The Memphis Grizzlies, despite making the 2013 Western Conference Finals, had a glaring weakness in the 2012-13 NBA season. The Grizzlies were unquestionably a leviathan on the defensive end of the floor, but when they dipped into their bench, there was never any telling what they were going to get offensively from their reserves.
Memphis’ primary bench players last season in Jerryd Bayless and Quincy Pondexter, both of whom were wildly inconsistent last season, are back for another year. However, it’s the players that are joining the Grizzlies’ reserves that should give them an even bigger boost. Mike Miller, Kosta Koufos and rookie Jamaal Franklin all bring different looks for the Grizzlies’ bench coming into this season.
However, there are a lot of people that aren’t high on Memphis coming into this season. Perhaps it’s a combination of an aging Zach Randolph, some unproven role players and an improved Western Conference, but the majority of people consider the Grizzlies a playoff team, but not a serious contender out West.
Odds-makers are among the people who don’t seem to be buying into Memphis this season. According to Bovada, the Grizzlies’ over/under win total is set at 50.5 wins for the upcoming season. Considering that they won 56 games last season and have gotten deeper this off-season, that’s a big perplexing to me.
From the looks of how people see this season going for Memphis, I’m in the minority for taking the over. I’m strangely very confident in this Grizzlies team. They still have their identity as a defensive team and can control the pace of games to their benefit better than almost any team in the entire league. That hasn’t changed and I expect the same positive results this season.
I realize that there are some great teams in the West this season, which could hurt Memphis’ chances of getting to at least 51 wins, but I believe in the grit-and-grind and what this Grizzlies team does on a basketball court. If I’m wrong and everyone else is right, then that’s a mistake I’m willing to make.