Memphis Grizzlies: 50-1
We’ve reached the initial team that could win a ring this season without fully shocking the populace: 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 (your 17th reminder the West is loaded), could be a surprise. Zach Randolph is 33, and Mike Miller, a crucial floor-spacing shot in the past year’s underwhelming crime, followed LeBron James into the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Scoring, as always, will probably be a problem for the Grizz.
But this team is going to defend like crazy, especially with a slimmed-down Marc Gasol patrolling the midst forward of the 2015 free agency. Toss in Tony Allen, the NBA’s scariest perimeter stopper, and you’ve got the crucial components to get a league-best defense.
Vince Carter remains a valuable wing defender who will conduct a pick-and-roll and hit the three, and Mike Conley is a playoff-tested fighter who just keeps getting better.
And remember, we have 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 in the postseason.
When the Grizzlies can stay healthy and Gasol puts a significant year, they are a dark-horse contender.
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