The Grizzlies are the hottest young team in the league right now. They currently sit with a seven game win streak. This is surprising for the NBA world, as the Grizzlies are still missing stars Jaren Jackson Jr and Justise Winslow. Those players have yet to suit up for the Grizzlies this season. This season may be a turning point for the Grizzlies. Could we finally end the rebuilding years?
The Grizzlies were looking mediocre coming into the season. With the rising star in Ja Morant, they were promised an unknown start while still missing two of their core players. They had made some offseason moves to acquire more young talent. They drafted Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman with acquired draft picks. They also resigned sixth man De'Anthony Melton to a multi year, $35 million deal. The Grizzlies roster was looking young and improved coming into the 2020-21 season.
The Grizzlies started the season 0-2, and their next game was a contest against the Brooklyn Nets on December 28. The Nets at the time were without their star duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Memphis and Brooklyn battled the entire game until tragedy struck for the Grizzlies. Ja Morant was wheel-chaired out of the game with an apparent ankle injury. He was expected to miss at least two weeks. Grizzlies fans, inlcuding myself, went into panic mode. We were already missing two of our stars, now our third is going to be out. The Grizzlies would hold on to beat the Nets 116-111.
After Ja Morants injury, the Grizzlies needed a player to step in and fill the lead role. Kyle Anderson publicly stated that he was the one that was going to need to step up. But it was mostly the team as a whole who stepped up. The next few games without Ja, the Grizzlies went 1-4. Brandon Clarke put up nice numbers during this stretch, scoring 28 points against the Nets on January 8. The Grizzlies would start their winning streak without Ja during this contest on January 8. The Grizzlies were on a three game win streak when they got Ja back. On Ja's night of return, he put up 17 points as the Grizzlies narrowly beat the 76ers 106-104. Since Ja's return, the Grizzlies have put up a 4-0 record, bringing their win streak to 6, and posting a 9-6 record on the year. They are currently sitting at number four in the western conference standings.
We will see what happens as the Grizzlies ride out the rest of the season. There are hints that Jaren Jackson Jr and Justise Winslow are returning this month. Which would be huge for the Grizzlies. But there are plenty of questions to be answered this season. Can we keep a healthy roster? Will Ja become an all star? Will we clinch a top five seed in the playoffs? Anything could happen this season. I am excited to see whats in store for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies look to extend their winning streak tonight as they will take a trip to Indianapolis to take on the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers sit at 11-9 on the year. This is a new look Pacers team, as they parted ways with their star Victor Oladipo this year. The game will tip at 7pm CST. Go Grizzlies!