Memphis Grizzlies Betting

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Memphis Grizzlies Betting Outlook

Western Conference Odds: +6500
Preseason NBA Championship Odds: +12000

The Memphis Grizzlies are looking to take the next step with their young team after coming up just short of the postseason in 2019-20. Memphis will rely on the scoring and playmaking of second-year guard Ja Morant and the scoring and defense of third-year forward Jaren Jackson Jr.

One thing that must improve for the Grizzlies is team defense, as they ranked 21st in the league in scoring defense a season ago, giving up 113.7 points per game. With Morant having a season under his belt and Coach Taylor Jenkins entering his second year, there should be more continuity and familiarity.

Unfortunately, improving might not be enough in a stacked Western Conference. There are a number of solid teams in the conference, and non-playoff teams like the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans should be better. But Memphis showed a lot of promise last year, and they’ll be right in the thick of the playoff fight this season.

Memphis Grizzlies 2021 Predictions

Regular-Season Record: 39-33
Conference Standing: Seventh

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Morant has put his face on the Grizzlies franchise, helped by his highlight-film play. Morant is a good passer, ranking 10th in the league with 7.3 assists per game. As Morant develops on both ends of the floor, he’ll elevate his teammates as well.

Jackson has had a couple of problems with injuries in his first two seasons with Memphis, but when he’s healthy, he’s one of the more versatile power forwards. Jackson and Morant are a great pick-and-roll tandem, with Morant able to get to the basket quickly or dish off to Jackson for either a close shot at the hoop or a long 3-pointer. Jackson is also one of the better young shot-blockers in the game, finishing 10th in the league last season with 1.6 blocks per game.

Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies Team History

The Memphis Grizzlies began their team history North of the border in Canada in 1995 as the NBA expanded by two teams. The Grizzlies were the Vancouver Grizzlies at their inception, and, along with the Toronto Raptors, joined the NBA for the 1995-96 season as part of the league’s attempt to expand to another country.

The Grizzlies and Raptors had an expansion draft, picking one player from each of the league’s other teams. Vancouver had veterans like Byron Scott, Greg Anthony, Gerald Wilkins and Blue Edwards. In the team’s first NBA Draft, it selected Bryant “Big Country” Reeves with the No. 6 overall pick.

After a 15-win season in their first season in existence, the Grizzlies took Shareef Abdur-Rahim with the No. 3 pick in the 1996 draft. Abdur-Rahim was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie first team after averaging 18.7 points to lead the team.

However, with Abdur-Rahim and guard Mike Bibby — drafted No. 2 overall in 1998 — the Grizzlies weren’t competitive, reaching a high mark of 23 wins in their sixth season of existence in 2000-01. That offseason, the team was moved to Memphis, Tenn., becoming the Memphis Grizzlies.

Another big change came in the 2001 draft when Pau Gasol was drafted No. 3 by the Atlanta Hawks and traded to the Grizzlies. Memphis also drafted forward Shane Battier with the No. 6 pick and traded Bibby to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for point guard Jason Williams.

After another 23-win season in 2001-02, with Gasol winning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, the team brought in NBA legend Jerry West as general manager. One of West’s first moves was hiring Hubie Brown to take over the head coaching duties after the team got off to an 0-8 start over then-coach Sidney Lowe.

Midway through the season, West traded for forward Mike Miller, and the core of the team was formed. Memphis finished with just 28 wins in 2002-03, but there was hope..

The 2003-04 campaign marked a major milestone for the franchise, as the Grizzlies won 50 games and made the playoffs for the first time. Brown was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year for his efforts, though Memphis’ stay in the postseason was short as it was swept by San Antonio.

Brown stepped down 12 games into the 2004-05 campaign, but West brought in veteran coach Mike Fratello, who led the Grizzlies to the playoffs each of the next two seasons, though they lost in the first round each time.

