As many people in the NBA are focused on the 17-game winning-streak of the Miami Heat, not many people are noticing that the Memphis Grizzlies have won 12 of their last 13 contests and have moved up to the third-seed in the Western Conference. Another thing that people might not realize is just how well they’ve played over that 13-game stretch.
At 42-19, the Grizzlies have been a great team all year. They have the league’s best defense, allowing just 89.4 points per game. They play a hard-nosed, tough style of basketball where they like to control the pace and methodically wear their opponents down. Because of this, their offense hasn’t been incredibly proficient, averaging just 93.7 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting and 34.6 percent three-point shooting.
But for how good they’ve consistently been all season, they’ve been even better over this last stretch of basketball. During those 13 games, the Grizzlies have allowed their opponents to score just 87.3 points per game and shoot just 43.5 percent from the field. They’ve also been able to out-rebound their opponents by an average of six boards per game and have forced their opponents to commit 15 turnovers per game.
Their defense hasn’t been the only thing that’s improved, either. Over the 13-game stretch, Memphis has averaged 96 points per game and has shot the ball at 47.1 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond-the-arc. Obviously, those numbers aren’t going to lead the league, but they are improved from their season averages, which makes the Grizzlies even more dominant.
The Grizzlies are hitting their stride down the home-stretch of this season and seem like they are ready to make some noise in the NBA Playoffs. They may not be the most fun team to watch because of their slow, grinding pace, but they are winning basketball games and that’s all it takes to be successful in this league.