The Memphis Grizzles finished last season with a record of 55-27, which is good enough for 5th in the tough Western Conference (would be 2nd if they played in the Eastern Conference). They were to play a tough 4th seeded Portland Trail Blazers squad led my Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Grizzles were able to take that series 4-1 and they moved on to face the #1 seeded Golden State Warriors. As you may know, the Golden State Warriors were the eventual NBA Champions which means that they had to of defeated Memphis. They did, 4-2.
The biggest acquisitions the Grizzles brought over this offseason would have to be forward Matt Barnes and center Brandan Wright. Matt Barnes had a good season starting last season at small forward for the Los Angeles Clippers.He struggled in the postseason though. Barnes, who is known for his defense, averaged 10.1ppg and 4.0rpg while shooting .444% from the field and .362% from the 3pt line. His scoring went down to 7.6ppg while his rebounding went up to 5.1rpg. He contributed 1.4spg as well. His shooting suffered as he shot .380% from the field and .267% from the 3pt line. Now they have guys like Jeff Green, who is more offensive minded, and Matt Barnes, who is more defensive minded, to play at small forward. Like I said before, they brought in Brandan Wright who averaged 7.3ppg and 4.3rpg while shooting .642% from the field in only 19.3mpg. Slightly better than the averages of Kosta Koufos, the previous backup who just left for the Sacramento Kings. He averaged 5.2ppg and 5.3rpg while shooting .508% from the field in only 16.6mpg. The Memphis Grizzles are still being led by the big three of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol, which will continue to make them a dangerous team in the West. When you throw in the grindfather, Tony Allen, and the sweet shooting, Courtney Lee, you have a dangerous starting lineup.
The Memphis Grizzlies are going to be a tough team to face and are going to be one of the top teams in the West again too. I do not think they are going to come out of the West next season and I do not think they are improving enough that they will win a championship. They will compete and they will test you in the playoffs but will not be the team to play for the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. To me, they are trending neutral for this upcoming season. I have them ranked #6 in my NBA Power Rankings coming into the new season.