The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the surprise teams of the season, led by Ja Morant’s breakout campaign.

Sitting fourth in the Western Conference, they have capitalized on slow starts from perceived contenders like the LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and, to a lesser extent, the Dallas Mavericks, but as they continue to rack up wins, they are making a case. solid not only to be considered a young team on the rise, but a legitimate threat in the West.

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At 24-14, they have the seventh best record in the league and this season they have wins over the Nets, Clippers (twice), Warriors, Jazz, Nuggets (twice), Suns, Mavericks and Lakers (twice), proving They can mix it up with the best teams on any given night.

In Monday night’s 118-104 road win over the Brooklyn Nets, the fifth in a row, the Grizzlies made a statement, dominating the cable-to-cable game, breaking the game with a 40-point third quarter, which included a 25-8 run in the last 6:31 of the quarter, against a Nets team that has the fifth-best defense in the league.

Morant’s drive for an All-Sar first pick seems almost guaranteed at this point and was once again the focal point of the victory. Fresh out of being named Western Conference Player of the Week, led the Grizzlies with 36 points, eight assists and six rebounds, not to mention Kodak’s lack of moments.

Dewsmond Bane added 29 points and eight rebounds in the victory, knocking down five 3s on the night.

On paper, the Grizzlies are the second-youngest team in the league, but their combination of young talent and veteran experience gives them a balance that makes them a team no one wants to see in the postseason.

They have all the ingredients to make a deep playoff run with Morant playing at an All-Star level, alongside his young teammates, Dillon Brooks, Tyus Jones and Desmond Bane, while Jaren Jackson Jr. continues to look more and more like him. player that many expected. when he was selected No. 4 overall in 2018.

Add in the veteran knowledge of Kyle Anderson and Steven Adams, who have beefed up your interior as both a tire protector and a rebounder. There’s a reason the Grizzlies are second in the league in rebounding percentage, behind only the Utah Jazz.

While there is still a lot to play for this season, as it stands, the Grizzlies have the fifth-easiest remaining schedule for the rest of the season, according to Tankathon as they continue to chase the Jazz, Suns and Warriors to the top of the West. .

After a first-round outing in the playoffs last season, the 2023-22 Grizzlies appear poised to wreak havoc in the postseason this time around.

It’s time to take them seriously as contenders, whether we’re ready or not, they have arrived.