Vegas Over/Under: 37.5
The Record Projection: 37-45 of fromal The Bet: lean although Prevent under
The Memphis Grizzlies are baffling.
For years, they have outperformed their underlying metrics because their grit-and-grind style enabled them to win close games more frequently than other squads. That devotion to defensive excellence and physical play became synonymous with those Beale Street residents.
However, what happens?
Zach Randolph and vince Carter have departed into the Sacramento Kings. Tony Allen and JaMychal Green stay free agents, and there is no telling if they will go back to their old stomping grounds for 2017-18. The roster feels more than it has in years, depleted.
And yet, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are nonetheless current. So long as the group’s two best players stay in the same uniform, they will be undeniably competitive on the two ends of the floor. Each deserves to be in the All-Star mix year in and year out, and they’ve taken over because the Grizzlies’ authentic leaders.
Is that sufficient? Can Memphis supplement the two stars’ efforts?
Betting on the Grizzlies falling completely out of the playoff conversation would be absurd, no matter where they wind up in the Western hierarchy. But the odds seem this time around.