By Eric Spyropoulos
Grit and Grind is back!
Well, sort of.
While the Grizzlies will never return to the heyday of the Grit and Grind era, the 2018-19 roster is shaping up in a way that should excite Grizzlies fans looking for a return to the defensive-minded style of play that brought the team recent success. From the draft selections of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jevon Carter to the offseason addition of Kyle Anderson, Memphis is slated to have a much-improved defense in the upcoming campaign, assuming that key cogs Mike Conley and Marc Gasol stay healthy for the majority of the season.
During the tumultuous 2017-18 season, the Grizzlies fell to 24th defensively, a far cry from the seventh-ranked defense they boasted during the previous year. As a result of Mike Conley playing just 12 games, Marc Gasol declining some on that end of the floor, and the reliance on more offensive-minded players (Ben McLemore and Wayne Selden Jr. come to mind, among others), the Grizzlies effort and execution on defense suffered.
However, with a revamped coaching staff, a (hopefully) clean bill of health, and contributions from the aforementioned offseason additions, the Grizzlies can jump back into the top ten on the defensive end of the floor....