2012-13 Result: 56-26, 5th in the Western Conference, lost to the San Antonio Spurs 0-4 in the Western Conference Finals
Key Additions: Kosta Koufos, Mike Miller, Nick Calathes, Melvin Ely, Jamaal Franklin, coach David Joerger
Key Departures: Darrel Arthur, Donte Greene, Tony Wroten, Austin Daye, Keyon Dooling, coach Lionel Hollins
Aside from not renewing coach Lionel Hollins' contract, Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera did very little tweaking with his team's roster. There was very little to change anyway, as the Grizzlies went all the way to the Western Conference Finals, where they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Still, it was an outstanding effort from the fifth-ranked Grizzlies, who were under the radar at the start of the season.
The trademark of the Grizzlies game is stingy defense; they led the league in points allowed, with 88.7 opponent points per game in 2012-13. However, they were also criticised by many as not having any legitimate offensive threats; none of the Grizzlies averaged more than 16 points a game. It is speculated that Pera and Hollins had a difference of opinion regarding the team's direction, with Hollins preferring a more offensive-oriented game.
The Grizzlies' new acquisitions might not help destroy the franchise's reputation for playing slow-down ball. Only one new player -- Mike Miller -- has averaged more than 18 points per game in a season, and he did that in his previous stint with Memphis, during the 2006-07 season. Since then, through stints with Minnesota, Washington and Miami, he has averaged less than 11 points a game, the lowest being 4.8 points a game with the Heat's 2012-13 championship team.
There is a lot to be optimistic about in Memphis, though. Marc Gasol, arguably the team's cornerstone now that captain Zach Randolph is not getting any younger, was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Randolph himself averaged 15.4 points and 11.2 rebounds in a sudden improvement after a slump in 2011-12. Starting point guard Mike Conley is coming off a good year, averaging 14.6 points and 6.1 assists per game, while reliable forward Tony Allen, who averaged a decent 8.9 points and 4.6 rebounds, has signed a contract extension.
Season Prediction: It looks like there will be more uglyball in Memphis, as only a few roster adjustments were made. The new coach, David Joerger, is credited as the one responsible for improving the Grizzlies' defensive efficiency in 2012-13 and is expected to do more of the same in the coming season. They may make a return trip to the conference finals, and are expected to make teams bleed for their points.
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