2018-2019 Off the Glass Team Preview Series: Memphis Grizzlies
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The 2018-2019 NBA season starts October 16th and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Memphis Grizzlies.
22-60, 5th in the Southwest Division.
After a disappointing 2017-2018 season, the Grizzlies failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. Coach David Fizdale was fired after a rocky 7-12 start to the season. J.B. Bickerstaff was brought in to fill the vacant spot on the bench and will also carry the torch this season.
Tyreke Evans (G)
Jaren Jackson Jr. (F); Shelvin Mack (G); Kyle Anderson (F); Omri Casspi (F); Garrett Temple (F)
Player to Watch:
Dillon Brooks (G/F)
In a division that was joined by all-stars DeMar DeRozan and DeAndre Jordan in the offseason, the Grizzlies now have even more catching up to do. Missing the was a huge disappointment, and it is looking like Memphis will not be back anytime soon. The team will rely on 11-year veteran point guard Mike Conley and 10-year veteran center Marc Gasol to do most of the heavy lifting. If health issues were to effect Conley once again this season, look for Mack to command the offense in Conley’s absence.
One upside of this offseason was the draft as the Grizzlies selected Michigan State star Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson’s development this season will be imperative to the success of this Memphis squad. By utilizing his length, he proved to be a critical part of the Michigan State defense last season and will need to translate that to the NBA.
Signing Anderson in the offseason was a nice move for the Grizzlies and gives them another option at the forward position. Anderson, along with Brooks and Casspi, gives Memphis flexibility and depth on the wing. They also take some of the stress off Chandler Parsons as all three have shown an ability to play the power forward position as well.
Worst Case Scenario:
The Grizzlies get off to a slow start and are unable to close out close games against conference opponents. The injury bug strikes early leaving Conley, Gasol or Parsons out for a good portion of the season.
Best Case Scenario:
The Grizzlies come together and play complete team basketball, spread the floor and use the weapons available to them. Making a big-time move around the trade deadline could possibly propel this team into the 8th seed in the mighty Western Conference.
27-55, 5th in the Southwest Division.