Getting to the playoffs is becoming the norm in Memphis. The Grizzlies were never synonymous with winning until Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol joined forces in the paint. They have become a trendy sleeper pick come playoff time year after year.
How many more years do you think the Randolph/Gasol duo have in them? Randolph is just 33 years old, but this will be his 14th season. Has the championship window closed in Memphis?
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Memphis Grizzlies.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 50-32
Key Additions: SG Vince Carter, SG Jordan Adams & PF Jarnell Stokes
Key Losses: PF James Johnson, SF Mike Miller, PF Ed Davis & SG Jamaal Franklin
Projected Starters: Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, Courtney Lee & Mike Conley
Fantasy Sleeper: SG Jordan Adams – I always end up watching a ton of UCLA games every season. They aren’t exactly my favorite team and I’m located in the Midwest, but there they are on my television at least once a week in the Winter. I really like Adams and know his game will translate to the NBA. He’s a deadly three-point shooter and plays good perimeter defense. Memphis may have gotten themselves a steal drafting Adams at #22.
Team Analysis: Memphis won 50 games last season with a very similar roster. They signed Vince Carter to replace Mike Miller, but didn’t fill the loss of James Johnson. He was the PER guy off the bench. He only played 20 minutes per game, but filled up a stat sheet. There weren’t many zeros on his stat line at the end of the night. He did a little of everything.
The loss of James Johnson isn’t the main reason why I’m predicting they win ten less games this season. The Western Conference is going through a youth movement. Younger teams like Portland, New Orleans, Golden State and Phoenix are forcing out perennial playoff teams. The same eight teams can’t make it every year. I don’t think Randolph can go a full 80 games a season. If Randolph is out, Gasol isn’t the same and vice versa. They need both on the court for Memphis to have the upper hand.
Memphis will still be good, but the West is just so darn stacked. There are 11 teams in the West that legitimately have a shot at making the playoffs. All of those teams would be a playoff team in the East. I think they will be one of the deserving teams left out of the race.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 48.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 40-42 (10th in Western Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.