NBA Western Power Rankings Week 8: Clippers hang onto 4th

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Dec 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers (6) reacts after being ejected against the Washington Wizards in the second quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 100-91. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

6th: Memphis Grizzlies (31 points)

By Tom West

Record: 16-15

Last 10 games: 4-6

The grit ‘n grind Grizzlies just aren’t the same anymore. Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph (who’s declining), Mike Conley and Tony Allen are still all in tact, yet the bench has been poor and the team defense has been far from what it once was. They rank just 18th in defensive efficiency, which is an awful long way down from their 4th place ranking last season.

There’s still plenty of time until the February 18 NBA trade deadline, and there’s no reason to think that the Grizzlies won’t make some kind of change. It may not happen, but they need to change something or consider moving in a different direction if things don’t improve. Either committing to more slow pace and tough interior defense in the future or more small-ball lineups and three point shooting is the question.

However this Grizzlies team turns out, they don’t have the same toughness and identity they’ve had over the last few seasons.

Next: Dallas Mavericks