Heading into the All-Star break, the Memphis Grizzlies were looking primed for a playoff spot. However, after three disappointing losses on the west coast, it’s time to regroup.
Three losses to the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers have cast doubt amongst Memphis Grizzlies fans as to how far this young team can go in the postseason.
Though it’s not the end of the world to lose three games in a row during the long and grueling 82 game NBA schedule, the way in which Taylor Jenkins’ side played and defended is cause for plenty of concern.
A date with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night will thankfully see the road swing come to an end, but after the three games in California, the Grizz allowed 129, 117, and 124 points. In my eyes, the loss to the Kings can be chalked up as rust coming back from the break, laziness, or another factor, but the two games in LA tell a bigger story.
Memphis is expected to sneak in as a seven or eight seed in the Western Conference, meaning they would likely face the Lakers or the Clippers if the season was to end this week.
Against LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Ja Morant and company put up a good fight keeping it close until the final minutes of the fourth quarter and personally, I was proud of the team’s youth fighting to the bitter end against a star-studded roster.
However, against the Clippers on Monday night, not only did the Grizz never lead, they trailed by as many as 37 and found themselves behind 40-14 after the first quarter! But it is hard to tell if the Clips are leagues better than the Grizz or if the team failed to show up for a night.
Coach Jenkins and his staff need to help these young guys forget what just happened since they will host both the Kings and Lakers in the coming week with a chance to redeem themselves. Plus, the Grizzlies hold a two and a half game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers, so these could be seen simply as throwaway games.