2014-15 Record: 55-27
2014-15 Offense: 98.3 PPG (20th)
2014-15 Defense: 95.1 PPG (2nd)
Key Additions: Matt Barnes (SF), Brandan Wright (F/C)
Key Losses: Nick Calathes (PG), Kosta Koufos (C), Jon Leuer (PF)
The Grizzlies have had a very nice run but they haven’t gotten to the finals. They’re a perpetual annoyance in the Western Conference but they’ve never been champions. I’ts been five consecutive years in the playoffs yet they have no wins in the conference finals. This is year six for their core of Conley, Allen, Randolph, and Gasol. Have we seen the best they have to offer or will this be the year they win the west?
Last year was a typical Grizzlies season. They couldn’t score but they allowed the second fewest points. Will the defense be able to keep it up? They lost a couple of good defenders off the bench from last year’s team. Nick Calathes left for Greece again Kosta Koufos left for the Kings. They also lost Jon Leuer, who played some solid minutes for Memphis last year.
Replacing Koufos is former lottery pick, Brandan Wright. Wright had been a disappointment for much of his career but he found his role in Dallas. He then was traded twice last year and wasn’t as effective. Memphis hopes to get the Dallas version of Wright. That player is a great finisher inside and plays with a ton of energy. I can see him being successful in Memphis. Their other significant acquisition was Matt Barnes. Barnes seems like a perfect fit. He’s older but he’ll still play hard for Memphis.
I’m not sure if the additions and subtractions will make a difference. I do think age will start to be a factor for the Grizzlies though. Marc Gasol has now joined Tony Allen and Zach Randolph in their thirties. Allen and Randolph are both at the age when you start to see big declines. I think Memphis has one more playoff run in them but I don’t think they’re a true contender.