Right now, the hottest team in the NBA seems to be the Memphis Grizzlies.
They’re currently on a nine-game winning streak, and with a 29-13 record, they have the second-best record in the Western Conference and are just half a game behind the Denver Nuggets for the top spot.
Ja Morant is serving up highlight plays on an almost-nightly basis, and with season averages of 27.4 points and 7.9 assists per game, he may be establishing himself as an MVP candidate.
But are the Grizzlies ready to make a serious run at the world championship, or do they still need some seasoning?
Memphis is no longer a one-man team these days.
Desmond Bane has developed nicely, as he’s averaging 21.4 points a game this season, and he is shooting 41.7 percent from 3-point range on 7.6 attempts a contest.
Desmond Bane from DEEP ‼️
He's got a game-high 14 PTS so far in Q2.
— NBA (@NBA) January 8, 2023
However, for the Grizzlies to become a true heavyweight and not merely a team that wins a lot of regular season games only to flame out in the playoffs, they will have to find Morant a true sidekick or co-superstar.
Could Bane become that type of player?
If he can, it’s clear he isn’t there yet, and therefore, he won’t be able to help Morant enough in the postseason.
Winning a ring will mean the Grizzlies would have to defeat teams such as the Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, or Milwaukee Bucks in May and June, and other than the Bucks, all those teams are among the NBA’s best on offense.
Even if Memphis falls short again this spring, it will gain some valuable experience that will benefit it moving forward for a potential championship run in the not-so-distant future.