The Grizzlies fatal flaw shows itself again in loss to Suns

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and head coach Taylor Jenkins-Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and head coach Taylor Jenkins-Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Grizzlies fell to the Suns in Phoenix Sunday night, their second consecutive loss following their 11-game winning streak. Here is why their shooting woes are to blame.

The Grizzlies were hoping to get back to their winning ways against the Suns in Phoenix Sunday night. Instead, they were embarrassed 62-37 in the first half before mounting a furious comeback that fell just short. The 112-110 loss wasn’t as frustrating as the Lakers loss from two nights prior, but it had similar qualities to it.

The same issues that plagued them in that game once again showed themselves. Poor perimeter shooting, struggling at the charity stripe, and mental lapses all contributed to the loss. The Grizzlies aren’t suddenly in trouble based on just these past two games, but it does beg the question: what can they do to help solve these issues before the playoffs start? It’s a loaded question with multiple answers, but for now, let’s focus on the issue itself.

Grizzlies shooting was an issue once again

The one area of concern throughout the season for the Grizzlies has been their shooting. They are one of the top-scoring teams in the NBA, but they do it with volume as opposed to efficiency. They are in the bottom half of the league in field goal percentage and three-point percentage, as well as last in free-throw percentage. The only player shooting above 40% from behind the arc is Desmond Bane, and even his accuracy has gone down since he returned from his toe injury.

Then there is the Dillon Brooks problem. He may be a fan favorite thanks to his defense and swagger, but his offense has become a liability. He is third on the team in shot attempts despite having the worst shooting numbers of any regular rotation member. Brooks can be very valuable even with his offensive shortcomings, but lately, he has been a net negative on the court. Memphis has been outscored by 17 points while he has been on the court in the past two games. The Grizzlies would be smart to get more touches for Jaren Jackson Jr and the backup perimeter players.

Overall, the Grizzlies are still clearly one of the top teams in the league. Their viability as a true contender though hinges on improving their shooting. Whether that is through a trade or improvement from within doesn’t really matter. As long as they can make strides in that area, they will be a force to be reckoned with.