Are the Grizzlies the best team in the NBA?
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley said the Grizzlies wanted to make a statement against the then-unbeaten New York Knicks Friday.
Not only did the Grizzlies make a statement with a 105-95 victory against the Knicks, they made a statement all week with double-digit victories against three of the league’s best teams.
Using their size and strength, the Grizzlies also this week defeated last year’s NBA finalists – 104-86 against the Miami Heat on Sunday and 107-97 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road Wednesday – and completed the impressive trifecta against the Knicks, extending their home winning streak to 15 games.
At 7-1, the Grizzlies have declared they are one of the best teams in the league, too. After reaching the conference semifinals in 2010-11 and the first round last season, Memphis looks like a team ready to make a run at a conference title. At least now.
“We’re trying to make a statement that we can play with anybody on a given night,” Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley told reporters. “We have a very deep team and guys play very hard. We just try to play our grit and grind style of basketball and if we’re good enough to win, we will.”
The Grizzlies lost their season opener to the Los Angeles Clippers and then won seven consecutive games. They can make it eight in a row tonight against at the Charlotte Bobcats.
Conley has provided strong play at point, and forwards Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay and center Marc Gasol give Memphis one of the best frontcourts in the league. Memphis has the third-highest scoring frontcourt in the league at 64.5 points per game, behind the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets, according to hoopsstats.com.
Gasol had 24 points and seven rebounds, and Randolph had 20 points and 15 rebounds against the Knicks. Gay added 17 points.
Gay leads the team in scoring at 20.3 points per game, followed by Randolph (17.1 points and 14.1 rebounds), Gasol (15.4 points, 7.1 rebounds) and Conley (14.1 points, 7.0 assists).
Memphis has also played well defensively. The Grizzlies have not allowed an opponent to score at least 100 … [For more on Are the Grizzlies the best team in the NBA?, click here.]