Friday, January 15, 2021

Can the Grizzlies Keep the Streak Alive in Minnesota?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 2:31 PM

The Memphis Grizzlies are proud owners of their first winning streak this season, currently at three games after a win Wednesday night against the Minnesota  Timberwolves. Tonight, the Grizzlies get another shot against the Wolves, this time in Minneapolis.

The winning streak is particularly notable as it has occurred after reigning Rookie of the Year Ja Morant was sidelined with a left ankle sprain three games into the season.  

click to enlarge Brandon Clarke
  • Brandon Clarke

 

There are some reassuring signs though – Brandon Clarke appears to have returned to his true form; Dillon Brooks is maturing into the player I always knew he could be. Tyus Jones continues to impact the game on both ends of the floor; Desmond Bane is just plain good. And Jonas Valanchiunas has become a double-double machine.       

 

Another notable mention: Shorthanded or not, this squad does not give up on the game. The clearest evidence of this came from their most recent win over Minnesota.

The Timberwolves cooked the Grizzlies for most of the first three quarters, and yet thanks to an extraordinarily strong fourth quarter, they came out with a win.     

 

I've included a visual recap of the Grizzlies win at Minnesota:

click to enlarge grizz-at-twolves-bear-essay-1024x924.jpg

 

Three keys to keeping the winning streak alive:

  • Turning defense into offense. They will need to continue forcing turnovers and converting those into points on the offensive end. Keeping up with good ball security is also related.

  • Get the bench involved. The Memphis bench outscored the Minnesota bench by nearly 30 points and came away with the win. Bench performance was and remains a huge key to success.

  • Get in the paint. The Grizzlies had a franchise-record 80 points in the paint in their win over the Timberwolves. When the outside shots are not falling, drag your opponent into the paint and keep them there.

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