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Kelly Dwyer

BDL's 2010-11 Season Previews: Memphis Grizzlies

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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Last year's record?
40-42, missed playoffs.

Significant departures? None that are in any way significant.

Significant arrivals? Tony Allen(notes) (who Chris Sheridan predicted will win Defensive Player of the Year this season because, well, good god that's so incredibly ridiculous on several different levels), Xavier Henry(notes), Greivis Vasquez(notes), possibly Acie Law IV(notes).

Projected record, as predicted three months ago in time to publish in Yahoo! Sports' NBA Preview Magazine? 40-42

Why I think that sounds about right?

Probably, though this wasn't much of a consideration when I tossed out that prediction, because the Grizzlies won 40 out of 82 games last year, and didn't really change their team in the slightest as they head into 2010-11.

While that shouldn't be a reason to predict 40-42, it does kind of make sense in retrospect. Just about every Grizzlies player will be a small step better in 2010-11, if they want to, as each of these youngsters makes a small move toward their respective primes. This should be enough to counter a Western Conference that will be wise to the Memphis ways.

Why I think I might be terribly, terribly wrong?

Because it's hard to depend on Zach Randolph(notes).

The man made noise regarding a contract extension over the summer, which isn't the dumbest thing he's ever done, but it is a bit of a sliding scale with someone like Zach Randolph. The burly power forward put it all together last season, handing the Grizzlies the same sort of on-paper production that he's come through with in Portland, New York and Los Angeles; but styled in a quick, efficient manner that actually won games. It may have been a fluke, though. He might come through with 20 and 10 this season, but at what cost?

And does Rudy Gay(notes), a guy that has pretty much been the same player since he entered the NBA in 2006, finally take a step beyond the realm of just getting by on talent? Does Marc Gasol(notes) get the ball more? Does Mike Conley(notes) realize that he's just Mike Conley? Does Lionel Hollins make it through December without calling Jack Ramsay up and agreeing to that contract extension? Does the implosion we incorrectly predicted for 2009-10 finally take place?

I love Memphis. Any extra bit of scratch and weekend off that I have, I head down there. I absolutely love the city, love that there is an NBA team in that city, and I really (truly) enjoy watching the players that are on this team. I loved watching them last year, as they put it all together, and I'm rooting for them again this year.

Just understand, though, that treading water is an accomplishment for this lot.

Dan Devine's Corner Three

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Mark Eaton rhymes ...

Made-up limericks about "going for it" in the NBA regular season and in life, from the 7-foot-4 former Utah Jazz center and current celebrity motivational speaker.

Marc Gasol is this league's one true hope.
That beard, at the five, is so dope.
I'm proud as can be
Of that hirsute family.
Wait, do beards equal wins yet? "Nope."

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(Beards should equal wins.)

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Let's take a closer look at Greivis Vasquez, who just rang his neighbor's doorbell and is running away so fast.

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This has been a closer look at Greivis Vasquez, who just rang his neighbor's doorbell and is running away so fast.

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We'll be missing you

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Aloha 'oe, Ronnie Brewer(notes). Because you partially tore your right hamstring during your first game with the Grizz after coming over from the Utah Jazz in exchange for a first-round pick (solid value there), not enough people got the chance to appreciate your headband/wristband homage to well-regarded mid-'80s WWF tag team The Killer Bees. Pity. The NBA is an unforgiving mistress, Ron-Ron Brew-Brew.
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