Fact or Fiction: Memphis Grizzliesby Garrett Brooks September 4, 2021 0 comments
After getting a taste of playoff basketball last season, the Memphis Grizzlies are looking to build on their recent success. They have improved in each of Taylor Jenkins’ first two seasons as head coach and will look to do the same in year three. Led by emerging star Ja Morant, the Grizzlies have a young roster that has proven capable of competing with any team in the league on any given night.
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Ja Morant will make his first all-star appearance this season
Morant enters his third season in the NBA with little attention despite the success he has had. After being selected second overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, Morant has instantly been a leader in Memphis and has the team continuously improving. This year will be a new kind of test for the athletic scoring guard, though.
The Griz traded away Jonas Valančiūnas this offseason, meaning they no longer have one of the best and most reliable offensive centers in the NBA. That was a luxury they had recently, and now it will be on players like Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks to step it up even more offensively.
Expect Morant to do exactly that. On his way to his first all-star appearance, he will eclipse 20 points per game for the first time in his career. Last year he averaged 19.1 and this year he will be asked to do more. Morant is more than capable and his ability to answer the call will earn him new accolades during the 2021-22 NBA season.
Verdict: Fact, Ja Morant will make his first all-star team this season
The Grizzlies are the most underrated team in the West
There’s often discussion around young western conference teams like the New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves. Both teams are talented, but neither team has proven to be capable of winning games like the Grizzlies have so far. Sure, they both have more star power but Memphis has competed for a playoff spot in two consecutive years while other young teams have struggled to get out of the NBA basement.
It’s time for the Grizzlies to get some respect and with another improvement this year they will give people no option but to respect their production. As it stands today, they are without a doubt the most underrated franchise in the NBA’s western conference.
Verdict: Fact, the Grizzlies are the most underrated team in the western conference
The Grizzlies will once again claim a playoff spot in the west
After earning a playoff series against the top-seeded Utah Jazz last season, the Grizzlies want to take another step forward. The west is as loaded as ever. Teams that finished behind them last season that improved include the Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings.
Will the Grizzlies be able to hold onto a playoff spot despite those teams chasing them? It’s unlikely, this year. The Grizzlies simply didn’t do enough to improve their roster and are still focused on rebuilding. While they got young talent like Jarrett Culver at a bargain price, they sacrificed some of their immediate production to do so.
It was the right move. Unfortunately, the right move long-term doesn’t always mean the best results short-term.
Verdict: Fiction, the Grizzlies will not make the playoffs this season
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