Memphis Grizzlies: Are They Ready To Turn the Corner?

Ronnie HampstonCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 03:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies dunks the ball over David West #30 of the New Orleans Hornets to end the game at the New Orleans Arena on March 3, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Grizzlies defeated the Hornets 104-100.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Potential is a word that can get a lot NBA coaches in the unemployment line. There are many draft picks selected based off potential. The Memphis Grizzlies is a team that has a lot of potential that has yet to fulfill the expectation. This season may be a different story.

Head coach Lionel Hollins has made his mark on this Memphis Grizzlies team since he arrived. Last season, the Grizzlies improved to 40 wins playing in the brutal Western Conference. Led by All-Star forward Zach Randolph and promising players such as O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies played inspired basketball last season.

During the offseason the Grizzlies improved their bench by signing Tony Allen, who was a key contributor on the Boston Celtics championship team. Drafting Grevis Vasquez and Xavier Henry also upgraded the Grizzlies bench as well.

This preseason, the Grizzlies are off to an impressive start. Winning in preseason is pretty irrelevant, but one can't help the notice the improvements that the team is continuously making.

Point guard Mike Conley has played very well and seems to have a better grasp on the point guard position. Conley is penetrating and putting his teammates in the position to score. Conley has also been aggressive as far as scoring the basketball. The Grizz will need strong point guard play in order to contend for a playoff spot.

The bench play has been great with Sam Young, Acie Law, Xavier Henry and Darrell Arthur. This is a very young energetic group that has been vital to the preseason success of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The team defense of the Memphis Grizzlies has been pretty impressive. The Grizz are allowing under 100.0 points per game, which is an improvement compared to last season. With an improvement on the defensive end, the Grizzlies are primed for a run at the playoffs.

There is no reason for the Grizzlies not to make the playoffs. They are finally living up the potential as a team, and they have to continue working hard in all areas. This season will present many challenges to the Grizzlies, but I think they are up for the challenge.