MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Following Tuesday’s victory, Ja Morant made it known that he’s not happy with the Grizzlies having to rally back each night in this series.
The entire team feels the same way.
On the other side of that, those moments showed this team’s heart and determination. They know they have to be close to perfect for a full 48 minutes to close out the Timberwolves Friday night in Minnesota.
“We can’t keep relying on our ability to come back,” said Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones.
The Grizzlies just have to play smart basketball and pay close attention to detail, according to Jones. And most importantly, push the Timberwolves to make those tough shots, while not fouling.
“We’ve got our hands in the wrong places,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. “You know, obviously with [Karl-Anthony] Town’s drives, [D’Angelo] Russell’s creativity, we put our hands in bad spots. Put your hand the cookie jar and they’re getting called for fouls. They are the ones that we’ve got to clean up. We pay the price, obviously, in those situations.”
Jenkins believes his team made great improvements in Game 5, but the Grizzlies have to come out with that physical and mental edge, especially on the road.
“We’re going to need our best game of the season,” Jenkins said. “We just got to continue to build on each game I thought we did a great job from Game 4 to Game 5, obviously playing in Minnesota in Games 3 and 4, the level of urgency, physicality, focus, and edge, you know, we’re tested. We had it for spurts, we definitely didn’t have it for the full 48 minutes, both those games. But this time of year against a very competitive Timberwolves team, you know, really good offense, really good defense really good players, really good coaching, we’re going to need our best effort.”
Their best effort to close out the series in a hostile Minneapolis.
“You don’t want to give a team like that any life you know,” said Jones. “When you have a chance to close out an opponent in a playoff series, you got to try to take advantage of it. So, you know, we don’t obviously want this to go to a seventh game.”
Many applauded the way Dillon Brooks guarded Towns in Game 5 after Jaren Jackson Jr. fouled out. According to Jenkins, he liked the matchup and Brooks’ performance, but that was just a situational thing with players in foul trouble.