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Watch out for the Memphis Grizzlies. After sneaking into the playoffs as the eight seed, they upset the San Antonio Spurs and gave the Oklahoma City Thunder all they could handle for seven games in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Now, they return their best player in Rudy Gay. They have two brutes down low with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, a young pass-first point guard in Mike Conley and one of the best defensive players in the league with Tony Allen. Their winning percentage will undoubtedly improve from last year, and Hollins will get a lot of deserved credit for developing this young team.
The only thing that could hurt them this season is big-man depth. The season-ending injury to promising young power forward Darrell Arthur leaves them with Brian Skinner as their only backup big. If it becomes an issue, they could trade one of their many talented young guards that will be vying for playing time.
Runners up: Mike Brown, Vinny Del Negro