After being swept by the San Antonio Spurs in last season’s Western Conference Finals, the Memphis Grizzlies know that this year they will have to be much stronger, focused and play as a unit going up and down the court. The talent they have at hand was definitely more than capable of recording at least two wins against a solid Spurs side. However, being that they were in their first ever West Finals appearance, nerves took the best of them.
This year, with that experience under their belt, they need to come together and perfectly blend the youth and the veterans into a ball club that will be dominant on both ends of the ball. Energy will be a must and shots should not be forced unless absolutely necessary. They can rely on Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley who all have the capability to win games by working together. Also, the return of Mike Mille from defending champion, Miami Heat, will also be beneficial.
Comparing the Grizzlies to the Spurs would be unjust since that team is led by three brilliant vets in Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginonbli. Parker handles the ball, Ginobli makes crazy shots and Duncan defends successfully and creates enough space to bank in his shots. These guys are the true definition of a veteran big three.
Former assistant coach David Joerger has been promoted to head coach as he replaces Lionel Hollins who was fired after the sweep by San Antonio. That decision may have been a little harsh but management felt that the team could have done much better. Regardless, Joerger is a good candidate as he already knows the system of the team quite well and could make a difference with a louder and more important voice to the boys.
Memphis will be in the playoffs again this season but making it all the way to the West Finals again under a coach who has yet to prove himself might not be possible. Joerger needs time to set a tone for a team who may still be recovering from that unforgettable exit. However, they will still be quite difficult to beat this season.