Grind City Media’s 3-Point Stance segment is a Skype-styled conversation between 2 friends, with 2 perspectives, on 3 topics from the weekend centered on sports, entertainment and pop-culture presented by MTN Dew. On Episode 91, Jon Roser and Meghan Triplett discuss:
(0:40) NFL MVP
(4:23) Best WNBA season
(7:00) NBA predictions
Consider them more like guideposts and guardrails to keep the Grizzlies on track. At the start of each of his
three seasons in Memphis as coach, Taylor Jenkins set a clear and definitive tone for the
team’s mission from the outset of training camp. Year one’s task was to ‘build the right way’ as Jenkins took
over as a rookie head coach a few months after changes took shape in the front office and a retooled roster was
Going into his second season last year, Jenkins and the Grizzlies set out to ‘fortify the foundation.’ And after
delivering the franchise’s first winning record and playoff berth in four years – with the NBA’s youngest
playing rotation – the next objective is in place.
“Protect the culture,” Jenkins surmised as he looked ahead to the start of his third season with the Grizzlies.
“There’s growth in a lot of areas, and the chemistry within this team is showing a lot. Coming into Year 3,
you’re wondering about retention areas from one year to the next. But I feel guys are accelerating a lot with
some of the things we ended the season with last year. Our guys are more quickly getting to the things we need
to as we get closer to opening night.”
The Grizzlies entered the weekend having concluded their six-game preseason slate with Friday’s loss in Chicago
against the Bulls. Behind them is a productive and encouraging three weeks of training camp and
exhibitions that showed strides made in key areas as well as some challenges that will be addressed moving
There’s growth in a lot of areas, and the chemistry within this team is showing a lot. Coming into Year 3,
you’re wondering about retention areas from one year to the next. But I feel guys are accelerating a lot
with some of the things we ended the season with last year. Our guys are more quickly getting to the things
we need to as we get closer to opening night.
But more than anything else, there’s a sustainable culture in place. And Jenkins has seen franchise cornerstones
in Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant work to protect what’s been established.
Along the way, newcomers such as veteran Steven Adams and rookie lottery pick Ziaire
Williams have seamlessly stepped into that culture as ideal fits for the present and future.
After regrouping through the weekend, the Grizzlies will gear up for Wednesday’s season and home opener at
FedExForum against the Cavaliers. Then comes a difficult four-game West trip with matchups against the Clippers
and Lakers on a back-to-back set and ends with another two-games-in-as-many-nights slate against the Blazers and
In all, eight of the Grizzlies’ first nine games this season are against teams that made the playoffs last season
or were in the NBA’s play-in tournament. But even as they maintain a methodical development approach overall,
the Grizzlies emerged from the preseason with the postseason mentality to pick up where they left off six months
“We have a lot of guys returning, and the mindset is the same,” Jackson said of capitalizing on the lessons that
culminated in last season’s first-round series against the top-seeded Jazz. “We reached a point last year where
we achieved some of the things that were our main goals, like getting to the playoffs. And that was good. But
once you get to that, you’ve got to build off it with other things. We’re not satisfied with that at all. We
have a lot going on here.”
The Grizzlies made progress in several key areas through their preseason preparation.
Morant’s leadership, intensity and production set a tone from the outset. His intentions were clear when he
responded to top basketball executive Zach Kleiman’s assertion on Media Day that Morant would be a certified NBA
All-Star this season.
We reached a point last year where we achieved some of the things that were our main goals, like getting to
the playoffs. And that was good. But once you get to that, you’ve got to build off it with other things.
We’re not satisfied with that at all. We have a lot going on here.
“I feel he’s telling you all the right thing,” Morant said through a sheepish grin. “Stay tuned.”
Morant then turned in a near-flawless preseason stretch in which he averaged 22.3 points on 63.4-percent shooting
in 24.7 minutes. He also led the NBA in fast break scoring and points in the paint entering Friday’s preseason
finale. Finding ways to mesh with Adams while also rekindling his connection on the court with Jackson were
priorities for Morant.
The result was a two-game stretch in the preseason that saw the Grizzlies obliterate Charlotte and Detroit to
lead by as many as 39 points with Morant, Jackson and Adams all in action. Morant insists the encouraging sample
sizes were a result of the chemistry the group built over weeks of informal workouts when many players got
together on their own well ahead of camp.
Injuries and attrition slowed the process of Morant and Jackson sustaining the on-court bond the franchise hopes
will lead to success well into the future. But they’re ready to blossom now.
