Marcus Smart issues 7-word analysis on surging Grizzlies

Dec 26, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the
Dec 26, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

In just four showings, Ja Morant's return to the lineup after a 25-game suspension has led to more than half of the total wins that the Memphis Grizzlies cultivated without him, as they have gone undefeated during this stretch and now boast an overall record of 10-19 on the year.

Though far from the 50+ wins they came across over the last two seasons, with their franchise centerpiece along with several other key contributors now back in the fold Taylor Jenkins' squad is inching their way closer to a place of respectability in 2023-24 and, following their latest win against the New Orleans Pelicans, recently returned defensive stalwart Marcus Smart issued a strong analysis of the surging club.

Marcus Smart talks up Memphis Grizzlies following win over Pelicans

"We're a team that don't give up. I think we continue to show that, we've been in almost every game we've played, and, eventually, we were going to come back and win one of these games where we're down 17. We've done it a few times and that's who we is and that's what we need to continue to be."

Marcus Smart on Grizzlies

As Morant did back on December 19, Smart made his return against the Pelicans following an extended absence (ankle injury) on Tuesday night and wound up playing a key role in Memphis' comeback efforts.

Despite being down 13 (80-67) heading into the half, the Grizzlies kept plugging away. Their veteran guard served as the driving force in their second-half surge, particularly during the crucial fourth quarter and overtime where he registered all of his 13 points on the night and paved the way with his defensive production, drawing a clutch charge on Zion Williamson during the final minute of action.

Along with his point total, Smart went on to register 3 assists, 1 rebound, 1 block, and a whopping 5 steals and finished with the team's highest plus-minus of +9

Though just one small sample size, the 29-year-old is already showing signs of being the missing link for this Morant-led team club as they attempt to embark down the road to recovery.