Rejoice Memphis Grizzlies fans, for your beloved franchise is no longer the league’s last remaining winless punchline. Sunday evening, Taylor Jenkins’ squad exacted revenge against the Portland Trail Blazers just two days after their controversial overtime loss during game one of the In-Season Tournament.
Aside from a grueling anomaly against the Utah Jazz, the Grizzlies have found themselves taking part in tightly contested affairs during each of their bouts this season, though, unfortunately, had consistently failed to pull ahead upon the sound of the final buzzer.
That is, until their latest matchup against the Blazers came underway, as they stormed back from an 86-82 deficit heading into the fourth period and, in the end, came away with a commanding 112-100 victory.
Following the outing, Desmond Bane was pulled aside for an on-court interview to discuss Memphis’ first win of the year. Despite arguably being the main driving force throughout, when asked what he believes pushed the club “over the hump,” the rising star name-dropped a few individuals, in particular, for their on-court contributions.
Desmond Bane praises teammates following first Grizzlies win of season
"“I mean, I think we got some rebounds. I mean, having Santi [Aldama] out there, having [Bismack Biyombo] out there really helps what we can do on the interior,” Bane said. “Luke [Kennard] making shots, we had contributions from all the guys. [Jaren Jackson Jr.] has been huge. A lot of guys play well. That’s what happens and that’s how you win games.”"
As Bane noted, rebounding and shooting efficiency were huge factors in Memphis’ win on the night, as they pulled down 49 boards, with Biyombo, Jackson, and Aldama combining for 47 percent of them, while the team as a whole converted on 50.6 percent of their attempts from the field and 40.6 percent from deep, with Kennard cashing in on four of his six shots from long-range and registered 15 points, both of which are season highs.
However, the modesty in the 25-year-old’s remarks was on full display, as his efforts were equally as vital for the Grizzlies, as he finished the contest with a game-high 30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and a steal while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor.
Of course, even with the good spirits that come with officially breaking the winless seal, Bane would correctly state during the interview that while he’s “proud of these guys [with] the way that we’ve stuck together” throughout their losing streak, now they need to “get home, get some rest, and prepare” for what’s next to come.
Hopefully, this is only the beginning for Memphis.