When teams go to Memphis and the FedEx Forum, they know it’s going to be very, very difficult to win. Even this season is almost impossible as the Grizzlies have a remarkable record of twenty wins to three losses at home (Boston, Sacramento and Phoenix).
On the other hand, when Ja Morant and his band travel, it’s not the same story. The proof: Taylor Jenkins’ men have lost 12 of 21 games, the latest in Phoenix on Sunday night. Faced with this observation, how can we explain that Memphis shows two such different faces?
“We have to have a better mentality abroad”the coach responds to The Athletic. “We are less than 50% of the victories won on the road. Regardless of our group and opponent, we have to perform better. We have to start the matches with a better, fighting mentality. We have been good in the last two years and this season we are struggling. »
“Good teams win at home, great teams win away”
Taylor Jenkins has a good record since 2020/2021, when he and his players won 20 of their 36 away matches from Memphis. He was even better last season with 26 successes in 41 matches. The Grizzlies have done it before, so while the vast majority of franchises (especially in the West) have struggled on the road this season, they can do better.
“Good teams win at home, great teams win away” Ja Morant remembers. “Being an outsider fighter has been our identity since I came here. But this year we can’t have that energy. »
One of the keys to this drop in form and results is the lack of strength in their defence. The Grizzlies are giving up just 106.4 points per 100 possessions at FedEx Forum and have the best defense in the league at home. When they play away, they allow just 112 points from 100 possessions, which is still excellent (6th away defence). However, it changes everything.
Why? Because Jaren Jackson Jr. when blocking shots, pressing defenders and suffocating opposing forwards, Taylor Jenkins’ troops can get the ball and run. Ja Morant is very strong in transition, and so are the Grizzlies.
“We can’t be perfect every night, but I always insist on our mentality”
Regardless of the room this season, once defenses up front are in place, Memphis is less comfortable in the half court, averaging 95 points per 100 possessions. So a less strong defense is a less sharp attack. The result: 111.8 points per 100 possessions away against 117.4 at home. A comparison of efficiency, offense and defense clearly confirms that the Grizzlies have two faces.
“We are in a great situation at home. We have to find a way together for this mentality to be abroad.” Taylor Jenkins announces. “Sometimes we can’t own it, we have to be aggressive. »
The matchup against the Suns showcased that, as the Grizzlies got off to a rough start, facing a rebounding and dominant Chris Paul in the first quarter. They trailed by 29 points before reacting, making a comeback but ultimately falling short.
“We’ve always found a way to win matches, it’s a constant for us.” coach notes. “Whether we’re struggling up front or at the back, offensively or defensively, collectively we can pick ourselves up and turn the tide. I want it to be 48 minutes in a row. We can’t be perfect every night, but I always insist on our mentality. »
After two losses to the Lakers and Suns, the Grizzlies still have three straight games to raise the bar during tonight’s road trip to Sacramento, Golden State and Minnesota.
|Players||GM||Minimum||Shots||3 points||LF||Turn off||Def||Early||p.d||bp||Int||CT||party||Points|
|Jaren Jackson, Jr.||29||26.4||50.9||36.4||77.5||1.9||4.9||6.8||0.9||1.5||1.1||3.3||3.1||16.4|
|Xavier Tillman, Sr.||27||11.3||58.6||30.0||50.0||1.3||1.6||2.9||0.6||0.4||0.5||0.3||1.0||4.5|
|Kenny Lofton, Jr.||6||4.0||46.7||0.0||33.3||0.2||0.5||0.7||0.7||0.2||0.0||0.0||0.5||2.5|
|Vincent Williams, Jr.||8||5.5||27.3||12.5||0.0||0.1||0.5||0.6||0.4||0.0||0.5||0.1||0.6||0.9|