Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 10/24/12
Believe it or not, the NBA's regular season is two weeks away. To get you ready, Crossover Chronicles will be profiling a team each day for the next few weeks. This week is the Southwest Division. Today is the Memphis Grizzlies. 2011-12 Record: 41-25, lost first round Key Losses:  O.J. Mayo (signed with Dallas), Dante Cunningham (traded to Minnesota), Jeremy Pargo (traded to Cleveland) Key Acquisitions: Jerryd Bayless (signed from Toronto), Wayne Ellington (traded from Minnesota), Ronald Murray (signed from Chicago) Depth Chart PG SG SF PF C Mike Conley Tony Allen Rudy Gay Zach Randolph Marc Gasol Jerryd Bayless Wayne Ellington Quincy Pondexter Marreese Speights Hamed Haddadi Josh Selby Ronald Murray Ronald Dupree Darrell Arthur Michael Dunigan The Good The Grizzlies feature one of the best starting lineups in the league, mixing a solid group of veterans that work well together. Some like Rudy Gay and Mike Conley and Marc Gasol seem to be in their prime or just hitting their prime while players like Zach Randolph and Tony Allen are more than serviceable and more than able to contribute on the downsides of their careers. Memphis, even with Randolph missing most of last season, was a very dangerous team. The Grizzlies play solid defense, have a bullish front line led by Marc Gasol. Gasol turned in an All-Star caliber year with 14.6 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. It seems like Gasol is due for continued improvement even with Randolph returning and his rugged defense is exactly what the Grizzlies need. That is where this Memphis team finds its identity. Tony Allen starts solely because of his stellar defense on the perimeter. Rudy Gay, one of the most underrated and unknown stars in the NBA, is a capable scorer, is deadly on the fast break and is a solid defender. The Grizzlies finished seventh in the league in defensive rating last year and allowed only 93.0 points per game, fifth best in the league. This is a team that is on the verge of becoming elite because of the team's offensive balance, because of all the weapons they have at their disposal and because of the defensive talent on the floor. The Grizzlies remain a team that will be very tricky to deal with. The Bad Losing O.J. Mayo hurts this Grizzlies team. Memphis relied on Mayo to provide some scoring punch off the bench and a really bright spot for this team's future. While many of the players on the Grizzlies are in their prime or preparing for the back half of their careers, Mayo was a rising star and someone who could potentially become a star. Mayo averaged 12.6 points per game, shooting 40.8 percent from the floor in 26.8 minutes per game off the bench. Mayo accepted his role off the bench and played well, but he clearly wanted the chance to start. That might be why he opted to go to Dallas. It leaves the Grizzlies with a pretty sizeable hole on their bench and someone is going to thave to step up. Each player on that second line of the depth chart above has something to prove this season and none of them have really shown the kind of consistency to take over the Sixth Man role and anchor the second unit offensively. Certainly Jerryd Bayless, Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington have the talent, but in their short careers to this point they have not shown the ability. Lionel Hollins might have to resort to bringing Zach Randolph off the bench like he did last year when he was afraid to disrupt the team's rhythm right before the Playoffs and he wanted to work Randolph slowly back into the rotation after missing the majority of the season. The Ugly The Grizzlies are going to go through some changes. A new ownership group is set to take over the franchise and that usually means change is coming as the new owner wants to bring in his people and build the team in his image. Perhaps the Grizzlies are in a different situation because of all the success Chris Wallace has had building up this franchise and getting them to this point. The last two years have been some of the best in franchise history. Yet, there is still the sense the team is in that awful limbo in the middle of the Western Conference -- not quite good enough to say they are competing for a championship, but perhaps one or two pieces away from doing so. And clearly Memphis is cutting some costs as the organization let its most valuable young asset leave in free agency. That seems to suggest that time is running out for this run for the Grizzlies. Will Memphis spend to keep Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Rudy Gay? What is Zach Randolph's future with the franchise? These are big questions that Memphis will have to answer very soon. And under new ownership. Perhaps this year will be a step back to restock the bench for a future run with the players currently in the core group. Have thoughts or predictions on the Grizzlies? Leave them in the comments below or drop us a line @CrossoverNBA on Twitter or join the discussion by using the hashtag #GrizzliesDay. We will be back with a closer look at the Grizzlies throughout the day. [follow]
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback


Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

USWNT start Olympic qualification in style by scoring in first 12 seconds

Magic Johnson wants Peyton Manning to join Rams

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

Franchise tag has been a useful tool for John Elway, Broncos

The 16 best NBA All-Star Game sneakers ever

Eight most potentially combustible MLB clubhouses

Matt Barnes coyly denies IG post was shot at Derek Fisher

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker