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Timberwolves, Grizzlies hope preseason success carries over to games that matter

Oct 19, 2010, 10:24 AM EDT

Love_Beasley

Preseason games are not irrelevant. A team’s record in them can have some correlation to the regular season.

Not so much with the elite teams — nobody thinks Boston is any better at 6-1 in the preseason, nobody is reading much into the Lakers being 2-3. Come deep in the playoffs those teams will still be around.

But there is correlation with lesser teams. In the last five years, teams with a .500 record or better made the playoffs 65 percent of the time, as John Schuhmann pointed out at NBA.com.

So watch out for Minnesota (5-1) and Memphis (7-0).

The Grizzlies almost made the playoffs but most pundits — PBT included — expect the team to take a small step back this season. But maybe they are ready for another step forward. Minnesota is a team that has added some depth over the last couple years, even if they lack the star power most think they need. But maybe that depth and some scoring from Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and Martell Webster will be enough.

Other teams with a hot start are Utah (6-0, but we expect them to be good every season), Houston (4-2 and showing with Yao they may be back) and Cleveland (4-2, trying to prove that LeBron’s supporting cast was better than we thought, and a playoff trip would do just that).

Also, Orlando is 6-0, they are now 19-0 in their last preseason games, but that goes back to us not really learning about elite teams in preseason.

The others are just a few teams to watch when the games really matter starting next week. A few will not live up to expectations, but a couple of those teams may surprise.

  1. kulcousy - Oct 19, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    In Memphis We are expecting even better things from the Grizzlies. They have improved at every spot! How could they step backward? Tony Allen will help with intensity and leadership with the young nucleus that doesn’t quite understand how to finish. Xavier Henry and Acie Law will add scoring from the bench. Thabeet and Darrell Arthur have improved and bring athleticism to their respective positions, making lobs a factor in the offense. These additions mean the Grizzlies have almost doubled their arsenal taken as a whole. It’s now or never Grizzlies!

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