Despite falling to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies remain in possession of the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, two games up on the Blazers and Rockets, and six-and-a-half games behind the top-seeded Warriors.
Their "grit and grind" throwback style, featuring the strong inside one-two punch of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, has basketball traditionalist swooning, fondly reminiscing of a bygone era when "bigs were bigs" and played with their backs to the basket.
The truth is that Memphis is a much more complex team, and a great deal of its success is owed to Mike Conley. The Grizzlies' point guard is routinely praised within NBA circles, but widespread recognition has been elusive for him. However, as he approaches free agency in 2016, that will no longer be the case.