Grizzlies’ biggest advantage in NBA bubble, per Dillon Brooks
The upstart Memphis Grizzlies have surprised fans and writers alike this season. As they prepare for the NBA restart in Orlando, Grizzlies swingman Dillon Brooks says the team’s chemistry and hunger might make them dangerous in the final stretch (via Anthony Sain of Sports Illustrated):
“We’re a young group. We’ve got a great camaraderie here,” said Brooks. “I feel like we are all on the same page so I think we are going to get a little head start at it. The bubble is treating me and my teammates great. We are embracing it. We know that we can do big things with the season starting back up. I feel like we just can’t wait to play.”
The Grizzlies are not just “young,” but are in fact the youngest team in the entire NBA.
But in spite of purported inexperience, Brooks suggests Memphis’ youthful energy will serve the team well in Orlando.
Indeed, the Grizzlies have been an entirely different team this year, thanks largely in part to the play of rookie point guard Ja Morant in addition to young bigs like Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke.
Memphis ranked dead-last in pace last season. But with Morant orchestrating the offense and getting out in transition, the Grizzlies rank seventh in pace this year.
Brooks’ development has also played a massive role in their success. The former Oregon star is averaging 15.7 points while shooting close to 37 percent from beyond the arc, and he routinely takes on some of the team’s toughest defensive assignments.
The Grizzlies hold a 2.5-game advantage over the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. They begin the restart against the Trail Blazers on July 31.