After losing in 7 games to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 1st Round of the playoffs, the state of the Memphis Grizzlies as a contender is hard to figure. On the one hand, they took the team with the league’s MVP right to the wire in 7 hard-fought games. On the other hand, they lost in the 1st round of the playoffs as a 7 seed. Is that really a team that can “contend” for titles in the coming years? Sure, they play “playoff basketball” which is a really defensive oriented/grind it out style that wins in the playoffs, but can that style without one of the league’s top five players deliver them a championship? Hard to say that it can after this post-season. I don’t mean to suggest that the Grizzlies need to blow up their team, let Zach Randolph go, or anything like that. But the front office does need to look at the pieces they have and really ask themselves “Is this enough?” Can a team win a title built around Zach Randolph, Mike Conley, and Marc Gasol as its trio? If so, what piece are they missing? Another off the bench scorer? A more versatile swingman in the starting lineup? It’s hard to figure what direction the Grizzlies will go given the scare they gave the Thunder while also considering where they ultimately ended up which was eliminated after the 1st round of the playoffs. I tend to lean towards the side of the coin that this team doesn’t have the pieces to contend, and yet when the Grizzlies take the Thunder to a Game 7, it’s hard to say that they are that far away either. Hopefully the Grizzlies’ front office will make the right decisions this summer and also make some good moves in the draft to better position this team for a deep post season run next season.
—Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord