Posted by Neil Paine on October 26, 2010
Welcome to our 2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews, in which we contact the finest team bloggers on the web and ask them to contribute their thoughts on the squad they cover. What follows is their take, along with the team's depth chart (courtesy of ESPN.com), projected 2011 stats via our Simple Projection System, and polls where you get to have your say. Enjoy!
Coach: Lionel Hollins
Record: 40-42, Finished 4th in NBA Southwest Division
SRS: -1.38 (17th of 30) ▪ Pace: 93.6 (10th of 30)
Off Rtg: 108.3 (13th of 30) ▪ Def Rtg: 109.9 (19th of 30)
Expected W-L: 37-45 (17th of 30)
2011 Depth Chart (with 2010-11 projected per-36 minute stats ... yellow = newcomer)
2010-11 Blogger Outlook by Allen Law, straightouttavancouver.com
The Grizzlies starting lineup was rock solid last year, and since Rudy Gay was extended all 5 guys will be back. Rudy hasn’t done much to deserve max money, but management hopes this is the year he makes an impact on the glass and passing.
And how much growth are the other young starters going to show, especially Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, and Marc Gasol? If Conley doesn’t improve this season, don’t be shocked to see him replaced via trade. On the other hand, O.J. and Marc should be set to breakout in their third year, although Mayo will probably always struggle defensively.
Also veteran Zach Randolph is a potential liability; if the Grizz want to beat last season’s record Z-Bo will have to stay healthy and repeat his career season last year.
Most importantly, the bench is still the question mark for the Grizzlies. Darrell Arthur is healthy now, which should help keep Randolph fresh, but both Arthur and Hasheem Thabeet need to produce every night. Xavier Henry and Tony Allen were the major acquisitions; one will replace Sam Young as 6th man. But they play the same position as either O.J. or Rudy, who both log over 36 minutes a night. If these 4 can’t rest the starters, the Grizz will end up right back around .500 and out of the playoffs.