Today, Memphis fans found out that the 35-year-old veteran power forward will be making a permanent role by coming off the bench, according to Alexis Morgan. Head Coach David Fizdale told Alexis Morgan that Randolph spoke to Marc Gasol and said “I will anchor the bench for us, don’t worry about it, I’ve got that part.” It seems that he will most likely be the sixth man, as he is now the best player on the Grizzlies bench.
Now, this is not Randolph’s first time coming off the bench to start a game, as he came off the bench 15 times in 68 games last season, and he only started 11 games in his first two NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before moving into a full-time starting role before the 2003-04 season. Another time that he came off the bench was back in the 2011-2012 season, where he came off the bench 20 times, due to a knee injury sustained earlier in the year. He played in 28 games that season.
In addition, the future has arrived in Memphis with JaMychal Green taking over the starting power forward position from Zach Randolph, plus Randolph will provide more offense with the second team and get a chance to take all of the shots. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Green averaged 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. His sophomore season was a success and the Grizzlies hope that he can continue to improve and become a household name for many years to come.
Also, a big difference between both power forwards is that Green is nine years younger and more athletic at this point.
However, he was also moved to the bench, as he has declined from a statistic standpoint, and it will keep him more fresh as the season progresses. Randolph’s numbers have slowly dropped, as the Grizzlies cut his minutes. He averaged 15.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last season. This is the first time he has failed to average a double-double in a season in which he has played at least 50 games since 2005-06. He still had a nice season.
Finally, cutting his minutes will keep him healthy for most of the season and hopefully make a big push to make a deep playoff run.