Memphis Grizzlies – Championship Caliber Team a Bit Too Early

In the 2004-2005 season, the Memphis Grizzlies had a lineup that included Jason Williams, James Posey, Shane Battier, Mike Miller and Pau Gasol. With the Grizzlies they never made it past the first round, but after leaving the team, all of them became NBA champions with a different team.

Jason Williams and Posey were the first to enjoy the “post-Grizzlies” syndrome, going on to win the NBA title with the Miami Heat in 2006. Williams became a point guard who doesn’t handle the ball too much, playing next to Dwyane Wade and staying three years with the Heat, averaging 12.3 points and 4.9 assists per game, helping the franchise win its first title.

2004-2005 Grizzlies

Posey wasn’t as important offensively for the Heat as he was for Memphis, but his defensive abilities and three point shooting were enough to play a big part in the 2006 title, and also for the Boston Celtics in 2008, as Posey played a bench-specialist role for both teams.

Shane Battier is another player to win two NBA titles, both of them with the Miami Heat in their two most recent title runs, as a role player, in the lineup or off the bench, for the big three era team. He was a lot more significant in 2012, starting in 16 postseason games, averaging 7 points on 38.2% from beyond the arc. This season he came off the bench every time, playing almost half the minutes he did in 2011-2012, averaging 4.7 points in the postseason.

Mike Miller, now back with Memphis, had the same sort of success with the Miami Heat over the last couple of years. He played a very limited role off the bench in both title runs, but proving to be an extremely efficient shooter when it matters the most, hitting 41.3% of his three pointers in the 2012 playoffs and an even better 44.4% of them in the 2013 postseason.

Pau Gasol is the most prominent of the group, and also the only one to win both of his titles without the Miami Heat. Joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008, he went on to feature in three consecutive NBA finals and become the right hand man for Kobe Bryant over the years, at a certain point in time looking like the best power forward in the league.

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