Shhh! Don't Tell The Memphis Grizzlies That They Are Not Supposed To Be This Good Already
After a statement home win against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, the Grizzlies are making a case that their place in the standings and their now six-game winning streak is far from a fluke. Progressing beyond their years and even more so their experience; the development of this team has the NBA on notice. Just don't remind them.
A team this young, in the first year of a full rebuild is not supposed to be here. They are not supposed to be showing signs of life and they are definitely not supposed to be legit playoff contenders. A team that is fresh off dealing off the last two remaining pieces of its only era of sustained success - the "Grit & Grind" era - should not be a legit playoff contender at the halfway point of the season. The reason why I think that the team is playing with this much confidence to kick down the walls of expectation that many have tried to build around them? One statement...
Ignorance is bliss.
No one is telling this team that they shouldn't be this good this early. No one is telling them to pump their brakes and slow down. No one is telling them that they shouldn't enjoy the fruits of their hard work. No one is growing tired of the team's recent national attention and praise. No one - including Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins - who isn't concerned about his young team becoming overconfident at all.
"They are just playing ball," Jenkins said about his team's confidence after a recent practice. "If you start getting overconfident you get lax in your work habits and you get lax in your effort to start games and to finish games. I think our guys for 48 minutes have been pretty consistent in their effort. These guys should enjoy the process. They've been doing it since the beginning of the season. Just working and working together and it's great when you get a little win streak going and all of that stuff. It just kind of pays tribute to all of the things that you've been doing leading up to it but I don't sense any overconfidence."
"I think that these guys are just enjoying the opportunity," Jenkins would add. "They are enjoying the chances to grow and compete. We just want to continue to work on that momentum and build off of that. These guys come in with the right mindset every single day. Practice, games, shootarounds, whatever it might be."
Say what you want about this team but their recent success is undeniable. They are among the league's leaders in three-point shooting, pace, and assists so far this calendar year and they are poised to do even more. Their recent run of good play could come and go. It happens. This is the NBA. It's a game of runs and a game of streaks. it's a game of trends and a game of tendencies. But this team is playing at a high level and they are focused on continuing to overachieve. They are honestly probably too young and too inexperienced to realize that they are not supposed to be here, but who really has the right to tell them otherwise?
Now shush! Don't remind them that they are not supposed to be here yet!
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