We’ve reached the first team that could win a ring this year without fully shocking the populace: the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rest assured a championship for the Grizzlies, who barely made it into the postseason last year with a record of 50-32 (your 17th reminder the West is loaded), would be a surprise. Zach Randolph is 33, and Mike Miller, a key floor-spacing shot in the past year’s underwhelming offense, followed LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Scoring, as always, will probably be an issue for the Grizz.
But this team is going to defend like crazy, especially with some slimmed-down Marc Gasol patrolling the middle forward of the 2015 free agency. Toss in Tony Allen, the NBA’s scariest perimeter stopper, and you have got the key components to get a league-best defense.
Vince Carter remains a valuable wing guardian who can conduct a pick-and-roll and hit the occasional three, and Mike Conley is a playoff-tested fighter who just keeps getting better.
And keep in mind, we’ve noticed this Grizzlies core knock off the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder in playoff show over the previous four years. Nobody scares Memphis from the postseason.
When the Grizzlies can stay healthy and Gasol puts a significant year, they are a dark-horse contender.
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