Memphis Grizzlies 2019-2020

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MDLzera
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Sep 27, 2016
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I think your impression of the relative strength of the conferences is based on a decade-old stereotype and doesn't reflect the league in 2019-2020. A lot of people I've read have been saying that the East is stronger this year, and "awful East" just an outdated hot-take at this point.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Aug 23, 2008
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I think your impression of the relative strength of the conferences is based on a decade-old stereotype and doesn't reflect the league in 2019-2020. A lot of people I've read have been saying that the East is stronger this year, and "awful East" just an outdated hot-take at this point.
The top half is a lot stronger, yes, but the bottom half is more of the same. Right now the bottom of the West, besides Memphis, includes perennially decent-to-well-run organizations like the Warriors, Blazers, Spurs, and Thunder while the East is the same Hawks/Pistons/Hornets/Cavs/Bulls/Knicks hot mess that it has been for years. Aside from the Hawks and maybe the Bulls if you squint, it's hard to be bullish on any of those teams' futures. And it's all exacerbated by the fact that the top-tier lottery players have mostly ended up out West instead of on these teams.
 

nighthob

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I think your impression of the relative strength of the conferences is based on a decade-old stereotype and doesn't reflect the league in 2019-2020. A lot of people I've read have been saying that the East is stronger this year, and "awful East" just an outdated hot-take at this point.
The top of the east is probably as good as/better than the top of the west. But it's really only six teams deep whereas the West is more like 11. And those teams are all going to be clawing to make the postseason. There are not going to be many nights off for the Grizz.
 

Tony C

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Apr 13, 2000
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In re "the top," isn't the consensus of most power rankings that the Bucks, Lakers, Clippers are the top 3 in some order? I just checked ESPN's latest power rankings and they had it: Lakers; Bucks; Clippers (and then Nuggets, Celtics, Rockets, Jazz).

That's 2 of the top 3 from the West and 5 of the top 7. I agree with you that at the bottom the East is significantly worse than the West. At the top, too, though, the West seems a bit better still. Not sure I agree with this hot take I've been seeing that the East is now equal/better. The margin is definitely much tighter, though.
 
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lovegtm

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In re "the top," isn't the consensus of most power rankings that the Bucks, Lakers, Clippers are the top 3 in some order? I just checked ESPN's latest power rankings and they had it: Lakers; Bucks; Clippers (and then Nuggets, Celtics, Rockets, Jazz).

That's 2 of the top 3 from the West and 5 of the top 7. I agree with you that at the bottom the East is significantly worse than the West. At the top, too, though, the West seems a bit better still. Not sure I agree with this hot take I've been seeing that the East is now equal/better. The margin is definitely much tighter, though.
If someone came from the future and told me that one of the top 6 teams in the East had just won the 2020 title, I wouldn't think they were insane (maybe Miami).
 

JakeRae

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Jul 21, 2005
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I’d say there are a pretty clear top 4 teams right now and 3 of them are in the West (Denver, LAx2, and the Bucks). I think the next tier of teams is subdivided into two parts with Toronto, Boston, Utah, and Houston in the top group and Indy, Dallas, Miami, and Philly in the next group. Overall, that leaves the West clearly stronger at the top but the relative depth is much closer than in recent memory.

The top tier above are the actually contenders in my mind. The top half of tier 2 are teams capable of making a run in the playoffs but highly unlikely to win a title. The next group are teams that can compete with everyone above them but are unlikely to make a conference finals, let alone compete for a title.
 

nighthob

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In re "the top," isn't the consensus of most power rankings that the Bucks, Lakers, Clippers are the top 3 in some order? I just checked ESPN's latest power rankings and they had it: Lakers; Bucks; Clippers (and then Nuggets, Celtics, Rockets, Jazz).

That's 2 of the top 3 from the West and 5 of the top 7. I agree with you that at the bottom the East is significantly worse than the West. At the top, too, though, the West seems a bit better still. Not sure I agree with this hot take I've been seeing that the East is now equal/better. The margin is definitely much tighter, though.
I’m heavily skeptical of a team built around a pair of 6’1” guys (the Jazz). And while it’s certainly fun to hate on the SeventyProcessors the fact is that they’re going to end the year as one of the top eight teams in the league. Given the roster changes of the last 12 months they’re going to take some time putting it all together. But they’re right there in that second tier of teams that shouldn’t shock anyone if they won it all.

Overall I’d tier the teams with the LAs/Milwaukee at the top barring injury (which is a real issue for the LAs). The second group with a puncher’s chance at the title (health permitting) would be Houston and Denver in the west (and while I’m still a Rockets fan I’m more than a little skeptical of them), and Boston, Philly, and Toronto in the east. Siakam’s leap this year is terrifying for the rest of the east, he’s legitimately a top 10 guy now that could be pushing the top 5 by year’s end. And Lowry just keeps chooglin’ along despite the age/size.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I know the narrative is that with Leonard gone, the Raptors are squarely in the second tier but not for me. Siakam is a legitimate elite player at his production levels (e.g. his 3p% is up this year even though he is taking almost four more 3PA per game), their organizational depth is, perhaps, the best in the NBA and Nurse has them firing on all cylinders - they are currently third in differential behind Milwaukee and the Lakers.

While their offense is sixth in eFG%, their defense is a league best 48.2% - the Clippers, who are indisputably a good defensive team, have surrendered a 50.1% eFG which is fifth while Boston is 12th at 50.8%.

In short, Toronto is scary and while I understand why they are currently underrated, its based on perception vs reality.

Back to the Grizzlies, Memphis has lost six in a row and it doesn't look to get any better for them as Morant is out for an undetermined amount of time with back spams. Aside from their draft position, the Grizzlies are likely to be source of veteran wings and old Boston friend Jae Crowder is likely to be a candidate to be moved. I suspect most of their roster, save for Morant, Jackson Jr. and Clarke is tradable in the right deal. Valančiūnas strikes me as an interesting candidate too though his market is likely to be limited by his contract as well as the fact that his skills relative to his role aren't in high demand.
 

Sprowl

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Jun 27, 2006
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Back to the Grizzlies, Memphis has lost six in a row and it doesn't look to get any better for them as Morant is out for an undetermined amount of time with back spams. Aside from their draft position, the Grizzlies are likely to be source of veteran wings and old Boston friend Jae Crowder is likely to be a candidate to be moved. I suspect most of their roster, save for Morant, Jackson Jr. and Clarke is tradable in the right deal. Valančiūnas strikes me as an interesting candidate too though his market is likely to be limited by his contract as well as the fact that his skills relative to his role aren't in high demand.
Valanciunas would have been a fine center for the 20th Century, but he lumbers too slow for the switch-everything game. Crowder's bargain-basement contract should fetch a decent return for a team in need of a 3&D wing who can't create his own shot.

I hate to root against a promising rookie like Ja Morant, but this time I'm rooting for the back spams.

 

Jed Zeppelin

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Aug 23, 2008
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Big game last night, Bulls beat the Grizz to pull a game and a half ahead in the standings and keep Memphis in the 6 slot.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Sep 27, 2016
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Been a rough two weeks. Despite going 1-9 over the last 10, Memphis failed to gain much ground because the Knicks, Cleveland and New Orleans (2.5, 1.5 and 1.0 games ahead of them) all ALSO went 1-9. So Memphis sits at #6. And now, even worse, the Grizz are up by 7 over Golden State (currently #2) at halftime.

edit: won by 8. Tough night for the pick, that's some prime competition there.
 
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