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Jul 25, 2013

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  • Bleacher report - Getting Nostalgic about Miller's First Stint with Memphis Grizzlies

    MIKE MILLER #33

    The Grizzlies 6th Man Award Winner is back! The two back-to-back titles don't hurt either. As a full-time Grizzlies fan and part-time Celtics fan, living up here in New England, it really hurt me to watch Ray Allen, Shane Battier, and Miller in the 2013 Finals this year. I feel like Battier could have stayed here and helped us over the top. Ray Allen left Boston for the team that just narrowly beat them the previous season for their first title and then helps push them back for a second. That's ice cold, man. No love for nobody but himself. Miller however has been a journeyman since he left Memphis in the trade to Minnesota with draft rights of Kevin Love for the draft rights of O.J. Mayo and a bunch of other bad expiring contracts.

    In other words, I kinda forgive Miller because after all he is best friends with Udonis Haslem and has strong ties to south Florida. Battier and Allen are just plain sell outs. Allen's ties were to New England and Connecticut. Battier is from Detroit and Duke. Just went for the path of least resistance along with the Chosen One.

    Miller has a great reputation in Memphis, so expect a warm homecoming for the back court bomber. His charity work with St. Jude is unbelievable. His shooting is among the league's best, which could help the Grizzlies find a new identity as a defensive stalwart with an explosive offense. Looking at his raw stats last year, he really was about the same as Ray Allen. Think how valuable a player like that is on offense. Also consider Miller shot from downtown with better success than Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Klay Thompson, and O.J. Mayo. All those guys had great shooting seasons. He's elite.

    Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images Mike Miller launches one of his franchise-record nine 3-pointers in Memphis' 144-135 regulation win over the Warriors. Farewell, grind-it-out Grizzlies of the departed Mike Fratello. Hello, Tony Barone's gunners.
    - ESPN

    The Other Guys

    Kosta Koufos - OK initially I didn't like this player at all. I assumed they drafted him just because he came from the same school as Greg Oden because I didn't see any talent in him ever. He seems to have developed good rebounding skills in Denver recently and has the ability to hit putbacks and not turnover the ball too often. I still don't really see him as much more than another Jake Tsakilidis, but let's just hope for the best. I'm over my anger at the trade of Darrell Arthur and now just want to see him succeed - although it will take me a while to get used to seeing him in a Grizzlies uniform this season.

    Nick Calathes - Here is another Greek-American. I wonder if Robert Pera has some kind of Greek ties or is it Levien? Who knows. Well if you're like most people you dont' remember this guy since he played an outstanding Freshman season at Univerity of Florida during their descent back to mediocrity. Yes after all those studs left in 2007 after winning back-to-back championships, the Gators didn't have much left but this guy. He disappeared in Europe for the last couple years but he's come back out as a champion there. Now everyone is comparing him to the Bob Cousy award winner that we all hate to have lost here in Memphis, Greveis Vasquez. They do have a similar size and position. If we can get the results of 2012 Vasquez out of him then management will look like genius in this pickup. Expect him to still have to carry Miller's bags as the upper classman.

    Jamaal Franklin - Dleague fodder. I don't know if he'll get more than Tony Wroten minutes this year unless they blow this up by trading ZBO or Prince.

    Josh Akognon - I honestly have never heard of this guy before today. He joins other fellow Nigerian American players, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ike Diogu. His numbers are off the chart but such a small sample size in NBA... Who knows? Training Camp is going to be fun this year!

    Go Grizz!
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