The ‘Zlies are collapsing. Not collapsing hard enough to cost Ja Morant the ROTY of the Year award (which is the only thing ‘Zlies fans should be caring about right now), no collapse is big enough for that to happen, but collapsing in such a way that their chances at the playoffs are now in doubt. What happened? Or, rather, what is happening?
I have a lot of theories, some of them likely very correct, none of them wrong (because I am incapable of being wrong), but now is not the time to go into detail. I will only say this: Joakim Noah would not have let this happen.
Memphis may have entirely forsaken their Grit N’ Grind era, but when they signed Noah at the end of last season, I sensed a bit of a return to their old style. Just look at him. He LOOKS like Grit N’ Grind. His hair is the grit, and his facial expressions are the grind. But they failed to retain him, and he’s on the Clippers now, and guess what? They’re championship contenders.
Morant might shoulder some of the blame for the ‘Zlies bubble chokejob, but I’m pretty sure it’s not his fault that Noah is chilling with his bros in Los Angeles instead of being a savvy vet leader for a young overachieving team.