Overview: Cardinals game has suffered since his big free agent contract. A series of knee injuries has limited Cardinal to less than half a season of play for 3 consecutive seasons, making his contract amongst one of the leagues worst compared to his production over that time. Cardinal was known as a multi-positional two-way hustle player during his time with Golden State. His perimeter shooting is probably his strongest asset on offense. Defensively, he is aggravating as a situational matchup against both forward positions. What he lacks in athleticism he makes up for in effort and intelligence, although at this point in his career thats not really enough to get him any real minutes, even on the dismal Grizzlies. The worst part is that his albatross contract doesnt end until 2010.
Offense: Cardinal is used almost exclusively as a spot-up shooter, although he had his worst season ever in this area, which killed any chance he had of playing. His career marks from beyond 3-point range are solid, but fell to just 31% in 07-08. Hes an intelligent player in pick-and-roll, cuts, offensive rebounds, and transition situations. Overall, Cardinal functions well as a complimentary offensive role player and is capable of some surprising scoring bursts when hes healthy and getting good playing time, which hasnt been the case for about three years now. He wont do much in the post or in ISO situations, but off-ball he makes things happen. He shot a dismal 34% from the field in 07-08, and attempted well over 50% of his shots from behind the arc. He will have to revert back to being the fantastic shooter he once was if hes ever to return to Memphis rotation.
Defense: Cardinal puts a lot of effort into his defense, but doesnt always get great results at this point in his career, being too small to guard most power forwards, and too slow to guard any small forwards. He has trouble against dribble penetration and on the post when matched up with prime time scoring options and left in single coverage, but is a capable help defender. Man defense is solid when matched up with opponents who have holes in their game. Despite his lack of lateral quickness, hell press up on shooters and force them toward help or give space and funnel drivers toward interior defense. On the block, Cardinal is physical and liberal with his fouls when given the opportunity to play. He knows his role and tries to maximize his time on the floor, although his extremely poor rebounding numbers are a pretty tough pill to swallow considering how little he brings to the table elsewhere.