Over the 2013 NBA off-season, there has been a lot of talk about teams from the Western Conference. People have been talking about what the Los Angeles Lakers are going to be like in the 2013-2014 season, about the Houston Rockets’ addition of Dwight Howard, and about the Golden State Warriors bringing in Andre Iguodala.
However, one team that hasn’t been heavily on the NBA radar this season, though they should be, is the Memphis Grizzlies. People have quickly forgotten the fact that the Grizzlies made it to the Conference Finals this past season, even if they were swept in that series. A lot of people attribute their success in the playoffs to the Russell Westbrook injury and not the Grizzlies’ ability, which is a huge mistake.
With their defensive-minded approach to the game, the Grizzlies have the ability to put stifle the offense of any opponent that they come up against. Arguably their biggest weakness last season was their sometimes stagnant and inconsistent offense, particularly when they went to their bench. However, the Grizzlies have addressed those issues this summer.
Not only has Memphis added rookie Jamaal Franklin and his attacking ability, a backup center with potential in Kosta Koufos, and a sharpshooting wing in Mike Miller, but they are also reportedly looking into signing Mo Williams. With all of those additions and the possible addition of Williams, bench production isn’t going to be an issue next season.
With their elite defensive ability and their newly revamped offense, the Grizzlies are my favorite to come out of the Western Conference and make the NBA Finals. Watching them in the playoffs last year, the Grizzlies’ talent was clear, but it felt like there were just a few pieces missing from them making a run at a title. This summer, it feels like they have added the pieces that they need to. They may not be the team hoisting the trophy at the end of the 2014 NBA Finals, but I expect them to be in that series.