3 reasons why the Memphis Grizzlies are an elite NBA team in 2021-22

Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Reason No. 3: The Memphis Grizzlies are playing enough strong offense without Ja Morant to get by

Generally speaking, the Grizzlies aren’t necessarily playing the most dominant basketball we’ve ever seen on a 9-1 stretch. In fact, in a lot of the Grizzlies’ games, they’re playing opposing teams down to the wire.

Obviously, there are outlying performances, like the Grizzlies’ 73-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder that broke the NBA’s scoring margin record. In fact, that game, while I’d never take it back, makes it extremely difficult to find statistics that aren’t heavily skewed because of how much of a throttling it was.

That said, these Grizz wins have been close — Memphis has won by 15 or fewer points in six of their nine recent wins. In the NBA, that’s a close game.

In the past ten games, the Grizzlies have regressed offensively in terms of where they stand in the hierarchy of the NBA. Still, they’re actually averaging a higher point per game total in Ja Morant’s absence by 2.1 points per game.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this, however, has been the Grizzlies’ ability to get ahead early and stay ahead late. As demonstrated against the Trail Blazers last night, Memphis’s early starts go a long way toward a win. Last year, we saw this team bottle a few late-game leads too — we haven’t seen that in the past ten games.

Next. 3 trade proposals that land Jaylen Brown in Memphis. dark

It’s a good time to be a Grizz basketball fan.