Zach Randolph: His Most Underrated Season
Zach Randolph was a key part of the grit and grind Memphis Grizzlies during his prime. He and Marc Gasol formed one of the toughest frontcourts in the entire NBA. As a result, they led the Grizzlies to many playoff appearances, even giving the San Antonio Spurs led by Tim Duncan and Tony Parker fits a couple of times. While Gasol was the go-to option, we cannot overlook the impact Zach Randolph also had on the Memphis Grizzlies. He was seemingly underrated throughout his whole career, even during his tenure with other teams. As a result, it makes sense to make this underrated star our next candidate in our “Most Underrated Season,” series.
Zach Randolph: His Most Overlooked Campaign
Zach Randolph: His 2008-09 Season
Things were a bit weird for Randolph in the 2008-09 season. While he was coming into his own as one of the best power forwards in the league, the New York Knicks were…well, being the Knicks. As a result, the Knicks decided to use what quality they had and made a move at the trade deadline. A move that sent Zach Randolph to another rebuilding franchise at the time. The Los Angeles Clippers. Considering Randolph was on an expiring deal, he only spent half of this season with the Clippers out of his 17-year long career.
After all, one cannot blame him for being a 20-point per game scorer who was developing nicely spending a season with a Knicks team who finished 32-50 and the Clippers who finished a putrid 19-63. Let’s just say this was a Clippers team who had the likes of an aging Baron Davis, a DeAndre Jordan who had not found his way yet, and a young and inexperienced Eric Gordon. Luckily, Zach Randolph’s fortunes would finally change the next season when he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies and made his first All-Star appearance.
Z-Bo’s 2008-09 Numbers
Despite having no shot at the postseason in the 2008-09 season, Randolph was one of the few bright spots for the Clippers and Knicks. During that time, he put up averages of 20.8 points, 10.1 total rebounds, and nearly a steal per game (0.9). On top of that, Z-Bo also shot an effective field goal percentage of 49.4 percent. However, his advanced stats from this particular season are also impressive.
In the 2008-09 campaign, Randolph tallied a usage rate of 28.1 percent. Not surprising considering he was close to being the only noteworthy name of two rebuilding teams within a single season. He also came away with a player efficiency rating of 19.6. On top of that, Z-Bo also racked up a defensive rebounding percentage of 23.2 percent to couple with an assist percentage of 11.5 percent. For the record, his assist percentage during this year spiked from 6.6 percent with the Knicks all the way to 12.9 percent with the Clippers. While Randolph had no shot at the postseason in the 2008-09 campaign, it is not his fault he was on poorly managed franchises at the time. As a result, this makes the 2008-09 season the most overlooked of Zach Randolph’s impressive career.
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