The Memphis Grizzlies have sat at the second seed in the western conference consistently through the first half of the season. The fast start has garnished the team's attention which has been record-breaking for the franchise.
Fans of the NBA began to take notice of the Grizzlies’ play on the court and their words off the court.
In December, Grizzlies all-star point guard Ja Morant spoke with ESPN’s Malika Andrews in an interview in which he stated that the Grizzlies were “fine in the west.”
The comments came off to the public as cocky and fans of the NBA have begun to see the Grizzlies as public enemy #1.
Since those comments, the Grizzlies have struggled slightly against some big-name teams.
Memphis has had a record of 16-11 since Morant’s comments with a record of 9-8 versus western conference opponents.
Most of the struggles came from an injury to center Steven Adams, which hindered the Grizzlies on the defensive end and the rebounding aspect of the game.
With the NBA trade deadline seeing the western conference build stronger, there are doubts about Ja Morant and the Grizzlies being able to defend the comment.
Morant has recently spoken to the media about his comments and how it has aged at this point of the season.
“I don’t care. Honestly. I said what I said, and I mean that. The confidence I had when I said that, is the confidence that got us to the point we’re at now, being a top team in this league,” Morant stated.
Many will say that Morant and the Grizzlies are missing the point and continue to not translate their words into wins.
Although, fans of the Grizzlies will tell you that confidence is what makes the Grizzlies a threat. They are a team that has been built from the ground up that is not afraid of any team in the NBA.
The Grizzlies currently hold a record of 35-22 going into the all-star break with two all-stars in Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.
With a break to give Steven Adams a chance to recover in time and a trade deadline acquisition in three-point specialist Luke Kennard, the Grizzlies have a chance to make things right again.
The second half of the season will be the true testament to see if the Grizzlies are truly ‘fine in the west.’