Vegas Over/Under: 37.5
The Record Projection: 37-45 of fromal The Bet: lean although Prevent under
The Memphis Grizzlies are baffling.
For many years, they have outperformed their underlying metrics since their grit-and-grind style enabled them to win close games more often than other squads. That devotion to defensive excellence and physical drama became synonymous with these Beale Street residents.
However, what happens?
Vince Carter and Zach Randolph have defected to the Sacramento Kings. Tony Allen and JaMychal Green stay free agents, and there is no telling if they will return to their old stomping grounds for 2017-18. The roster feels more lethargic than it has in years.
And yet, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are still present. So long as the team’s two greatest players remain in the exact same uniform, they’ll be so competitive on both ends of the ground. Each deserves to be in the All-Star mix season in and year out, and they’ve taken over because the Grizzlies’ true leaders.
Together with the Western Conference enhancing, is that sufficient? Can Memphis supplement both stars’ efforts with a healthy Chandler Parsons?
Betting on the Grizzlies falling completely from the playoff dialog would be foolish, wherever they end up in the Western hierarchy. But the odds seem much longer this time around.
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