We’ve reached the first team that will win a ring this year without completely shocking the people: the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rest assured a championship for the Grizzlies, who barely made it to the postseason last season with a list of 50-32 (your 17th reminder the West is loaded), would be a surprise. Zach Randolph is 33, and Mike Miller, a crucial floor-spacing shot in last year’s underwhelming crime, followed LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Scoring, as always, will be an issue for the Grizz.
However, this team will defend like crazy, especially with some slimmed-down Marc Gasol patrolling the midst forward of the 2015 free agency. Toss in Tony Allen, the NBA’s funniest perimeter stopper, and you have got the crucial components to get a league-best defense.
Vince Carter remains a precious wing guardian who can conduct a pick-and-roll and hit the three, and Mike Conley is a playoff-tested fighter who just keeps getting better.
And remember, we’ve noticed this Grizzlies core knock off the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder in playoff series over the previous four years. Nobody scares Memphis from the postseason.
When the Grizzlies can stay healthy and Gasol puts up a big year, they’re a dark-horse contender.

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