‘Grizz Next Gen’ exceeding expectations

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There’s an excitement and new wave surrounding Memphis’ pro ball team. It’s called “Grizz Next Gen”.

The movement is full of highlight worthy plays and a shock the world attitude.

“When we sit down and really think about it which we’ll probably get a chance to do over the break, you’ve just gotta be excited about what we’ve done thus far,” second-year forward Jaren Jackson Jr. said. “I’m proud of all these guys. We’ve played really hard. A lot of these games haven’t been easy.”

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What this young group has done is nothing short of shocking. This was expected to be a rebuilding year.

Instead, at the halfway point of the season, the Grizzlies find themselves in the eighth spot in the western conference.

“Their mentality never changes,” first-year head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “The fact that these guys have come in worked, compete together, that’s what I’m most impressed with.”

“But it’s good to get that mental refresher and that physical. These guys have been playing hard, hard for 54 games. They’re due for a little break.”

The undeniable spark is rookie point guard Ja Morant. He’s captured the hearts of Memphis fans with his flashy handle, uncanny vision and poster dunks.

“I mean I’m my own player,” Morant said. “I feel like everybody knows kind of the energy and what I bring to this team. So I’m not big on speaking on myself.”

Morant’s numbers can speak for him. He’s putting up 17 points and 7 assists a game.

His exciting play has helped create a loose vibe in the locker room. This team is just having fun.

“What’s special about it is just how well we all are able to mesh together and just find each other and go out and have fun,” Jackson said. “You really don’t see that on a lot of young reams. It’s amazing. I’m impressed.”

The Grizzlies will be tested after the all-star break. The playoff race will only intensify, something Jenkins is aware of.

“We know games only intensity more post all-star break,” he said. “Everyone’s rejuvenated across the league. Everyone’s dialed in to make their pushes and what not. So if we just keep the focus on alright this is the foundation that we’ve laid through 54, what are we going tr d in game 55? Then we’ll take it from there.”