The Memphis Grizzlies are coming into the upcoming season from a 2015-16 campaign that was marred with injuries and trades which eventually led to the team’s setting of a league-record 28 different players in a single season.
This season, the Grizzlies look to keep their team intact, with the hopes of getting a lot of help from role players like Gasol and Mike Conley and the much needed offensive bounce of Chandler Parsons.
Memphis Grizzlies Depth Chart
Point Guards: Mike Conley, Wade Baldwin, Andrew Harrison
Shooting Guards: Tony Allen, Vince Carter, Troy Daniels, Jordan Adams
Small Forwards: Chandler Parsons, James Ennis
Power Forwards: Zach Randolph, JaMychal Green, Jarell Martin
Centers: Marc Gasol, Brandan Wright, Deyonta Davis
Key Additions: Chandler Parsons, Troy Daniels, Wade Baldwin, Deyonta Davis, James Ennis
Key Losses: Lance Stephenson, Matt Barnes, Chris Andersen
Obviously, the most notable acquisition of Memphis during the offseason was the four-year deal with Parsons, who will now be under a very bright spotlight as the Grizzlies scoring wingman. At this point though, analysts are still seeing the small forward fulfilling a sidekick role for now, whereas Conley and Marc Gasol will still be manning the reigns for the Memphis team.
“Parsons is likely to be the most significant shooter the Grizzlies have employed in the current era,” Chris Herrington of the Memphis Commercial Appeal shared. “He is also good enough with the ball to be a secondary playmaker and, with his size, is versatile enough to play both forward positions. Offensively, at least, he could be a perfect fit playing between Conley and Gasol.”
Memphis Grizzlies Strengths/ Weaknesses
After coming from what was really a fairly average season (compared to their much older and successful years), the Grizzlies have nowhere else to look (and strive for) but up.
And with a small forward platoon that ranked 26th in scoring in the league, the arrival of Parsons, again, looks to bring a much needed boost. If healthy he will bring numbers of 19.6 PPG on 52.5 percent shooting, 6.0 RPG and 3.1APG- which he averaged from a very impressive run from January until March. Coupled with a healthy Conley and Gasol and this would make a highly competitive squad in the Western Conference.
But again, there is that word- HEALTH.
Apart from his performance, another factor that will be under the watchful eye of fans and analysts are Parson’s knees, which had almost derailed his career in the past two seasons. Gasol and Conley will also bring in risks with their own history of injuries, and should the same problems bug the team this season, then Memphis may have to kiss playoff contention goodbye.
With the Western conference seemingly having even a much stronger roster of teams than the east this season, the Memphis Grizzlies may have a tough time making it to the playoffs. This may hold even more true if the team is again visited by the injury bug.
So expect Memphis to bother some of the top teams in the league, but, for now, don’t expect them to content for a title this season.