Grizzlies Take Playoff Push Into February
Updated: Feb 12
The Memphis Grizzlies have continued their hot start to the new calendar year by winning 2 of their last 3 games in the past week.
The Grizzlies started a 2-game road trip with a 127-106 win over the New York Knicks. Ja Morant posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists, and Jonas Valuncianas racked up 12 points and 13 rebounds for another double-double on the evening. The game was marred by a late-game scrap up between Elfrid Payton of the Knicks and Jae Crowder of the Grizzlies. Elfrid Payton, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Marko Guduric were all given one-game suspensions. Jae Crowder and Marcus Morris were given fines.
The win put the Grizzlies at 24-24 on the season, after starting as many as 10 games below a .500. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 48 games played to reach .500 for the first time is 4th-most by any team over the past 30 seasons. The other 3 teams who took longer all made the postseason.
The suspensions of Guduric and Jackson combined with an injury to Brandon Clarke loomed large as the Grizzlies suffered a 139-111 loss on the road to the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night. Valuncianas scored 18 points and collected 8 rebounds to lead Memphis on the evening.
The Grizzlies wrapped up the month of January with a 12-4 record. Head Coach Taylor Jenkins was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month and rookie point guard Ja Morant was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the 3rd straight month. Morant's winning of the award continues his reign as the only Western Conference rookie to win the award this season as he continues to state his case for Rookie of the Year.
The Grizzlies returned home to defeat the Detroit Pistons 96-82 on Monday. Valanciunas once again dominated for Memphis with 26 points and 17 rebounds on the evening.
Once again sitting at .500, the Grizzlies will look to get above the mark tonight as they travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks with the All-Star Break fast approaching.