It is the same story for the Grizzlies almost every season and the last one is not an exception. Memphis was looking like a strong title contender during the regular season, but when the playoffs came, the team just could not get past the second round once again. That has been the story for the Grizzlies for a while now and it looks like it will be the same for the coming 2015-16 season. On paper, the Grizzlies look like serious title contenders, given the players they have on the roster and their ability to play defense, but in reality squads that have better offense-defense balance often beat them.
The main problem with Memphis is that they simply focus too much on one end of the floor. Last season, they were among the last teams in three-pointers made; a very concerning stat for a franchise aiming for an NBA title. If Memphis wants to contend for a championship, they will have to find a way to increase their shots from downtown. However, it does not look like that will happen in 2016.
The Grizzlies did not make any significant changes to their roster this offseason and for a team that has been excellent for the last couple of seasons, it’s usually a good sign. However, Memphis needs a little change. Everybody knows how the Grizzlies will play next season – they will once again defend intensively and look for Gasol and Randolph while on offense. However, we have seen that this kind of system has not been effective all the time. When their opponents break down their defense, the Grizzlies are often left out hanging in the air, unable to answer back on the offensive end. The main reason for that is they don’t have any good shooters that can get them back into the game when their big men cannot make baskets.
If only the Grizzlies can find a way to knock more threes, they will definitely find it easier to come back in games they are falling behind. It’s hard to see that happening any time in the future though. Memphis was able to re-sign Marc Gasol at a max deal, but the team could not acquire any shooters to cover their biggest weakness. The only significant additions to the Grizzlies roster were Brandan Wright and Matt Barnes, who definitely are not three point specialists.
As a whole, do not expect the Grizzlies to fight for the championship. Sure, they will be a force during the regular season and will most likely finish among the top four or five teams in the Western Conference, but in the playoffs there is no way the Memphis will be able to defeat the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs four times.