David Joerger Rumors
After meeting with Minnesota Timberwolves president Flip Saunders on Thursday, Memphis coach David Joerger is scheduled for a sit-down talk with owner Glen Taylor that could ultimately clear the way for him to become the Timberwolves coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Grizzlies are likely to ask for a second-round pick in exchange for letting Joerger out of his contract to coach the Timberwolves, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
“It took us some time because we tried to change (the offense) and I don’t think it really (worked),” Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley told USA TODAY Sports. “We went fast, and I think we got a little bit out of control for everybody. We’re still playing a little bit quicker, but when we get to our offensive sets, we’re able to slow it down to a pace that’s better for our bigs, and it’s working. “We knew that there were some plays from last year that we probably should keep. They’re still working, so why not keep using them? They just hadn’t been put in yet. We were going through a whole new set of plays, and I think it was just easier to just jump into something that we knew. … After three or four games, we started to adjust and to get a little bit of old Grizzlies back in there.”
First-year head coaches often are stubborn, insisting their system remain in good times and bad because of a fear for how it might look to admit that something didn’t work. To Joerger’s credit, he listened when some of the critics resided in his own locker room earlier this month. “He has done a fantastic job of trying to have to change his mindset,” Conley said. “I know he’s learning, going through some bumps and bruises here and there from the learning curve of being a head coach. For being young and new, I think he’s doing a pretty good job at it.”
All-Star center Marc Gasol expects the Memphis Grizzlies to become more of a running team this season, and that’s absolutely fine with him. Gasol, currently heading Spain’s challenge at EuroBasket, says he’s had discussions with new head coach Dave Joerger about a fresh direction for the Grizzlies after a summer overhaul that began with the exit of Lionel Hollins and the addition of seven new players onto the roster, including Mike Miller from Miami and Kosta Koufos from Denver.
“Coach Joerger has been there for six years,” Gasol told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “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.”
Joerger must sustain the continuity that exists between the core players, maintain the proficiency and prowess of a grit-and-grind defense, and improve an often times stagnant offense to contend in the rugged West. “I feel like we addressed some of our team needs,” Joerger said. “We’ve added championship experience. We’ve added IQ. We’ve added shooting. We’re trying to grow from within. Those are all very positive. You better be ready to play in the West. Houston got better. Golden State got better. Minnesota got better. And the Clippers have definitely improved themselves. I also feel like we’ve kept up.”