Analyst drops massive truth bomb on Grizzlies ahead of Lakers game

Dec 26, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins talks with
Dec 26, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins talks with / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Sitting in the 13 seed out in the Western Conference standings with a record of 11-23, through 34 games played it goes without saying that the Memphis Grizzlies are in a rough spot as they approach the midway point in 2023-24.

Even with superstar Ja Morant now back in the lineup after missing the first 25 games due to suspension, the ball club has gone just 5-3 with him active and have proven that they're still more than capable of squandering must-win games that appear to be shoo-ins, with their latest loss against the Toronto Raptors serving as a recent example.

Now, they find themselves gearing up for a Friday night bout against the Lakers out in Los Angeles that will serve as game one of their upcoming three game road trip which, according to Grind City Media's Michael Wallace, will likely serve as a "now or never" period when it comes to determining whether the Grizzlies can actually claw their way back to relevancy this year.

Upcoming stretch of games will be crucial for Memphis Grizzlies

"We got this upcoming road trip, three-game trip [that] starts against a desperate Lakers team, then you go to a desperate Phoenix team that's still trying to find its way through injuries and issues, and then Dallas which has had your number when Luka [Doncic] has been available. Those teams are all in front of you, those three games are so essential, and then you have to come back home where it only gets tougher from there. I hate to say now or never, but, Jessica, it really is now or never. These next five games are going to determine where you are for pretty much the rest of the season."

Michael Wallace

As Wallace noted, once the Grizzlies return from their upcoming road trip, they'll find themselves squaring off against several surging clubs such as the LA Clippers and New York Knicks before heading back on the road to face the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves.

On December 20, during an appearance on NBA Today, ESPN's Brian Windhorst issued a harsh reality check to Memphis stating that they would need to go 34-22 over their final 56 games. Since this assessment, the team has gone just 4-4 and have been on the losing side of four of their last five outings.

With this in mind, they'll need to go 30-18 from here on out just to have a chance of clinching a playoff berth which, by all accounts, will be a hard feat to accomplish, especially considering how their January schedule is slated to play out.