The Memphis Grizzlies lost their fourth straight game Sunday night, and their seventh in the last 10 games, after falling 119-97 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was the latest in what's been a rather miserable start for Memphis, which has struggled to turn things around after starting the season 0-6. Missing key guys has certainly played a role, as the list of injured or suspended players seems to be growing by the week for Memphis. But even with a handful of players out, no one could've predicted that the Grizzlies, now 3-13, would start this poorly.
During Sunday night's game, Marcus Smart, who is currently sidelined with a sprained ankle, made his displeasure known about his team's effort. Smart lit into his teammates during a timeout, saying their effort was "embarrassing" multiple times while giving an impassioned speech.
Though it's unclear what Smart said in its entirety, you can tell he was very animated in his delivery as he sat back and watched the Grizzlies lose by 22 points. And Smart isn't exactly off base in his assessment of his team so far.
Memphis currently ranks 29th on offense, 19th on defense and is one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. Injuries are a major factor in Memphis' start and All-Star guard Ja Morant, so we can't make any grand statements about where this team will end up, but each loss is making it significantly harder to gain any ground in a competitive Western Conference.
The slight silver lining is that while Memphis sits second-to-last in the West, the Grizzlies are only 4.5 games out of the last play-in spot. The other positive is that Morant's suspension will be over in the next couple weeks, and some injured players should return in the near future. There's still time to turn things around, but it's going to take a significant amount of work and putting up efforts like the Grizzlies did Sunday night certainly isn't going to help.