NBA Western Power Rankings Week 3: Warriors storm ahead

9 of 16

Nov 16, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers (6) celebrates after making a three point shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Oklahoma City 122-114. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

8th: Memphis Grizzlies (27 points)

By Tom West

Record: 6-6

Record last week: 2-2

After looking totally lost over the first week or so, the Grizzlies managed to compose themselves last week. A .500 record isn’t that impressive, but they could have earned four wins instead if they didn’t have to go through the Clippers and Warriors. They kicked off this week well too, though, and a 114-122 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder gave them three straight victories.

Their offense has been off and inconsistent, while their usually resilient defense currently ranks 27th in the NBA. Although, after playing the Cavaliers, Clippers, Thunder and Warriors twice, they’ve had plenty of tough teams to try and slow down.

Also, who would have though Mario Chalmers would have had such an impact? Probably just Mario and his mum. It seemed like a desperate trade by the Grizzlies to try and make something happen to turn their fortunes around, and certainly not a move that would make an immediate difference. Yet, after attacking the basket to earn 25 free throw attempts in his last two games, and a 29 point outburst against the Thunder on Monday night, Chalmers is averaging 18.7 points on 52.2 percent shooting. Not a bad way to start a turnaround season with a new franchise.

Their recent 114-122 win against the Thunder was impressive, but the Grizzlies still need to get settled beyond a three game win streak. It’s just hard to realistically think that they can contend this year. The Warriors look far above everyone else in the West, and Memphis just don’t look like they can match the likes of the NBA’s elite.

Next: Phoenix Suns