The Grizzlies are an odd team. Last year they rolled out Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in the middle, Rudy Gay on the outside and a bunch of hard-playing guys and had a good year. This is a team without a true number one, but can 3 number 2s make a contender? They have done all the right things, signed their own guys, traded well, but this might be the last year of contention for a small-market team.
I love Marc Gasol, and he’s the building block, but he doesn’t scare me late in the fourth, and to be honest, neither does Rudy Gay. Zach Randolph can worry me, but I’m not going to double him, as there are a dozen guys that can guard him with the shot clock winding down.
Key Free Agent Acquisitions
Wayne Ellington: I have to think he’s better than he’s played so far, but he’s here to shoot. In a team with this much size, and two guys that can average double digit rebounds, Ellington should be able to shoot to his hearts content. If he gets over 43%, this guys gonna be a fan favorite, even though that’s almost all he brings to the table.
Jerryd Bayless: Not as good as I thought he was, but he can fill that OJ Mayo role, he can score almost at will when given the chance, and isn’t a bad backup point for a second unit.
Key Losses to Free Agency
OJ Mayo- I waffled back and forth on this. Mayo is a solid player, but streaky, and at times pulls the ball away from the team concept. Mayo is a very good player, who seems to decline every year. I like him in Dallas, but I can’t see his minutes getting increased here, I’m sure the fans on Memphis will get over losing him faster than they got over his lost potential.
Gilbert Arenas: Never bought into the system, lost his scoring punch, and Hollis didn’t need him dividing the lockeroom with Mayo,Gay and Z in there.
Jeremy Pargo – who? Exactly.
Marreese Speights: Yet another rebounder when his fouling let him.
Darrell Auther: ACL injury last year.
Tony Wroten- 25th overall picks don’t normally become game changers, of course, this is one divison that has had more than it’s share of non-lotto stars, but tell me where he really is good at anything. I suppose he’s a scorer? But in the Pac-10, isn’t everyone? He does throw up decent rebounds for his size.
This team reminds me of the Pacers back in the Rik Smits era with the Davis Brothers. Solid team, that can go on a deep run, but the stars simply doesn’t have the extra bit to win a game (Reggie Miller can’t defend or rebound, Rudy Gay can be killed on defense and can’t move without the ball) plus we never know with Randolph what we have. I wonder if Tony Allen has become Ron Artest- making the NBA Defensive team-Finally. In a division where the Spurs play, and the Lakers and Thunder wait in round 2, they may just not have enough to run through the West. But considering Dallas did just that with less talent, anything is possible, but I’ll take the West Semis for their range.
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