Former Blazer, Now A Coach Has Team Off To Good Start

By Jim McCoy Wed 5th December SportsLionel HollinsMemphis GrizzliesNBA
Sitting atop the NBA standings is new territory for the Memphis Grizzlies. Just getting off to a fast start is unusual. The Grizzlies, who usually stumble out the gate, are a league-best 13-3. They've never had a better record after the first 16 games of the season. They were 11-5 in 2005-06 and 10-6 last season. Coach Lionel Hollins, a longtime Portland Trail Blazer during his playing career and lists several reasons for the great start, ranging from scheduling to preseason preparation to better chemistry. Hollins was a member of and a key contributor on the Blazers team the won their only NBA title in 1977. Guard Mike Conley credits a different mindset at the start of training camp for the turnaround. He says the Grizzlies already were in shape and in mid-season form mentally for their season-opener. So far, so good. The Grizzlies are the NBA's best after a 108-98 overtime win over Phoenix on Tuesday night.

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