- Associated Press - Monday, May 16, 2011

The Memphis Grizzlies see their amazing playoff run as a painful building block. They have good cause for optimism too.

Memphis went further than any other No. 8 seed in the Western Conference ever had _ and the Grizzlies did it without Rudy Gay, their second-leading scorer.

Zach Randolph says expectations will be higher now the Grizzlies laid a foundation with seven playoff wins. Memphis knocked off the No. 1 seeded San Antonio Spurs and pushed Oklahoma City to seven games before falling short Sunday with a 105-90 loss in the semifinals.

The Grizzlies aren’t making excuses for not reaching the West finals. But guard Tony Allen says Memphis will be a bigger threat with a healthy Gay.