The Memphis Grizzlies made a terrific showing in the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The Grizzlies upended the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, sending off the old fellows in six games. Then, the Grizzlies battled another young team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and nearly won.
This was only the beginning of the rise of the Grizzlies in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies served notice that they will contend for an appearance in the NBA Finals.
Their upset of the Spurs signaled a changing of the guard in the west. While the Spurs are still good, they succumbed to a strong young team. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol rallied the crew that lacked one of their best scorers in Rudy Gay. Randolph averaged 22.8 points per game in the playoffs. Gasol raised his contribution to 15 points per game.
Hopefully, the Western Conference powers are ready for the rising Grizzlies.
Following are four reasons why the Grizzlies are contenders.