Can the Grizzlies make a run for their most wins ever?

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Grizzlies are officially at the halfway point of their season, sitting at a 28-13 record. Can they break their record of 56 wins with an even better second half?

The Grizzles held on to defeat the Spurs Wednesday night 135-129, surviving a furious rally in the fourth quarter. That victory extended their winning streak to eight games and also marked the halfway point of their season. Their 28-13 record is one of the best in basketball, and it also puts them on pace to tie their record for wins in a season.

The Grizzlies are one of eight teams without at least 60 wins in a season, with 56 being their best effort. Last year’s Grizzlies and the 2012-13 team both finished with that mark. Any team getting to 60 wins this season feels unlikely, not with how competitive most teams have been. There is a case for why the Grizzlies would be the team to bet on to do it, however.

The Grizzlies have not been at full strength

If I told you that the Grizzlies would be on a 56-win pace this season despite Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr missing a combined 43 games, I doubt you would believe me. That’s exactly what has transpired, however, and it shows the resilience of this team. With a nearly fully healthy team out there now, the Grizzlies’ ongoing win streak is no surprise. Even when Morant has been out, Tyus Jones has stepped in and been only slightly less productive overall. When Bane and Jackson Jr were out for long stretches, the bench unit stepped up their game enough to offset the loss.

If they want to break their franchise win record, they will need to go 29-12 or better in the second half of the season. It’s definitely a tall order, but one this team is capable of filling. With some better health and a little bit of luck, they could even make a run at their first 60-win season. That would be a massive accomplishment for a team that is still one of the youngest in the NBA.

More than ever, the Grizzlies seem primed to challenge for an NBA title. The Western Conference is deep this year, but gone are the days of a super team that feels destined to represent it in the finals. If Memphis can finish the season as the top seed and secure home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, it would be hard not to bet on them making it all the way.