It’s no secret that the Memphis Grizzlies find themselves in a stark and grueling rut, as they currently stand as the lone winless team in the entire association with a lowly record of 0-5.
Coming into the year, it was already believed that Taylor Jenkins’ club would struggle early on what with the absences of Ja Morant (suspension) and Steven Adams (knee surgery), but their production through the first week and change has surprisingly been below expectations.
Moving forward, it’s truly anyone’s guess when it comes to what alterations must be made in an attempt to keep Memphis afloat until the return of their superstar guard in mid-December, for it appears they have a laundry list of present problems.
However, in a recent piece by Bleacher Report, writer Grant Hughes suggested one particular fix that, in theory, could help save their season from complete implosion.
The objective: The Grizzlies need to run more.
B/R believes the Memphis Grizzlies need to ‘run’ more often on offense
"“Though the Grizzlies aren’t blowing the doors off in transition, they rank higher in scoring efficiency on the break than they do in halfcourt sets. Though Morant’s absence means Memphis lacks its turbo button, it’s still worth pushing the pace, because with or without Morant, the Grizzlies have always struggled to get buckets against a set defense,” Hughes wrote.“They haven’t ranked higher than 22nd in half-court offense since 2016-17. With no starting-caliber point guard to break down the defense and no hulking center to dominate the offensive glass, Memphis isn’t going to survive if it can’t score on the run.”"
Though the Grizzlies certainly have ample talents at their disposal such as Desmond Bane, Marcus Smart, and Jaren Jackson Jr. who could thrive in more of an up-tempo offense, as things currently stand they rank as the seventh-worst fastbreak scoring team in the entire league, with mere averages of 12.2 points per game.
This, of course, is a polar opposite brand of productivity compared to the last two seasons where they finished as the second-seed in the Western Conference, as they ranked second and first, respectively, in this particular category with 18.0 fastbreak points scored per game in 2022-23 and 17.7 in 2021-22.
While it’s safe to say that a bulk of this play style was due to the elite quickness and fast-paced mentality of Morant, even with Tyus Jones serving as the primary point guard with the star sidelined throughout this time the Grizzlies still managed to push the pace more frequently.
To stabilize this sinking ship, Hughes believes Jenkins must entrust guys like Smart and Bane to speed things up.