Just recently, my Memphis Grizzlies’ season of absolute Grit-N-Grind came to a halt at the hands of the out-of-this-world Golden State Warriors. While it’s not the ending the fans in the FedEx Forum hoped for, it was a season of improvement, action and nonstop heart. From the new arrivals to our veteran core, this squad came together and left it all on the court every night. Coach Dave Joerger and General Manager Chris Wallace have to be commended for their excellent work assembling this immensely talented team.
There is no shortage of heart in Memphis. From Tony “1st Team All-Defense” Allen to Zach “Z-Bo” Randolph and countless others, Grizzlies fans knew that there wouldn’t be any nights taken off by this squad. They came prepared and ready to take on the premiere organizations of the league on any night. That sort of work ethic showed via our improved record of 55 wins and 27 losses–improving on last season’s 50-win total. No one can say they got an easy win over this season’s
Our veterans were stellar on both sides of the ball as Marc Gasol joined Mike Conley and Zach Randolph as a key stat leader in several offensive and defensive categories. They’re hard work propelled the Grizzlies to have the second-fewest points per game allowed in the league. Even the most talented squads had a hard
time getting through our stingy perimeter defense and strong bodies down low. Certainly, there were areas where we can improve on the stat sheets, but with a solid defensive foundation the team could assuredly contend with any club.
Once again, GM Chris Wallace did an excellent job making acquisitions before and during the season to keep the team thriving even during trying stretches. Veteran additions like Vince Carter and Beno Udrih helped anchor a strong bench, while the trade for Jeff Green improved an already impressive defensive unit. Although these moves led to Tayshaun Prince and Quincy Pondexter moving onto new clubs, the team made the tough decisions to put the club in a better position to compete.
From top to bottom, this roster were willing to put themselves out on the floor and win no matter what.
Injuries bit the Grizzlies for most of the season, right down to the end, which served as just another testament to this team’s grit. Mike Conley and Tony Allen’s injuries nagged them right to Game 6 where they fought their hardest to grind another win out. While the result isn’t what anyone wanted, no one can say the Grizz didn’t go down swinging.
There are several major questions the team will face in the offseason. The draft and free agency are going to be integral pieces in the team’s immediate and long-term future. We have faith that Coach Joerger will continue to push this team in the right direction while we push off the court. The season may have ended earlier than we hoped for, but the Grizzlies will be back for many years to come.