Vegas Over/Under: 37.5
The Record Projection: 37-45 of fromal The Bet: Avoid but lean under
The Memphis Grizzlies are baffling.
For many years, they have outperformed their inherent metrics because their grit-and-grind style enabled them to win close games more frequently than other squads. That commitment to defensive excellence and physical play became synonymous with those Beale Street inhabitants.
But what happens now?
Zach Randolph and vince Carter have defected to the Sacramento Kings. Tony Allen and JaMychal Green stay free agents, and there’s no telling if they will return to their old stomping grounds for 2017-18. The roster feels more than it has in previous years, depleted.
And nonetheless, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are still current. So long as the group’s two greatest players stay in precisely the same uniform, they will be undeniably competitive on both ends of the ground. Each deserves to be in the All-Star mix year in and year out, and they have taken over as the Grizzlies’ true leaders.
With the Western Conference improving, is that sufficient? Can Memphis supplement both celebrities’ efforts with a Chandler Parsons?
Betting on the Grizzlies falling entirely out of the playoff conversation would be foolish, wherever they wind up in the Western hierarchy. But the odds seem this time around.
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