In 2011, the Memphis Grizzlies were one of the biggest stories in the NBA. The Grizzlies earned the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference and defeated the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs. In 2013, they made even more noise, advancing to the Western Conference Finals where they were defeated by the Spurs. Last season, they were defeated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.
The Grizzlies will now be looking to get back to where they were in 2013 and although they re-signed power forward Zach Randolph, they lost his backup, Ed Davis, and have a few holes in their roster.
Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders believes there is a chance the Grizzlies could miss the playoffs.
Of all the teams you listed, I’d probably worry most about Memphis falling into the mix of teams fighting with the likes of the Pelicans, Suns and possibly even a team like the Nuggets. One team that will really be interesting to keep an eye on will be Houston. After a disappointing playoff run last season, I’m not so sure they didn’t regress from a talent standpoint in terms of the roster. Perhaps the “fit” of the talent will be better, but we’ll have to wait and see. Your stance on Portland is intriguing, as I actually think they will be a better team moving forward. If they get any type of consistent productivity from a guy like Will Barton (or anyone else from that reserve unit), that could make them a more dangerous team come playoff time. As you stated, it is going to be one heck of a playoff race in a deep WC once again and I cannot wait!
Of course, this could be the Grizzlies’ last chance to make some noise for a final – center Marc Gasol will be a free agent following the 2014-2015 season. Still, the Grizzlies have a very talented roster and if Gasol stays healthy, the Grizzlies actually may improve next season.
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