The Memphis Grizzlies have shown once before they can be contenders without Rudy Gay.
It's time to prove it again.
The Grizzlies started the process of moving on Thursday after trading their leading scorer to Toronto in a three-team deal that brought Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye and Ed Davis to Memphis.
The franchise's best postseason run came with Gay injured two seasons ago, with an upset of top-seeded San Antonio and then a thrilling seven-game Western Conference semifinal series against Oklahoma City. Before that, Memphis had never even won a playoff game.
"I don't think we're too scared. I think we've been here before without him," point guard Mike Conley said Thursday at the team's shootaround before a game at Oklahoma City.
"We've been without Zach (Randolph). We've had guys go down and we've had to deal with it. This team is great at playing with adversity," he added. "Hopefully, we can kind of mock what we did when Rudy was out that year and we made the playoff run and play that style of basketball."
Gay was out with a shoulder injury when Memphis was a win away from the 2011 West finals - in a series that included a triple-overtime loss. That created hope that Gay's return would push the Grizzlies over the top. Instead, they exited in the first round of last year's playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers and have settled into fourth place in the West this season - albeit with the best first half of a season in team history.
Randolph says Grizzlies can still contend without Gay
NBA.com | Jan 31