Memphis Grizzlies 2019-2020

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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 A lot of people I've read have been saying that the East is stronger this year, and "awful East" just an outdated hot-take at this point.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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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 A lot of people I've read have been saying that the East is stronger this year, and "awful East" just an outdated hot-take at this point.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 A lot of people I've read have been saying that the East is stronger this year, and "awful East" just an outdated hot-take at this point.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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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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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BigSoxFan

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Memphis starting to create some separation between themselves and the 5 worst teams. Now currently situated as the 7th worst team after 1/3 of the season. Going to be close.
 

BigMike

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They have now won 5-7 and it could be better, as both losses were abysmal collapses they never should have lost. 4 of their last 9 losses are in that category.
 

lovegtm

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They have now won 5-7 and it could be better, as both losses were abysmal collapses they never should have lost. 4 of their last 9 losses are in that category.
I'm getting resigned to the pick conveying this year, and it might even be for the best, since Morant and JJJ will be another year better next year. Time to start following the 7-11 range of the draft this year.
 

benhogan

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yep, I mentioned it felt like the Sacramento watch from last season all over again in another thread. Coming into the season there was so much promise with the Memphis pick turning into something really special. Then you turn on the games to watch Ja Morant and the rest of his mediocre teammates busting ass on each/every play like its the playoffs. It's hard not to root for them

Much like Sacramento last season, Memphis will continue to climb past several other non-playoff teams as the season wears on. I'm also lowering my draft euphoria, it's starting to feel like a 10+ pick
 

lovegtm

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yep, I mentioned it felt like the Sacramento watch from last season all over again in another thread. Coming into the season there was so much promise with the Memphis pick turning into something really special. Then you turn on the games to watch Ja Morant and the rest of his mediocre teammates busting ass on each/every play like its the playoffs. It's hard not to root for them

Much like Sacramento last season, Memphis will continue to climb past several other non-playoff teams as the season wears on. I'm also lowering my draft euphoria, it's starting to feel like a 10+ pick
The main thing it affects (imo) will be the team’s willingness to trade late 1sts this year. There simply won’t be enough roster spots otherwise—you can’t draft a guy #9 or whatever and then not play him. Although I suppose rolling over their own and/or MIL by one year shouldn’t be too hard: you just trade with a Western contender who wants to add depth in the draft and knows they’ll be good in 2020-2021.
 

128

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yep, I mentioned it felt like the Sacramento watch from last season all over again in another thread. Coming into the season there was so much promise with the Memphis pick turning into something really special. Then you turn on the games to watch Ja Morant and the rest of his mediocre teammates busting ass on each/every play like its the playoffs. It's hard not to root for them

Much like Sacramento last season, Memphis will continue to climb past several other non-playoff teams as the season wears on. I'm also lowering my draft euphoria, it's starting to feel like a 10+ pick
With the new (as of 2019) lottery odds, that pick could end up being No. 5 about as easily as it could be No. 10 or 11, if it conveys in 2020.
 

mauf

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With the new (as of 2019) lottery odds, that pick could end up being No. 5 about as easily as it could be No. 10 or 11, if it conveys in 2020.
Not really. The 10th-worst team has only 3% of the ping-pong balls, so there’s something like an 85% chance they won’t jump into the top 4. (Granted, those are better odds than a few years ago.)

 

BigSoxFan

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I would be fine getting a 7-11 pick this year for Memphis. Lots of useful players went there this past draft. Obviously not best case but not a terrible result either. If it happens, it’ll probably be closer to 7/8
 

lovegtm

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I would be fine getting a 7-11 pick this year for Memphis. Lots of useful players went there this past draft. Obviously not best case but not a terrible result either. If it happens, it’ll probably be closer to 7/8
That's where I'm at--I'm legitimately worried Memphis could make the playoffs next year in a weakened West, once Morant makes the 2nd-year-PG-leap.
 

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i'm gonna hold out hope that they jump from 8-9 to 1-4 via lottery (~23% chance!) and then have a terrible offseason.

Pretty sharp dropoff of Top-4 odds from #9 (23.1%) to #10 (13.9%) to #11 (9.4%). I'm willing to bet they're still a worse team than Minnesota, Detroit, Phoenix, etc even if they're not in the same league as, say, the Knicks.
 

BigMike

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i'm gonna hold out hope that they jump from 8-9 to 1-4 via lottery (~23% chance!) and then have a terrible offseason.

Pretty sharp dropoff of Top-4 odds from #9 (23.1%) to #10 (13.9%) to #11 (9.4%). I'm willing to bet they're still a worse team than Minnesota, Detroit, Phoenix, etc even if they're not in the same league as, say, the Knicks.
see I think they are a good team next year ( barring significant injuries) and a decent chance they are a playoff squad helps even more if they add another stud. Either way the pick is less valuable today than it was last june. But the Celts still could use it to draft or as part of a trade for a significant piece
 

Cesar Crespo

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That's where I'm at--I'm legitimately worried Memphis could make the playoffs next year in a weakened West, once Morant makes the 2nd-year-PG-leap.
JJJ is having a pretty good season too and is actually younger than Morant. If they both take a leap, that pick is going to be in the mid to late teens.
 

