Grizz GM on team's 2017-18 outlook: We're not dead yet

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace still believes his team is capable of making the playoffs every year.

Despite a horrendous stretch of games that has the Grizzlies at 9-21 despite a 5-1 start, Wallace is holding out hope.

"We're in a tough spot right now; that's the reality of the NBA from time to time," Wallace said. "You find yourself in these situations--all franchises do. Now we just gotta make the best of getting out of it and hopefully find some positive aspects to this experience as well that we can utilize in the future."

The team fired head coach David Fizdale in the midst of a long losing streak. The move came as there was a friction between Fizdale and All-Star center Marc Gasol.

"We just weren't trending in the right direction in any of the metrics," Wallace said.

Interim head coach JB Bickerstaff has brought more emphasis of defense and a better shot selection on offense.

Wallace noted that injuries have taken a toll on his team as well. The star point guard has missed significant time, as well as players like Wayne Seldon and Brandan Wright.

"Mike went out," Wallace said. "In the past, we've been able to compensate and stay afloat when key guys went out. We have a track record going back to 2011 in that regard. This year we've been unable to get it done."

As the team waits for Conley to return from injury (he'll be re-evaluated in two weeks), the front office is watching and waiting as the February 8 trade deadline looms.

"We'll be proactive," Wallace said. "We'll be aggressive, but we're not going to do something just for the sake of doing it."

Wallace said he still believes the team is in the window for Gasol and Conley where they can still make a run.

"We are in that window where we can be a perennial playoff team," he said. "We can do damage in the playoffs. We can line up against anybody in the league and we haven't backed off that."

Despite all the struggles, the Grizz are just six games back of a playoff spot.

"As long as you're not dead, you're alive," Wallace said. "We're still in there."

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