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Memphis Grizzlies start historic road trip tonight

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Seven games in ten days...

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NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies hit the road tonight to start their long awaited seven game road trip following one of the more heartbreaking losses of the season Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks.

Despite the tough loss, and looking ahead to their seven game road trip, Rookie Guard Desmond Bane said that the “vibes were positive.” “We have a really good group of guys in that locker room, and we have 13 days on the road ahead... We have to make the most of it”, Bane explained when looking ahead at their eight games in 12 nights.

A road trip that is unprecedented, but fits with what everyone has gone through in the last year or so - nothing is normal. In fact, the amount of games the Grizzlies are about to play has never happened in such a short amount of time while on the road. Ever. This will be their longest stretch of away games and games in 12 nights, just as the Grizzlies are fighting for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

The strength of schedule doesn’t help the Grizzlies either, but Memphis has been a really good road team this season. On the other hand, a good portion of the NBA is really good on the road this season - it is strictly basketball without arenas full of screaming fans. This isn’t a veteran team - this is, in fact now the youngest team in the NBA. A team, though, that is full of guys that love to play basketball, and is oddly close to one another.

Team comradery will be needed over the next week and a half for the Grizzlies as they face strictly playoff teams if you count the Chicago Bulls that sit 10th in the Eastern Conference (play-in tournament). With all of that being said, how do the Grizzlies have a solid road trip?

NBAE via Getty Images

Control What You Can...

The Memphis Grizzlies are 14-10 on the road this season. Four out of the five teams that Memphis will face over the next 13 days will have a winning record at home, so the Grizzlies will have to control what they can, and take it one quarter at a time. Memphis performed so well on their previous road trip (four games in five nights) due to their defensive intensity, along with their offensive rotations.

Memphis sits third in the NBA in road scoring (116.5), first in steals (9.7), second in assists (27.8) and fifth in the NBA on the road with a defensive rating of 109.1. Control the defensive end, and the offense will come Grizzlies.

Below Average?

Four out of the five Grizzlies opponents on this road trip (Bulls, Clippers, Bucks, Nuggets) have been held under their points per game averages in their matchups against Memphis this season.

The Grizzlies will have to get their offense flowing similar to their last road trip, where they put their opponent in the mud, and took off in the third quarter. If the offense doesn’t flow, the Grizzlies will hold their opponents below their averages once again, but still land on the losing end.

The Grizzlies road trip begins in Chicago as they take on the Bulls who have lost four straight games tonight at United Center.

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