Imbricus

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see I think they are a good team next year ( barring significant injuries) and a decent chance they are a playoff squad
This is more or less where I'm at. Best case I think is the pick conveys 7 or 8 this year, and we don't have to wait and run the risk these guys turn the corner next year. If Memphis drafted as poorly as Phoenix, we might be looking at a different story. Anyway, where we lost out was last June, when Memphis got some ping pong ball luck and the No. 2 pick.
 

mauf

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This is more or less where I'm at. Best case I think is the pick conveys 7 or 8 this year, and we don't have to wait and run the risk these guys turn the corner next year. If Memphis drafted as poorly as Phoenix, we might be looking at a different story. Anyway, where we lost out was last June, when Memphis got some ping pong ball luck and the No. 2 pick.
The Grizz were tied for the 7th-worst record last season, and I believe the pick was top-8 protected. Sure, it might have conveyed, but that was never a likely outcome.

Besides, I’m still in the camp that hopes the pick doesn’t convey — I’ll take the outside chance of a top-4 pick in 2021 over the certainty of a pick in the 7-12 range next summer. (But I do think the pick is likely to convey in 2020.)
 

Imbricus

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The Grizz were tied for the 7th-worst record last season, and I believe the pick was top-8 protected.
My fault for being unclear: I meant we lost out because they picked at the No. 2 spot (and got a quality player) as opposed to No. 7, where they might have gotten a dud. I didn't want the pick to convey, and you're right, it wouldn't have anyway. But I'm doubtful that they're going to land a top 4 pick in 2021, with Jackson and Morant developing fast and not a lot of fat veteran contracts to toss overboard; it seems they're already stripped down for the future. So if we score a 7 or 8 this year, I think we ought to be happy. If they get a top 6 pick this year, they could be a good team ... anyway not a chance I'd want to take.
 

BigSoxFan

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This doesn’t look like a bottom 6 team. Playing .500 ball in December although everything is still quite jumbled. Only 2 games separate the 7-16 teams.
 

amarshal2

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How does the 6'11'' JJJ get fewer than 5 rebounds per game. Even at per 36 minutes he's under 6 boards a game this year. I picked a random game to see how he's being used and he seems to be starting at PF along Jonas and then playing some at center throughout. This has to be some kind of record for worst rebounder per inch of height at the 4/5 position.
 

BigSoxFan

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How does the 6'11'' JJJ get less than 5 rebounds per game. Even at per 36 minutes he's under 6 boards a game this year. I picked a random game to see how he's being used and he seems to be starting at PF along Jonas and then playing some at center throughout. This has to be some kind of record for worst rebounder per inch of height.
Ha, no way. I was thinking the same thing last night when I was doing my usual obsessive Grizzlies box score scouting. Haven’t watched too much of him so curious to know what others have seen. He should fall into 4-5 rebounds a game without even trying.
 

ElUno20

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Ha, no way. I was thinking the same thing last night when I was doing my usual obsessive Grizzlies box score scouting. Haven’t watched too much of him so curious to know what others have seen. He should fall into 4-5 rebounds a game without even trying.
I dont know what ths stats would say but the handful of times I've watched him, he drifts far away from the basket.

He's a very large human if you watch him comparison to other forwards , he should be minimum 8-9 a game
 

TripleOT

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I'm looking for the pick to convey this summer, since the Griz with another decent piece and a ton of caproom should have a better record next season. If it does convey, Boston is going to offload or draft and stash with the two late picks.

27 has had a decent history lately, with TL, Kuz, Siakem, Nance, BogBog, and Gobert.
26, and 28 not so much, but the Spurs found some value at 29 with Dejounte Murray and Derrick White.

In a non-deep draft, would a team with little talent, like a Cleveland or Knicks, trade a 4 for a 7/8 plus a 27 and a 30? Do those two picks allow the Cs to leapfrog to 5 from 7, or 6 from 8, for someone they and the team on the clock really like? Or do they just pick and stash two young international players with really high upsides with the late picks?
 

nighthob

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If the Knicks really wanted someone 7-11, I’d much rather just swap that pick for their ‘21 one. As for the late 20s picks, this is a deep roleplayer draft, so if they can convert a lottery pick this year into a future first you can look at the available roleplayers with the other three picks.
 

benhogan

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after Denver ended Q1 up 26-11 over Memphis, the Nuggets announcers immediately said "best 1st quarter of the year". Q2 opens and the Nuggets run it up to a 23pt lead...and then the Grizz start chipping away

Sure enough, Memphis has clawed their way back into this. 52-49 game in the 3rd

FT disparity 19-2 in favor of the Grizz. NBA refs like close games.
 

