Season preview: Memphis Grizzlies

Season preview: Memphis Grizzlies


Season preview: Memphis Grizzlies

STAYING: Wade Baldwin, Mike Conley, Deyonta Davis, James Ennis, Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green, Andrew Harrison, Jarell Martin, Chandler Parsons, Wayne Selden and Brandan Wright.

ADDED: Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Mario Chalmers, Tyreke Evans (Sacramento), Vince Hunter (Avtodor Saratov), Ben McLemore (Sacramento), Jeremy Morgan (Northern Iowa), Kobi Simmons (Arizona), Ivan Rabb (California) and Rade Zagorac (Mega Leks).

GONE: Tony Allen (New Orleans), Vince Carter (Sacramento), Troy Daniels (Phoenix) and Zach Randolph (Sacramento).

STRENGTHS: Defense … The grit-and-grind is real … Opponents shot just 44.3 percent from the field against them last year … It was the fourth-best defensive mark in the NBA … Elite play at point guard and center with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol … They don’t rely on athleticism to get it done, so you would expect them to age well … Great leadership from those two sets an example for the rest of the team.

WEAKNESSES: Offensively, they can’t keep up with Western Conference powers … They finished the 2016-17 season as No. 18 in offensive rating and No. 29 in scoring … Not a lot of depth … Any reliable backup for Conley and Gasol? … Too many ifs at the wing positions … If Chandler Parsons rebounds from a disastrous season, Tyreke Evans returns to his old form and Ben McLemore finally lives up to his promise, they might have something good going there … But that doesn’t sound very feasible …  Part of the soul of the grit-and-grind squad is gone with the departure of Tony Allen and Zach Randolph.

PREDICTION: 4th in the Southwest Division, 11th in the Western Conference.


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