2007 Memphis Grizzlies Season Preview
2007 Memphis Grizzlies preview from the Maddux Sports experts. In addition to the free seasonal outlooks we provide, Maddux offers NBA predictions against the NBA pointspread throughout the hoops season.
After making the playoffs for three seasons running, the Grizzlies managed to win a mere 22 games last season and sit out the entire post-season. Their 22- 60 mark was worst in the NBA. Amid firings, interim appointments and unsuccessful attempts to sell the club, Memphis managed to hire a new coach—Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni—and a new GM—former Celtic GM Chris Wallace. The two cleaned and refurbished the Grizzlies’ house, letting five guys go and taking on five new players, including Ohio State point guard Mike Conley, Jr. Whew!
The frontcourt, for the most part, has been occupied by superstar Pau Gasol (.538 FG%, .272 3P%, .748 FT%, 9.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, 20.8 PPG). Last season, Gasol missed the first 22 games dealing with an injury he received in the 2006 World Championships. Then the tough forward decided he wanted a trade but instead was assured that the club would find players to support him upfront. Enter Darko Milicic (.454 FG%, .000 3P%, .613 FT%, 5.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 8.0 PPG)—now in his fifth year with his third team, the F/C has shown promise but not much more. Still, the club is hoping that he can team up with Gasol and make a different. Perhaps the best news comes from the presence of third-year forward Hakim Warrick (.524 FG%, .000 3P%, .771 FT%, 5.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 12.7 PPG), who continues to show steady improvement inside.
The guard position is interesting to say the least. College point man Mike Conley, Jr. could be the man for the job as 12-year vet Damon Stoudamire (.391 FG%, .337 3P%, .795 FT%, 2.2 RPG, 4.8 APG, 7.5 PPG), who missed 20 games last season, nears the end of his career, or second-year player Kyle Lowry (.363 FG%, .375 3P%, .893 FT%, 3.1 RPG, 3.2 APG, 5.6 PPG) might earn the starting role. An interesting addition to the team is Spanish player Juan Carlos Navarro. Navarro possesses an amazingly accurate shot from downtown.
What should people expect from the reconstituted Memphis Grizzlies? Don’t expect a playoff bid. But do expect more points and an improved defense. This is a team looking towards the future, and it has some brightness in it. How much is yet to be determined.