BigMike

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If the Knicks really wanted someone 7-11, I’d much rather just swap that pick for their ‘21 one. As for the late 20s picks, this is a deep roleplayer draft, so if they can convert a lottery pick this year into a future first you can look at the available roleplayers with the other three picks.
It's the Knicks, and they are a horribly run franchise, but if the Knicks try to make that deal, Adam Silver should seize immediate control of the franchise for the good of the league an say no deal
 

Imbricus

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It's the Knicks, and they are a horribly run franchise, but if the Knicks try to make that deal, Adam Silver should seize immediate control of the franchise for the good of the league an say no deal
Ha. He could call it the "Billy King rule."
 

NomarsFool

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Up to 11-12. This is feeling like the Sacramento watch last season again. I had been hoping for it not to convey, but we may be better off at least having a chance at a lottery pick before Memphis becomes a potential playoff team next season.
 

benhogan

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Up to 11-12. This is feeling like the Sacramento watch last season again. I had been hoping for it not to convey, but we may be better off at least having a chance at a lottery pick before Memphis becomes a potential playoff team next season.
Memphis just walloped the Clippers in LA.

The value of the pick declines weekly. Memphis comes to play every game.

Does feel like Sacramento all over again
 

BigMike

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Memphis just walloped the Clippers in LA.

The value of the pick declines weekly. Memphis comes to play every game.

Does feel like Sacramento all over again
Yeah they do bounce back and forth a bit as they gave away a game against the Kings the other night. I'm pretty sure they finish ahead of 5-6 teams from the East, but man in the west they could finish anywhere from 8th to last, and neither would be the least bit surprising.

Will be interesting to see what they do at the deadline. They have about 3 guys who they could move (Crowder, Anderson, Hill). Crowder is playing the most, and his game is all over the place, so not sure how much it would hurt if they deal him. Note they also have Iguodala, but he is irrelevant as he doesn't play (but it seems likely he'll be dealt for a pick, and cap trash)
 
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benhogan

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Yeah they do bounce back and forth a bit as they gave away a game against the Kings the other night. I'm pretty sure they finish ahead of 5-6 teams from the East, but man in the west they could finish anywhere from 8th to last, and neither would be the least bit surprising.

Will be interesting to see what they do at the deadline. They have about 3 guys who they could move (Crowder, Anderson, Hill). Crowder is playing the most, and his game is all over the place, so not sure how much it would hurt if they deal him. Note they also have Iguodala, but he is irrelevant as he doesn't play (but it seems likely he'll be dealt for a pick, and cap trash)
I expect they will try to make a run for the 8th spot.
Not a particularly great or deep draft, so the front office won't want to tank since they aren't a bottom 3 team.
New coach wanting to develop a winning culture.
Nice young players all learning on the job and delivering: Morant, JJJ, Clarke, even Melton.
Forgotten veterans looking to prove themselves: Valanciunas, Brooks, Crowder, Jones, Hill

Front office, head coach, players all motivated to win every possession/game, a recipe for overperformance.
 

nighthob

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I expect they will try to make a run for the 8th spot.
Not a particularly great or deep draft, so the front office won't want to tank since they aren't a bottom 3 team.
New coach wanting to develop a winning culture.
Nice young players all learning on the job and delivering: Morant, JJJ, Clarke, even Melton.
Forgotten veterans looking to prove themselves: Valanciunas, Brooks, Crowder, Jones, Hill

Front office, head coach, players all motivated to win every possession/game, a recipe for overperformance.
Portland has been playing .500 ball since their 5-12 start. By the time of the trade deadline they’ll probably have the eighth spot locked up. Memphis is going to be selling come the end of the month.
 

benhogan

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Portland has been playing .500 ball since their 5-12 start. By the time of the trade deadline they’ll probably have the eighth spot locked up. Memphis is going to be selling come the end of the month.
Carmelo Anthony to the rescue, good luck with that. Maybe they can land Kevin Love? The Blazers aren't locking up anything in the next month. The WC 8 seed is wide open

Not sure Memphis is going to find many buyers for what they'd be looking to sell.
 
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lovegtm

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On the flip side, that highly-valued Miami 2021 pick is going to end up at like 25 for OKC next year.

The Brooklyn situation was really anomalous, and got teams overvaluing unprotected picks out of context. Usually the combination of having other high picks in surrounding years and no incentive to tank can make those picks at least respectable.

The Lakers situation wrt picks is interesting though, because of the 3 consecutive drafts the Pelicans control their pick for. That’s the kind of situation you want when really trying to squeeze unprotected picks for max value.
 

Imbricus

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The Memphis pick feels like what happened with the Sacramento pick all over again -- a team expected to be one of the 7 or 8 worst finds its magical upside. Interestingly, Sacramento is 1-9 in their last 10 and this year could be what Memphis was supposed to be.