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Grizzlies still trying to contend without Rudy Gay

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 31, 2013 at 6:38 pm •  Published: January 31, 2013

Hollins didn't give a ringing endorsement to any of the Grizzlies' new players, taking instead a show-me-what-you've-got approach. Even with Prince, a 10-year veteran, he said Memphis only faced him at most twice a year and he couldn't provide an assessment yet.

As for the success in 2011, Hollins quickly pointed out that Memphis added Shane Battier after Gay's injury to fill that void.

"He was a big part of why we won, and hopefully Tayshaun Prince can come in and contribute on a level that can help us continue to be competitive and successful in the West," Hollins said.

The Grizzlies still have a solid core to build around, with the All-Star tandem of Randolph and Marc Gasol in the frontcourt. Randolph was picked to the All-Star team for the second time in three years this season, and Gasol was picked last season while Randolph was hurt.

Despite leading Memphis in scoring, Gay was never an All-Star.

"I feel like we've still got our All-Star bigs. Tayshaun is a champion, an All-Star as well," guard Tony Allen said. "His resume speaks for itself. He's been proven to this league.

"I think our ambition stays the same. Our motives are still to get as far as we can into the playoffs," Allen said. "Each game that we have coming up, we intend to win."

The newcomers weren't ready to join the Grizzlies for their game Thursday night at Oklahoma City. At the earliest, they could play in a Friday night home game against Washington but all the players in the trade must first pass physicals.

"We've been a contender. I believe we still are a contender," Randolph said. "A lot of people counted us out, but I think we're still right where we was at. We got good players back, good up-and-coming players. We got a solidified player who has won championships and knows how to play and play defense and shoot pretty good from the field and from the 3-point line in Tayshaun."

One lingering issue is whether the Grizzlies, under new ownership that has committed to keeping the team in Memphis, are done with their cost-cutting or if more big moves could be ahead.

"We're hopeful that this is the end of the trade scene for us but it's a business and you never know. One day we're here and one day we're not," Conley said. "We've just got to make do with what we've got and go forward."

Wallace said the new owners are "in it to win" and the trade is not an indication that they are selling out because they can't afford to run the franchise.

"That's not my call or anything like that," Gasol added. "We have to play. We have to play and we have to win. It doesn't matter who's on the court and who's not."


AP freelance writer Clay Bailey contributed to this report from Memphis, Tenn.