“If we all stay healthy, there’s nothing we can’t do,” Morant vowed. “I’m speechless being able to play alongside
a guy like J.J. – it’s good for me. Both of our goals this summer was to work on our bodies. That’s why we were
together so much this summer, to build our chemistry.”
Jenkins sees the results of the initial work put in to protect the culture.
“The guys are super motivated, super locked in,” Jenkins said. “We know it’s a long season and there’s a ton of
work to do. But our guys have that mentality of, ‘We know what we’re capable of doing.’ We know what we’ve got
to get better in, and the priority is to understand where we’re at and the self-motivation needed to approach
the rest of the season.”
I’m speechless being able to play alongside a guy like J.J. – it’s good for me. Both of our goals this summer
was to work on our bodies. That’s why we were together so much this summer, to build our chemistry.
For the Grizzlies, it’s a culture of chemistry.
It’s a culture of incremental progress.
It’s a culture of competitive growth.
The proper pillars are in place to protect it.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Memphis Grizzlies. All
opinions expressed by Michael Wallace are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Memphis
Grizzlies or its Basketball Operations staff, owners, parent companies, partners or sponsors. His sources are
not known to the Memphis Grizzlies and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges
that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
Grind City Media’s Jessica Benson & Meghan Triplett discuss the Memphis Grizzlies recent medical update on Dillon Brooks left hand fracture and how his absence will affect Coach Taylor Jenkins’s lineups come Opening Day.
It was announced yesterday that the Brooklyn Nets GM has decided to bar star player Kyrie Irving from playing any games this season unless he decides to get vaccinated from COVID-19. Irving then released a statement of his own explaining his choice to forego the vaccine was to give a voice to those negatively impacted by those not following the mandates either. Grind City Media’s Jessica Benson, Meghan Triplett, and CJ Hurt discuss the ramifications of this move and why it’s dangerous for everyone.
This week, Grind City Media’s Kelcey Wright Johnson posed early predictions for a number of awards that the NBA will handout at the end of regular season. Is Zion Williamson or Tyler Herro the most improved player? Could rookie of the year be Cade Cunningham or Jalen Green? Chris Finch or Steve Nash for coach of the year? Is James Harden, Luka Dončić, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokić, Jayson Tatum for all NBA?
(0:42) MVP Awards
(2:39) Most improved player
(4:25) Rookie of the year
(5:13) Coach of the year
(7:08) First team all NBA
Grind City Media’s Jessica Benson and Meghan Triplett are joined by Grizzlies commentator and former player Brevin Knight to discuss what he liked about the Memphis Grizzlies rotations and player developments in last night’s obliteration of the Detroit Pistons at FedExForum.
Grind City Media editor Michael Wallace joins the show to discuss the Memphis Grizzlies performance through the first 3 games of preseason play, and, Grizz rookies Santi Aldama and Ziaire Williams making big strides as they become more comfortable in the rotation. Then, the trio preview tonight’s final home preseason game against the Detroit Pistons with #1 overall NBA Draft pick Cade Cunningham and what rotations we might see from Coach Taylor Jenkins.
(0:00) Grizz Development
(1:23) Grizz-Hawks Recap
(1:47) Santi Aldama
(2:59) Ziaire Williams
(3:49) Grizz-Pistons Preview
(5:29) Brandon Clarke
Following the Memphis Grizzlies massive 128-98 blowout over the Charlotte Hornets in last night’s second preseason game, Grind City Media’s Jessica Benson, Meghan Triplett, and CJ Hurt recap their top moments and takeaways from Ja Morant’s aggressiveness, walking double-double Steven Adams, to Taylor Jenkins lineup starting decision and who will ultimately make the 15-man roster.
(0:00) Grizzlies-Hornets Recap
(3:55) Ja Morant
(4:08) Jaren Jackson Jr.
(4:22) Bane/D’Melt Race For Starting Role
(6:10) Culture of Supporting Role Players
(7:18) Case for Jarrett Culver
(8:04) Playing Starters or Bench Players
(10:03) NBA Fraud Case
This week, Grind City Media’s Kelcey Wright Johnson posed the question if NBA Players were featured in the uber popular Netflix series Squid Game, which players would win what events and why? Is James Harden the Red-Light Green-Light king or Luka Doncic? Zion Williamson over Steven Adams and LeBron James? And which players would win it all!
(0:00) Introduction to Squid Games
(0:59) Red Light, Green Light
(4:48) Cutting/Precision Game
(6:22) Overall Winner(s)