Captain" Lou "Thesz" Babiarz, the greatest beat writer in the D-League.
Why am I bringing that up? Well, mostly because it's Saturday, but also because Babiarz was able to track down Memphis Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace as well as Grizzlies assistant coach Dave Joerger for further insight into the Thabeet assignment. The whole story is worth a read, obviously, but I'll excerpt a couple of the things after the jump that I found to be most interesting.
"No matter what level you're at, there's nothing that beats actual playing," Wallace said. "You can practice all you want, lift weights, watch film, but you've got to get on the court in game situations. Then you have to take what you've been taught now and apply it. That's what the D-League provides us."
This is exactly what I'd wanted to hear about this assignment. The Grizzlies obviously think that they've been able to teach Thabeet some things and now they want to give him a chance to utilize those new skills.
"It worked well with Hamed," Wallace said. "When he came back with us, he was sharper, more focused and more motivated, because he got the chance to play."
Once again, it's not necessarily about skill development, but still making him a better player.
"He runs the floor and he blocks shots, but he needs to keep working on rebounding, and overall court awareness - being in the right place at the right time," Joerger said. "He can go and get some low-post touches. ... We have a lot of offensive guys, and he's not going to be a go-to option with the way team is currently constructed. He can get the chance to set good screen-and-rolls, rolling to basket, things like that."
Last night this is about what I saw out of him so apparently this Dave Joerger fellow knows what he's talking about.
Wallace said he isn't expecting miracles from Thabeet's stay in Bismarck, just some extra playing time.
"You don't get huge jumps in a skill category in six our seven games," Wallace said.
And that settles the other questions we had. Not expecting huge strides in a week and a half, just some extra work and playing time. Works for me.