How about those Memphis Grizzlies?
Memphis found a way in a tough situation to fight their way back from 18 points down to get themselves in position to steal this game. The outcome isn’t what matters most here, though - this team could have easily laid down against the Milwaukee Bucks, one of the NBA’s best squads. Instead, they took their last game before the All-Star Break and chipped away after a poor first quarter performance and gave themselves a chance to win late. In the long run, that experience will be worth more than any individual victory or defeat.
But it is still more fun when the Grizzlies win. So the loss stings just a tad.
Some quick takeaways from this crazy contest with lots of Grit and Grind tendencies.
Memphis would be lost without Dillon Brooks
No, the numbers do not jump out at you as highly efficient. And yes, Brooks can be infuriating at times with some of his offensive choices. But Dillon is one of those “you have to watch the game” players to appreciate how important he is to the Memphis Grizzlies. He brings an unconquerable confidence to this young squad - no matter how things are going, you know Brooks is going to be there to compete. He is going to do his damndest to defend the opposition’s best scoring option while being active as well offensively. There aren’t many players with the combination of conditioning and swagger to do all that Dillon does on a near nightly basis.
He isn’t perfect. Far from it. But to appreciate Dillon Brooks - faults and all - is to more completely understand just how these Grizzlies win basketball games.
Health and happiness heading in to the All-Star Break
Coach Taylor Jenkins should be thrilled with the current state of things for the Grizzlies. The team is getting healthier by the day, and with the returns of Grayson Allen and Jaren Jackson Jr. on the horizon after the break that depth will only become more and more clear. The roster is gelling nicely, finding opportunities in the fast break and playing the brand of basketball that Jenkins has repeatedly stated he values. Ja Morant has been a revelation the last two games, putting together back to back dominant performances.
The second half schedule is daunting. But Memphis should be able to enjoy a few days of a breather knowing that the team’s trajectory, regardless of record, remains onward and upward. They’re playing well. They’re getting back a very important player soon. And their superstar is living up to the title once again. For now, it is safe to exhale and get some rest. The end of this pandemic campaign will be both a marathon and a sprint.
Enjoy the time away from day to day games, Grizzlies fans. Stick with GBB as we review the first half of the season and preview what is to come once the games resume.