NBA Preview: Memphis Grizzlies

BY foxsports • October 28, 2013

Editor’s note: This is the 18th of Sam Amico’s look at all 30 NBA teams heading into the 2013-14 season.

Coach: Dave Joerger (first NBA season)

Last season: 56-26, lost to San Antonio in Western Conference finals.

Projected starters: C Marc Gasol; PF Zach Randolph; SF Tayshaun Prince; SG Tony Allen; PG Mike Conley.

Key reserves: SF Quincy Poindexter; PG Jerryd Bayless; SG Mike Miller; C Kosta Koufos; PF Ed Davis; PF Jon Leuer.

New faces: Joerger, Miller, Koufos, SG Jamal Franklin (r); G Nick Calathes.

Scouting the Grizzlies

People like to write off the Grizzlies because there’s nothing flashy and they don’t really have a dynamic, high-flyer on the roster. … But they defend and play smart. …

Hard to understand how management could let go of former coach Lionel Hollins. He was perhaps the real coach of the year last season. … That’s not a knock on Joerger, who brings pretty much the same philosophy as Hollins. But can Joerger institute it as well? …

Regardless, this has always been a player’s league, and the key members of a cast that made it to the conference finals all return. …

The Grizzlies are one of the few remaining teams that play inside-out on offense, as everything begins with Randolph and Gasol. Both play below the rim, but can score underneath. Both are also strong passers and capable perimeter shooters. …

Conley and Allen form the league’s best defensive backcourt. Conley is a leader and winner, and has surprised some people with his ability to score in bundles when needed. … Allen can’t shoot a lick, but he can lock down everyone from the opposing team’s point guard to its small forward. … With Randolph, Gasol and Conley, it’s OK that Allen doesn’t look to score.

Prince is past his prime but he’s still lethal from beyond the arc and fits in well with the defensive culture. … He may not be the athlete he once was but he’s not going to hurt you. Plenty of teams would still like to have Prince as their small forward. …

Other than Bayless and Poindexter, the bench is pretty thin. Miller can still knock it down but you never know if he’s actually going to stay healthy. He was probably better in Miami because of all the stars around him. … Koufos could be a nice addition if he has the type of season he had in Denver last year. …

If the Grizzlies have any issues, it’s that ownership and the front office can be too meddlesome.

Prediction: 50-32.

FOX Sports: Grizzlies home

Twitter: @SamAmicoFSO