The Memphis Grizzlies are gearing up for what is hoped to be yet another successful campaign in 2023-24. After two straight Southwest Division titles and three consecutive playoff berths, the aim this season should at least be more of the same, or somewhere close to it.
Unfortunately, Taylor Jenkins and company will have to try and accomplish such a goal with superstar centerpiece Ja Morant sidelined for the first third of the season as a result of a league-issued suspension.
Though such a task may seem to be quite challenging on the surface, when taking into account that the Grizzlies boast a stellar record of 31-15 over the last two seasons without the point guard in the rotation, fans and pundits alike should feel confident in the team’s potential.
Along with this, based on new research by the folks at NBA.com, it appears that flourishing with or without Morant may even be easier than previously expected.
New research finds the Memphis Grizzlies have ‘easiest’ schedule in 2023-24
Per John Schuhmann, the Grizzlies are currently coming into the 2023-24 campaign with the “easiest” schedule in the entire association.
"“The Grizzlies have the league’s easiest 80-game schedule in regard to cumulative opponent winning percentage from last season (.489),” Schuhmann said."
During the span in which Morant is slated to be sidelined, Memphis will be squaring off against 14 teams that finished 2022-23 off with a losing record.
Following the first game the star could officially be eligible to return (December 19 against New Orleans), then up until All-Star weekend (February 16-18) the club will see 12 other squads who registered a record of .500 or worse last year as well.
So, while having Ja sidelined for the initial 25 games of the season is certainly far from ideal, fans should already be feeling comfort in Memphis’ track record of thriving without him, and should now feel even more confident that they can flourish both with and without him based on these recent findings.