NBA Power Rankings week 16: OKC Thunder and teams post deadline

OKC Thunder (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder, Power rankings week 12
OKC Thunder, Power rankings week 12: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies and Grayson Allen #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies warms up before the game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 10, (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

team. 211. . 27-26. Previous: 14th. Memphis Grizzlies. 14

Memphis Grizzlies:

Offense: (109.0) 19th
Defense: (110.5) 19th
Net: (minus -1.4) 18th

Results Week 16: (3-1) Won vs.  Pistons: 96-82, Mavericks: 121-107, Wizards: 106-99, Lost vs 76ers: 107-119
Games Week 17: (1 game) Weds vs. Blazers

Regardless of where these Grizzlies finish the season, they are the hands down winners of the season for the biggest surprise team. Already they are well ahead of schedule for the future. The young crew is the key to the wins NOT the veterans on the team and that in itself is huge (with the notable exception being Jonas Valanciunas).

Consider where the Pelicans and Suns are at the moment and then scan their rosters. Both of those teams have solid veteran presences on the clubs and most of their wins generally are tied to the vets going above and beyond.

In contrast, the rookie Ja Morant is already visibly the leader on Memphis. In fact, as soon as that nonsense occurred in New York between Jae Crowder and Elfrid Payton I turned to one of the BBoyz and said “how much do you want to bet Crowder is traded at the deadline?’ It wasn’t just his choice to punk the Knicks, rather it was the fall out from that decision.

Watch that video again and see Ja Morant rush in to defend Crowder (who stands BEHIND his rookie). That alone could’ve put Morant in harm’s way. Then factor in young players exited the bench and had to miss the next game which the Grizzlies lost to the Pelicans giving them a 2-0 edge on the Grizzlies this season.

That is not the type of veteran choice or leadership you need on your squad – so while the Heat can rejoice over his addition – I suspect the Grizzlies ownership was equally delighted to send him packing!