The Memphis Grizzlies are the best team no one is talking about

Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Memphis Grizzlies are the best team that no one is talking about. 

A little over a month ago, when Ja Morant went down with a knee injury that appeared to be significant, it felt like the Memphis Grizzlies were in for a season to forget. However, as we approach the midway point of the 2021-22 NBA season, the Grizzlies are far from that fear.

Memphis managed to survive without Morant – the team went 10-2 during his absence – and they are now one of the more consistent teams in the Western Conference. Now that Morant has returned from the injury, it appears that the Grizzlies have some sticking power atop the top 4 seeds in the West, and there is reason to believe that this team is going to be a problem in the playoffs.

Right now, the Grizzlies are 21-14 and sitting in the fourth spot of the West. What makes this team all the more intriguing is the fact this team is just scratching the surface on their potential.

The team’s four-best players are all under the age of 25 and are still getting better. Morant is just 22 years old and is on pace to have the best season of his career, averaging 24 points, seven assists, and six rebounds on 48 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Dillon Brooks, 25, is 19 points per game, and Desmond Bane, 23, is having a breakout season in which he’s averaging 17 points and four rebounds on 47 percent shooting from the field and 43 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Perhaps what has been most encouraging for the Grizzlies is the play of Jaren Jackson Jr., who is averaging 16 points and five rebounds per game on 42 percent shooting from the field after signing that big extension during the offseason.

Overall as a team, the Grizzlies have the sixth-best offense in the league and a top 10 net rating. If there’s one potential downfall for the team, it falls on the defensive end.

Memphis has just the 17th best defensive rating and if they’re going to remain atop the top 4 seeds in the West, that’s going to have to improve over the course of the season. For as talented as the team is offensively, eventually, they’re going to have to lean on their defense.

And if they can’t do that effectively, that could end up derailing their season.

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The Grizzlies are one of the four best teams in the West right now. But during the second half of the season, there will be other teams in the West that will begin to make a move up the standings. But this version of the Grizzlies might finally be the one to overcome all that to win homecourt advantage in the first round.