Five teams on mean streaks

Dissecting squads on long winning or losing streaks (PER Diem: Jan. 23, 2012)

Updated: January 23, 2012, 12:37 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

Remember when losing Zach Randolph was supposed to condemn the Memphis Grizzlies to two months of muddling in the nether regions of the Western Conference before trying to make a late playoff push once he came back?

Well, they aren't following the script. Unbelievably, the Griz enter Monday's games in first place in the Southwest Division thanks to a six-game winning streak that includes five double-digit wins. Memphis is up to No. 6 in the Power Rankings while posing its record against the league's sixth-most difficult schedule. Believe it or not, only two Western Conference teams have better scoring margins than the Grizzlies' plus-3.7 -- and that's even with Memphis losing its fourth game of the season by 40 to Chicago.