Since relocating to Memphis in 2001, the Memphis Grizzlies franchise is most well-known for its ‘Grit and Grind’ era in the 2010s. The no-nonsense group, led by the hard-nosed duo of Tony Allen and Zach Randolph, welcomed opponents to ‘The Grindhouse,’ imposing their will with the NBA’s version of a ground and pound style of game. This era netted the organization seven straight playoff appearances between 2010-2017, by far the most successful stretch in franchise history.
Fast forward to the current crop of Grizzlies’, and the burly, smash-mouth archetype of player remains strong within the roster. The slight Ja Morant is flanked by barrel-chested wings in Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks. All while a pair of 6’10, 240lb behemoths, Adams and Jackson Jr., occupy the front line.
3 unique ways Brandon Clarke is uplifting the Memphis Grizzlies
While each of the aforementioned players has had their moments in this year’s playoffs, Memphis’ most consistent performer, Brandon Clarke, doesn’t necessarily fit the brute, physical profile of his ‘Grit and Grind’ successors. Despite this, Clarke undeniably embodies the mentality of his predecessors.
After playing in a total of only 9:28 seconds last postseason, the 25-year-old big has strung together a slew of impressive performances in his second go-round. Through eight games, Clarke is averaging 15.1 points, 8.3 boards, and 1.1 denials in 29 minutes in a sixth-man role for the fighting Grizz.
And while the raw numbers are impressive, in this piece, we’ll delve into a few of the key areas of the former Bulldog’s game that he has terrorized his opponents with during the 2022 playoffs.