Despite having an eight-game winning streak come to an end Monday with a 97-92 loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Memphis Grizzlies (8-2) have proved to be one of the top teams in the league.
During their win streak, the Grizzlies had victories over the defending NBA champion Miami Heat, the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder and the then-undefeated New York Knicks in three straight games.
Over the past two seasons, injuries to Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph have left the Grizzlies undermanned. Randolph missed more than two months of the season in 2011-12, and Gay missed the Grizzlies' 2010-11 playoff run to the Western Conference semifinals.
This year both are healthy and playing at an All-Star level. Randolph leads the league in rebounding (13.9 per game) and has had a double-double in every game this season, and Gay is averaging a team-high 19.8 points a game.
After Memphis' deep postseason run a couple years ago with Gay sidelined, it was thought the Grizzlies may be better off trading their talented swingman. After an impressive start, don't expect Gay to be going anywhere.
- Jeffrey Tomik