Last year in the lockout season, the Memphis Grizzlies had the best win percentage in franchise history by going 41-25. In the offseason, they’ve lost guards O.J. Mayo, Gilbert Arenas (free agent) and forward Dante Cunningham and have added guards Jerryd Bayless, Wayne Ellington, drafted Tony Wroten Jr. and get Darrell Arthur back after missing the entire season with an ACL injury. So what does that do for their odds in the revamped Western Conference?
According to Las Vegas, the Grizzlies are set to win 48.5 games next season and finish sixth in the Western Conference.
The top three teams in the West are virtually given. You have to wonder how much the San Antonio Spurs have left in the tank, but they continue to prove everyone wrong in the regular season. After that it’s really a toss-up between the Los Angeles Clippers, the Denver Nuggets and the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies haven’t won 50 games since Hubie Brown was at the helm and that was in 2003-2004. If the main core of this team can stay completely healthy for once, then the over will happen, but that’s a huge if. Zach Randolph says he is 100 percent after suffering a knee injury last season. Rudy Gay is motivated after not making the Olympic team and Marc Gasol is better than ever. O.J.’s production may not be replaced by one person, but it will be done by committee and FINALLY, we have a backup point guard.
For a positive take on this rankings? If this list comes true, we would be matched up with the Spurs again and just the thought of that has me salivating. They don’t play much defense (if you think otherwise, take a look at the Spurs-Thunder WCF series) and we could take advantage of that. In the second round, we’d run into the new look Los Angeles Lakers and though we match up well with them from top-to-bottom, their overall talent may be too much for the team.
The season starts in two weeks, so we’ll be able to see for ourselves then.
Photo courtesy of Straight Outta Vancouver | SB Nation