Normally when an NBA team endures such a disgraceful losing streak as the Grizzlies' three-game skid, questions arise about player unity and the head coach's authority.
Yet none of that is of apparent concern with the Griz after losing their past three contests by 21, 26 and 21 points, respectively. The players were cohesive Thursday during a players-only meeting in which they vowed that the time had come to stop talking about what needs to be done and execute.
They were attentive and receptive during a lengthy film session coach Lionel Hollins used to critique and challenge every player on the roster with brutal honesty. Then came a training camp-style practice that called upon players to bring physical endurance and mental toughness.
At day's end, the Griz displayed spirit, camaraderie and laughs.
So if the team isn't a house divided or fractured in the locker room, then the question centers on if its struggles are simply the byproduct of a funk that teams tend to experience midway through an NBA season — or fallout from the trade speculation that's come with the team's new ownership.
Hollins emerged from the film session emphasizing the need to get back to basics. The players reported that their private meeting created a renewed sense of urgency.
As for persistent trade rumors and the idea that a 24-13 team could be broken up by the Feb. 21 trade deadline, the Griz are not blaming their troubles on anyone but themselves.
"It's about being committed to work ethic, being committed to second and third efforts, and being mentally tough," Hollins said. "When you get to January and February, everybody's tired. You just have to find a way to go out and get it done. You can't just say 'I'm tired and I'm not going to compete.'
Grizzlies say they're cohesive, committed despite three straight blowout losses
Memphis Commercial Appeal | Jan 18