| | Memphis Grizzlies Off to Their Best Start Ever
Jerry West is doing it again, this time with the Memphis Grizzlies. The former Lakerís GM overhauled most of the teamís roster after last seasonís first round playoff loss, and so far, so good.
The Grizzlies' got rid of key players Jason Williams, James Posey, Bonzi Wells and Stromile Swift. The Grizzlies are off to their best start with a 13-5 record and tied with Dallas and the Los Angeles Clippers for the second-best mark in the Western Conference. "We're really a team," said starting center Lorenzen Wright, with the Grizzlies since their move to Memphis in 2001. "You keep some good guys and you add some good guys, and you're going to have a pretty good team." The Grizzlies are in the middle of a six-game winning streak, beating opponents by an average of more than 17 points, showing a new spark on defense and enjoying big nights from 3-point range.
New players Eddie Jones, Damon Stoudamire and Bobby Jackson have fit in very well. "You're talking about 12 men, basically, on the active roster. It's not like football," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "One guy can change the makeup or the mind-set of a team."
The big thing for Memphis has been the defense. Memphis leads the NBA in points allowed, giving up an average of about 85. Over the past six games, the Grizzlies have held opponents to an average of 76 points. In addition to the defense, the Grizzlies also have an outside threat. They hit a franchise-record 15 3-pointers in a 90-75 victory over Houston on Dec. 2.