What are the Grizzlies Doing?

Grizzlies

On January 18th, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in a tightly contested game that came down to the last possession. It was their 11th win in a row. They were 31-13 and only one game back from the top seed in the West.

Two days later, they lost a similarly contested matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. That was the game where Dillon Brooks went after Shannon Sharpe. The Grizzlies had lost their focus, and since are 1-8.

Riding High

The Shannon Sharpe vs Dillon Brooks (and friends) altercation was a hot topic of discussion at the time. Partly because it was Shannon Sharpe, and partly because the Grizzlies were looking like an outstanding team.

The West was going to be Memphis or Denver, as the two teams were neck and neck at the top of the conference for what felt like forever. Memphis was riding high, winning 11 in a row, and ready to leapfrog the Nuggets as MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic sat out a series of games with hamstring tightness.

The castle began to crumble with the loss to Los Angeles. Desmond Bane hit a 3-pointer to put Memphis up by 8 with 3 minutes left, and they slowly choked the game away after that. More focused were the Grizzlies on showing up Shannon Sharpe and acting hard than actually winning the basketball game.

Dillon Brooks fouled out. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Zaire Williams both had 5 fouls. Poor discipline proved costly down the stretch, giving up free-throw after free-throw including the winning bucket for the Lakers.
Thus began a 5-game slide. All 5 losses were to conference opponents, including a 133-100 blowout loss to the Kings.

Down the Sink

Memphis would snap the losing streak with a victory against the Pacers. However, during that game, there was an altercation between Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant and Chris Duarte. While the game resumed and Memphis went on to win by 12, that didn’t stop things from escalating off the court.

After the game, several Pacers staff members reported a black SUV driving slowly beside the team bus and shining a “red laser” at them. The SUV held members of Morant’s entourage and reportedly Morant himself. Pacers staff members believed that the laser pointed at them was attached to a firearm, but that claim could not be corroborated by the NBA.

Either way, bad look for one of the NBA’s most exciting superstars.

The Grizzlies would go on to lose 3 in a row, a streak that continues at the time of this writing. They now sit 4.5 games back from the Nuggets in first place and only hold a 2-game lead above Sacramento. If they don’t regroup and find their discipline fast, their fall from grace could be costly when the playoffs roll around.

 


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