Not going to lie, I was struggling for inspiration for this game’s version of “The Long View.” It was a tough game to assess for a long-term perspective, because there wasn’t much rhythm to their game.
But then I got home, hopped on Twitter, and found inspiration from Ja Morant, Kyle Anderson, and our faithful leader Joe Mullinax:
never too high . never too low .— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) February 5, 2021
gotta be and will be better. never too high never too low in this league.— SLOWMO (@KyleAnderson5) February 5, 2021
Never too high. Never too low.
It was easy to get too high during the 7-game winning streak. There were rolling despite the influx of rotation turnover with getting a returning Ja Morant, and losing Jonas Valanciunas and Grayson Allen to health and safety protocols. It drew big narratives of the Grizzlies’ playoff position towards home-court, the team’s ceiling this season once Jaren Jackson Jr. and Justise Winslow return, or the expendability of Jonas Valanciunas. It’s so high to get high on this team, because when they’re clicking, it’s a super fun brand of basketball to watch. Combine that with the youthful upside of the team, and it’s intoxicating.
And right now, it’s easy to get too low. With their youth and upside, there comes the are they actually ready question. It brings criticism on Coach Jenkins to make adjustments — though it’s tough to difficult the necessary ones given half the roster is either inactive or in the Orlando Gubble. It can also draw quick criticism towards young talent, including Ja Morant.
When in reality, everyone needs to relax.
The Houston Rockets simply had their number tonight on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Desmond Bane said it was tough for the team to find a rhythm because the Rockets were throwing switches and coverages they weren’t used to. Defensively, Coach Jenkins told the media that Houston won a lot of 1-on-1 matchups — both from attacking downhill and from firing contested 3’s — and they also did a good job taking advantage of defensive rotations.
It was just one of those nights. The Memphis Grizzlies will be fine, and even then there were a few highs — Desmond Bane playing a well-rounded game again, Tyus Jones finding a groove, and Ja Morant getting into a zone in the 3rd quarter.
They won’t play as rough as they did against the Rockets and Pacers all the time — likewise about them not playing red-hot all the time like they were in San Antonio. This team is young, and there will be ups and downs this season. However, the upside of this team long-term is still tantalizing, their playoff odds aren’t shot, and there’s no need to touch the panic button on this season.
Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Everything’s going to be okay.