2. Memphis Grizzlies – 41-25 (2011-2012)
The Grizzlies are now that team just beneath the core group that worries you, because at any given moment you worry they will put it completely together. Quietly, while folks laughed and prodded about the Pau Gasol deal, GM Chris Wallace was building one of the more complete and competitive rosters without hitting the jackpot in the lottery or acquiring a big name free agent.
Only trouble I have with them is the redundancy in offensive styles between forwards Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph. Obviously, I’m not saying their skill set is identical. The ball-stopping isolation each can be prone to do is the issue. The team bust onto the scenes during the 2010-2011 postseason when they shocked the top seeded San Antonio Spurs without the services of an injured Rudy Gay, and with the offense run primarily through Randolph.
Can Mike Conley take the next step, and truly establish himself as a leader? If you’re going to have two ball-dominant figures along your front line, you must have a point guard strong enough to maximize the abilities of each player without either of them needing to hold on to the ball. The Knicks were in a similar circumstance, which is why they are hoping the experience of a guy like Jason Kidd can get their offense in order. Can Conley be that guy in Memphis?
Key Additions: Tony Wroten
Key Departures: OJ Mayo, Gilbert Arenas
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