Marreese Speights: 5 Ways He Has Impacted the Memphis Grizzlies

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJanuary 26, 2012

Marreese Speights: 5 Ways He Has Impacted the Memphis Grizzlies

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    When the Memphis Grizzlies lost Zach Randolph for six to eight weeks to a partially torn MCL, many thought the sky was falling for the Grizzlies. Without Randolph, it seemed to many that the Grizzlies' season was lost.

    However, the Grizzlies have managed to remain successful, sitting half a game out of first place in the Southwest Division after 17 games. Part of their success is due to the acquisition of Marreese Speights, who came to Memphis from the Philadelphia 76ers in a three-team trade.

    Speights has helped the Grizzlies remain a winning team since entering the starting lineup. He has replaced some of the scoring lost when Randolph was injured.

    Read along to find all of the ways Speights has impacted the Grizzlies.


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    Marreese Speights has replaced some of the scoring the Grizzlies lost when Randolph became injured.

    Speights is averaging 8.3 points per game in 11 games with the Grizzlies.

    He's putting up a nice number for the relatively small number of minutes he plays. Speights, who averages 22.2 minutes per game, averages 18 points per 48 minutes.

    Speights has scored in double-digits four times for the Grizzlies.

    While Speights hasn't been able to fully supplant the 20 points per game that Randolph would provide for the Grizzlies, he's bringing back a fair amount of scoring to the post in Memphis.


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    Marreese Speights has helped pull the Grizzlies along in the rebounding department. Speights is averaging a career-high 6.4 rebounds per game.

    Per 48 minutes, Speights is averaging 13.8 rebounds. He has put up double-figures in rebounding twice. Also, Speights is averaging a career-high 1.8 offensive rebounds per game.

    Speights has been a powerful presence on the boards for the Grizzlies. He has a 9.4 percent offensive rebounding rate, 23.5 percent defensive rebounding rate and 16.3 percent total rebounding rate.

    Speights has the top total rebounding percentage and offensive rebounding percentage among players in the Grizzlies rotation, along with the second-best defensive rebounding rate.

    Speights' defensive rebounding percentage is 0.3 percent behind Randolph's rate in 2009-10 and 2.2 percent off the rate Randolph set last season. His rebounds-per-48-minutes rate is 2.2 fewer than the 16 per 48 minutes Randolph averaged last season.

    Speights has done about as well he possibly could to replace the dominant Randolph's rebounding presence.

    Photo courtesy of The Commercial Appeal

Free-Throw Shooting

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    Marreese Speights is dragging the Grizzlies along at the free-throw line. Speights leads qualified Grizzlies shooters with a career-high 88.2 percent from the line.

    The Grizzlies aren't much of a free-throw shooting team, standing 24th in the NBA with a 72.5 team mark at the line.

    Speights wasn't a spectacular free-throw shooter before this season. Entering the season, Speights had a 75.7 percent career free-throw percentage and had never shot better than 80 percent at the line for a season.

    Hopefully, Speights' solid effort at the free-throw line spreads to others, especially since seven Grizzlies players shoot 75 percent or worse at the free-throw line.

Helping Grizzlies Remain Winning Team

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    Marreese Speights has helped the Grizzlies remain competitive in the tough Western Conference.

    The Grizzlies have won seven of nine games since Speights entered the Grizzlies starting lineup. Speights is fourth among players in the Grizzlies rotation with .121 win shares per 48 minutes.

    Before Speights came along, it looked like the Grizzlies didn't have enough scoring to make up for the loss of Zach Randolph.

    Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter, two players the Grizzlies had acquired before to help at power forward, don't score much. Neither Cunningham nor Pondexter score more than five points per game.

    Also, both present only a marginal presence on the boards. Cunningham has an 11.7 percent total rebounding percentage and Pondexter has a 10.5 percent mark.

    If the Grizzlies hadn't acquired Speights, they just might have floundered with little presence at power forward.

    Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Drags Down Team Field-Goal Shooting a Bit

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    In discussing the impact of Marreese Speights on the Grizzlies, one wouldn't be giving a full picture without discussing Speights' poor field-goal shooting.

    Speights shoots a dismal 41.3 percent from the field, which is more disappointing when considering that he's a power forward.

    Speights has made less than 40 percent of his shots in six of his 11 games with the Grizzlies.

    Speights drags down a strong field-goal shooting team. The Grizzlies are seventh in the NBA, at 45.9 percent. Without him, the Grizzlies' field-goal mark is 46.5 percent.

    Speights is generally a good shooter.

    Entering the season, Speights had a 49.1 percent career field-goal percentage. That his free-throw percentage jumped while his field-goal percentage dropped significantly is surprising. Perhaps it's a product of moving to a tougher Western Conference.

    Hopefully, Speights' shooting mark improves as times goes on.

    Photo courtesy of The Commercial Appeal