Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal
They are supposed to breathe and digest defense for survival.
But the Grizzlies are going in and out of consciousness whenever they don't have the basketball. Instead of helping them to stand tall, the Grizzlies' defense is suddenly porous, and it's killing them.
Memphis has lost four of its past five games heading into this afternoon's contest against the Los Angeles Clippers. Sure, there are chemistry issues given Zach Randolph's return from injury, and the offense is stagnant late in games.
Defense, however, has come to define the Grizzlies and it's the most disturbing part of their recent slide.
"We've got to (figure) out whether we want to play hard for 48 minutes or if we want to be a cool team," guard Tony Allen said. "We've got to come out and play aggressive all throughout the game. No matter what it is, guys have to play hard for 48 minutes."
The Griz have kept up their reputation of getting steals and forcing turnovers. They lead the NBA with 10.1 steals per game to go with a league-best 17.7 forced turnovers. However, Memphis is allowing teams to shoot 48 percent in its past five outings. The Griz are also giving up 107.6 points per game during that stretch -- two of which went to overtime -- after not allowing 100 in the previous eight.
Opponents average just 93.7 points on 44-percent shooting this season.
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