The 2006-07 season was the first of four straight non-playoff campaigns for the Grizzlies. West retired and was replaced by Chris Wallace, who traded Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers in the middle of the 2007-08 campaign for three players, two first-round draft picks and the rights to Gasol’s younger brother, Marc.

Although there were some moves that didn’t pay off, like signing Allen Iverson to a free-agent deal and seeing him leave the team after three games for “personal problems,” there were some that paid off. The younger Gasol was developing into an All-Star center, and the Grizzlies paired him with power forward Zach Randolph, another All-Star, to form a potent frontcourt tandem.

Also developing was guard Mike Conley, taken fourth in the 2007 draft. The trio formed the core of the Grizzlies’ teams that would make the playoffs seven straight seasons starting in 2010-11. The high point of that stretch was the 2012-13 season, when Memphis advanced for the first time to the Western Conference finals, where it was swept by San Antonio.

Randolph left as a free agent after the 2016-17 season, and the team missed the playoffs the following year. In 2018-19, Memphis decided to start the rebuild, trading Gasol to Toronto in a midseason trade, then dealt Conley to the Utah Jazz.

The Grizzlies have already started to build for the future, taking Jackson with the No. 4 pick in the 2018 draft, then selecting guard Morant with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft. Both players were first-team All-Rookie selections, with Morant winning the league’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2019-20.

Last Season

The arrival of Morant brought a new enthusiasm to the Grizzlies.The team didn’t play all that well at the beginning of the season, though, getting off to a 13-22 start.

A seven-game winning streak near the beginning of 2020 seemed to jumpstart the team. That streak started a 15-4 run that put the Grizzlies two games above .500 at the All-Star break.

Unfortunately, Memphis went on a five-game losing streak after the break and was 32-33 when the NBA had to pause its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Grizzlies were still in eighth place in the
Western Conference standings despite the slump, and they were invited to the restart of the season in the Orlando bubble.

The league put into place a play-in game or series if one of the teams that wasn’t in the top eight in the standings was within four games of eighth place. Memphis entered the bubble with a 3½-game lead on three teams: the Portland Trail Blazers, the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Grizzlies started 0-3 in the bubble, then lost Jackson to a torn meniscus in his left knee. Memphis finished with a 2-6 record in the last eight games of the regular season but did enough to be the team to force the play-in series with Portland, which had moved into eighth place.

Memphis had to win two straight over the Trail Blazers to earn the eighth seed in the West, but Damian Lillard scored 31 points to outduel Morant, who finished with 35 points, and Portland advanced with a 126-122 victory, ending Memphis’ season.

Head Coach

Jenkins enters his second season as the Memphis head coach in 2020-21, his first stint as an NBA head coach. Jenkins led the Grizzlies to a 34-39 mark in his first season with the team.

The 36-year-old Jenkins started as an intern with the San Antonio Spurs for the 2007-08 season. He then moved to an assistant coach’s role with the team’s D-League team, the Austin Toros, for four seasons before taking over as head coach for one season, leading the team to the playoffs.

Jenkins got a job as an assistant coach under Mike Budenholzer with the Atlanta Hawks for the 2013-14 season and spent five seasons with the team. When Budenholzer moved to the Milwaukee Bucks, Jenkins went with him as an assistant for a season before being hired by the Grizzlies.

Offseason Changes

Key Additions

Josh Richardson, guard, Philadelphia 76ers
James Johnson, forward, Minnesota Timberwolves
Wes Iwundu, forward, Orlando Magic

Key Subtractions

Josh Jackson, guard, Detroit Pistons

Draft Picks

Xavier Tillman Sr., forward, Michigan State
Desmond Bane, guard, TCU
Sean McDermott, forward, Butler

Team FAQ’s

What city did the Grizzlies originate in?

 Vancouver

What is the name of the Arena the Grizzlies play their home games in?

FedEx Forum

Who is the Grizzlies all-time leading scorer?

Mike Conley

Who is the only Grizzlies Coach to have won the Coach of the Year award?

Hubie Brown

What year did the Grizzlies play their first game?

1995

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