No matter how this series ends, both the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies have been good for one another throughout a highly entertaining and competitive clash.
Both are getting tested in ways that will benefit them moving forward.
Although many wanted to see the Golden State Warriors, face the Jazz, it’s the upstart Grizz, led by Ja Morant, who earned that right, and no, they haven’t disappointed with their effort.
This series has been nip-and-tuck with the Grizzlies stealing Game 1 in Salt Lake City, as Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was sidelined by a bum ankle, which also cost him the final 16 games of the regular season.
A Utah Jazz team with championship aspirations needed this early obstacle to test their meddle, and the Grizzlies have shown that their future is bright as they’ve faced the challenge head-on.
If not for inexperience and Donovan Mitchell being a great closer this series could easily be (2-2).
The Jazz are the better and more experienced team, but this young version of the “Grit and Grind Grizzlies” has been up for the challenge.
Yes, they trail the series (3-1) and face the daunting task of trying to extend the series by winning a second game at Vivint Smart Arena, but they’re unfazed and undeterred while on the brink of elimination.
It seems increasingly unlikely Memphis can beat an opponent of this caliber three times in a row. But don’t expect Ja Morant to be quiet or humble about his team’s chances.
Because over the last two games, every time the Jazz threatened to run young Memphis out of the Fed Ex Forum, the young Grizzlies led by their upstart backcourt of Morant and Dillon Brooks, battled back.
The Jazz showed their experience and met every moment of chaos with ruthless precision.
Usually, with a devastating momentum-stopping 3-pointer, none being more cold-blooded than the ones hit consistently by former Grizz point guard Mike Conley Jr., in his playoff return to Memphis where he manned the PG position from the age of 20 to 31.
The Jazz’s responses to adversity even forced Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins, to say at the Game 4 postgame presser:
“They just have a response to everything.” I wouldn’t say it’s frustration. It’s actually encouraging that, with the group that we have against the group that they have, we’re going toe-to-toe.”
Now let’s see if they can get a win in Game 5 to extend their season.