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What to Expect from the Memphis Grizzlies This Season!

Memphis Grizzlies Franklin Sheard/ via Flickr.com

NBA

For the Memphis Grizzlies, last season was another average, yet disappointing performance. They finished 7th in the West as they seemingly always do and then lost to the San Antonio Spurs 4-2. With players coming and going and the Grizzlies seemingly stuck in the middle of the road, it might be now or never for them. Memphis signed a record 28 players during last years season and their injury struggles seem to be far from over.

The Injury Bug

Memphis will start the season with at least one player in street clothes on the bench, and they could have as many as four. Newly signed Ben McLemore underwent foot surgery last week and is expected to be out until November. Reports say McLemore sustained the injury during a pickup game. Tyreke Evans (toe), Chandler Parsons (knee), and rookie Ivan Rabb (ankle) are also listed as injured. All three should be ready for the start of the season. However the Grizzlies do currently boast an impressive 19 player roster, so filling in for McLemore shouldn’t be too hard.

Out with the Old and in With the New

Zach Randolph is out after eight years in Memphis. The timing seemed to be just right for the Grizzlies too as Z-Bo was arrested last week in California for possession of marijuana. The lanky, but inconsistent Brandan Wright will fill in at PF. Rookie Ivan Rabb will likely assume the starting power forward role eventually when the time is right. The Grizzlies also added rookie G/F Dillon Brooks in the draft and signed forward Rade Zagorac from Serbia.

The Grizzlies’ Projected Starting Lineup

Memphis currently lists Mike Conley at PG, newly signed Tyreke Evans at SG, Chandler Parsons at SF as he returns from a torn meniscus, Brandan Wright at PF, and the reliable Marc Gasol at center. Ben McLemore will likely contend for the starting shooting guard spot upon his return from injury. Expect Memphis to cut or assign multiple players to the D-League to lower the number of players on their roster. Most teams in the NBA carry 13-14 players on their roster at a time.

Now or Never

For the Western Conference’s eastern-most team (still not over that), Memphis may be running out of time. Their talented core of Gasol (32) and Conley (29) are slowly inching towards the “past their prime” stage of their careers. After losing Randolph to free agency, it might not be long before Conley and Gasol explore other options as well. The Grizzlies are playoff regulars, making the postseason every year since 2010. They have failed to make it out of the second round every year since 2013. If Memphis cannot get it right with the veteran core and new young talent that they have, they might find themselves in the rebuilding process sooner rather than later.

We never know what to expect from the Grizzlies each year. The only things we can count on are them getting the 5th, 6th, or 7th seed in the playoffs and Mike Conley getting cheated out of the All-Star game.

Think I missed something about the Grizzlies? Leave a comment down below.

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