Opposing teams look at Zach Randolph's hands, and fear the feathery jump shot and strength to corral even the most improbable rebounds.
Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins sees the grip Randolph has on his team and worries where the franchise would be without its prolific power forward.
Randolph was an All-Star snub and might be hard-pressed to win any postseason honors this season. However, Hollins considers Randolph the Grizzlies' most valuable player with the franchise on the verge of locking up its first playoff berth since the 2005-06 season.
"Of course, he's our MVP," Hollins said of Randolph. "Ever since he's been here we've been a good team. Last year we didn't have enough to get over the hump. We didn't make it to .500, but we were pretty close. We made a 16-game improvement, and now we're on the cusp of doing something special."
Hollins said management would be remiss not to work out a contract extension with the 6-9, 10-year veteran. The Griz recently presented Randolph's agent, Raymond Brothers, with the framework of a four-year deal.
Both sides continue to report they are involved in constructive contract talks that should lead to a deal.
"I'm glad they're working on it," Hollins said. "There would be a big, gaping hole if he wasn't here. I'm sure he's going to be here, and it's going to be a nice foundation to build around."
It's easy to take Randolph for granted given he's averaging a double-double for a fifth straight season. Only Orlando's Dwight Howard has a longer streak with seven consecutive years.
Randolph is making a case for his first career All-NBA honors by averaging a team-high 20.1 points and a career-high and franchise-record 12.3 rebounds this season.
Zach Randolph carrying the load for hot Grizzlies
Memphis Commercial Appeal | Apr 4