The Memphis Grizzlies have never done better, soaring to a franchise-record 56 regular-season wins and adding eight more in the playoffs to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time. There, Memphis played the more experienced San Antonio Spurs tooth-and-nail before bowing out in four games. More than anything, the Grizzlies were just hard to beat this season. With their big starting lineup having played together for a few years, Memphis has developed a distinct style under Lionel Hollins, one their fans at the Grindhouse have embraced.
Now Hollins' contract is set to expire and coachless teams across the league are ready to pounce with big offers. The Grizzlies have three-fifths of an old starting lineup, and for the first time since their ascension have to start pondering changes to the team's core, whether it's this summer or next.
Memphis' rise has mirrored that of the more ballyhooed Oklahoma City Thunder, only the Griz lack the superpower offensive talent OKC has as its base in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. So it's fair to ask: Has Memphis topped out? If not, how does it take those always-difficult final steps towards a title?