Marc Gasol isn’t on the mark with his shooting this season. But the Grizzlies’ center shot a dagger with his facial expression when asked about the notion that they would entertain losing on purpose this season. In other words, the Grizzlies won’t tank for a chance at earning greater odds in the NBA’s draft lottery. “I don’t know how you can ask that of players and a team and a coach,” Gasol said. “Obviously, we’re emotionally invested and we work every day toward one goal, and that’s to win games. It’s impossible for us to think that way.” The Grizzlies carry in tow a 10-23 record – second worst in the Western Conference – as they embark on a five-game road trip that begins Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns. Memphis lost 97-95 to Phoenix, another bottom-feeder in the West, last Thursday. The Grizzlies have dropped 19 of their past 22 games. Conventional wisdom suggests that earning an eighth straight playoff berth is improbable at this point. Even if the Grizzlies manufactured a magical winning streak, they would likely face tough odds in the first round of the playoffs against one of the top three West teams in Houston, Golden State or San Antonio. The predicament has fans and some media around the country wondering if it’s better for the Grizzlies to improve their odds of getting a high 2018 draft pick. But interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff echoed Gasol’s sentiment with regards to the notion of tanking.
Marc Gasol: I’m too old to throw away a season
Memphis Commercial Appeal | Dec 28