An exciting season awaits the Memphis Grizzlies following an impressive breakout season last year.
The good news for Grizzlies fans is that, with Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke as counterparts to Morant, there seems to still be room for growth and improvement. The franchise has also re-signed Tyus Jones, adding some depth in the backcourt as a solid backup for Morant.
The bad news entering the season is the imposing anchor to the defense Jaren Jackson Jr. recently underwent foot surgery and won’t be back until possibly January.
So the question is — will they win the franchise’s first-ever championship? Unfortunately, that feat seems just out of reach with the inexperience of the roster. However, the Grizzlies can compete with the top teams in the league, as they proved last season, and they’ll be worth keeping an eye on when it comes to betting on the NBA. A championship may well be on the cards in the near future, as they look to finally hang a banner in the FedEx Forum.
The Grizzlies exploded onto the scene last year winning 56 games — the second most in the league. Led by Ja Morant, who signed a supermax five-year $213 million dollar contract in the offseason, the Grizzlies fell to eventual champions the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals.
There were some fantastic performers for the Grizzlies last year. Bane averaged 18.2 points per game and Brooks averaged 18.4 in the games that he played (32), while Clarke averaged 10.4 and 5.6 rebounds per game, and the excellent Jackson Jr. averaged 16.3 points and 5.8 rebounds last season.
Founded in 1995 as the Vancouver Grizzlies, the organization relocated to Memphis in 2001.
The early years of Memphis featured all-stars Pau Gasol and Jason Williams helping the Grizzlies reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history in 2004.
Memphis had two more playoff appearances in the 2000s, but could never get out of the first round before Pau Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008. Part of this trade included Marc Gasol, Pau’s brother, getting sent to Memphis. Marc helped keep ‘The Grizz’ relevant with the help of Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Rudy Gay.
Memphis reached the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons from 2010-2017, but never made it out of the conference finals — making it there only once.