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Zach Randolph.

The Memphis Grizzlies 2016 playoff roster was absolutely atrocious

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By winning Game 3 on Thursday night, the Memphis Grizzlies are already doing better against the San Antonio Spurs than last year's squad did.

In the first round of the 2016 postseason, the Grizzlies were swept in four games and never even had a chance to win a game. In fact, the closest game in the series was a 96-87 home loss in Game 3 of the series.

Though the lopsided defeats cost then-coach Dave Joerger his job, the sweep wasn't entirely on his shoulders.

The Grizzlies were without star center Marc Gasol and point guard Mike Conley due to injuries, and thus were forced to play against a talented Spurs squad with a skeleton crew.

Taking a look at some of the key players for Memphis in that series makes it abundantly clear just how overmatched the Grizzlies were in 2016. Here's a look at who played key roles for Memphis during last year's first-round series against the Spurs.

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

Zach Randolph

Of the Grizzlies' trio of stars, Randolph was the only one who was healthy by the time the playoffs rolled around last season.

He played a huge role for Memphis in the series, but without Gasol and Conley by his side, he was hopelessly overmatched by a loaded Spurs squad.

This year, he's got his teammates back, and the difference is clear. The Grizzlies are still overmatched, but they are actually being competitive in the first round this time around.

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers

Vince Carter

Last year was Carter's age-39 season, but the Grizzlies were so depleted by injuries against the Spurs that Carter started all four games.

In fact, the aging superstar led Memphis with 16 points in a 106-74 Game 1 loss. He added a serviceable 14 points in the series finale for good measure.

Carter has started all three games in this year's series as a 40-year-old, too, but he isn't being relied upon to carry as much of the scoring load as he was last season.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers - Game Three

Lance Stephenson

Lance the legend was acquired by the Grizzlies just before last year's trade deadline in exchange for Jeff Green. 

He served as Memphis's sixth man during the brief 2016 playoff run, exploding for 26 points in the Game 4 loss.

He's now back in Indiana with the Pacers where he belongs, but he and his teammates currently trail LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-0 in their first-round series.

Memphis Grizzlies v Denver Nuggets

Chris Andersen

The Birdman was another midseason acquisition for Memphis in 2016, coming over from the Miami Heat at the trade deadline.

He filled in for the injured Gasol, starting two of the four games. He grabbed 13 rebounds in the Game 4 loss in 24 minutes off the bench.

He signed with the Cavs this offseason, but tore his ACL and is now out of the league.

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three

Jordan Farmar

Farmar started the 2015-16 season playing overseas in Israel for Maccabi Tel Aviv, but was summoned to Memphis on a 10-day contract on March 21 when Conley was injured.

However, when it became clear that Conley would miss extended time, Farmar was signed for the rest of the season and started all four playoff games for the Grizzlies.

He signed with the Sacramento Kings before the 2016-17 season, but was waived in November and hasn't played in the NBA since.

Memphis Grizzlies v Denver Nuggets

Matt Barnes

Barnes was one of the few Memphis postseason players who had actually spent the whole year with the Grizzlies. He was acquired during the summer in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets.

Barnes started all four playoff games and scored 17 points in Game 3. He then left for the Kings prior to the 2016-17 season and is now a bench player for the Golden State Warriors.

Memphis Grizzlies v Dallas Mavericks

Tony Allen

After signing with Memphis prior to the 2010-11 season, Allen is one of the elder statesmen of the Grizzlies at this point.

He started two of the four playoff games against the Spurs last year, but even with his lockdown defensive efforts, the Grizzlies couldn't slow down Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio offense.

Topics:
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Memphis Grizzlies
Marc Gasol
Zach Randolph
Kawhi Leonard
NBA Playoffs

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