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Marc Gasol emphasizes defense is still Grizzlies’ soul

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies

There have been plenty of speculations about the reason behind the Memphis Grizzlies’ hot start to the 2018-19 season. Center Marc Gasol, however, attributes their early success to defense.

The Grizzlies have undoubtedly defied all expectations thus far this season. According to David Cobb of Memphis Commercial Appeal, Marc Gasol feels their best bet to win is by maintaining their high level of play on the defensive end:

“Man, we are trying to win. I think the main is goal is we are trying to win. I think last year that wasn’t, per se, the main goal. So I think this year there is no second-guessing. The only thing is to win. And the best chance to win is to play that type of defense,” Marc Gasol said.

“There is no other way for us. We don’t have the firepower to go for 130 points a night. We might be able to score 130 points, but I think what gives us that consistency and trust in one another is that defensive effort.”

There is certainly plenty of truth to Gasol’s comments. Memphis has established a reputation of being a bit of a stalwart on defense in recent years, particularly during their Grit and Grind era. Although the approach did not work for them last season, they have now somehow managed to sneak into first place in the Western Conference standings.

Their focus on defense was certainly understandable a few years ago when the NBA was still predominately played in the half court. However, the fast-paced tempo of today’s game has resulted in higher average scoring outputs. While most teams have decided to conform to scoring as many points as possible, the Grizzlies have not lost their roots as a defensive team. It has clearly paid off for them thus far this season.