We’ve reached the initial team that will win a ring this season without fully shocking the people: the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rest guaranteed a championship for the Grizzlies, who barely made it to the postseason last year with a list of 50-32 (the 17th reminder the West is loaded), could be a surprise. Zach Randolph is 33, and Mike Miller, a key floor-spacing shot in the past year’s underwhelming crime, followed LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Scoring, as always, will be an issue for the Grizz.
But this team is going to defend like mad, particularly with a slimmed-down Marc Gasol patrolling the middle forward of his 2015 free agency. Toss in Tony Allen, the NBA’s funniest perimeter stopper, and you’ve got the crucial components for a league-best defense.
Vince Carter remains a precious wing guardian who will run a pick-and-roll and hit the three, and Mike Conley is a playoff-tested fighter who just keeps getting better.
And keep in mind, we have seen this Grizzlies core knock off the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder in playoff series over the last four decades. Nobody scares Memphis from the postseason.
When the Grizzlies can stay healthy and Gasol puts up a big year, they are a dark-horse contender.
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