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Memphis Grizzles have checked out of the season

You know how we spent much of the season saying what a nice young team the Memphis Grizzles have become. They have Marc Gasol and O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay. Zach Randolph just had the best season of his career. They have potential.

They have quit. Packed it in. Mailing in the rest of the season. That’s not just me speaking (but I would), it’s the coach and a columnist at the Commercial Appeal.

These Grizzlies are in position to take a step out of mediocrity if they choose to finish the season with all-out effort. Yet what’s been on display with losses in six of their last seven games is a lack of maturity and mental toughness on the floor...

“Dallas, San Antonio -- they’re still playing for their playoff lives,” (Grizzlies coach Lionel) Hollins said after the Dallas debacle. “They’re coming out and playing hard. Are we willing to make that sacrifice and play that hard? It hasn’t shown in the last seven games that we are willing to do that.”

It’s not uncommon this time of year for teams to mentally check out. But last night one young team that has lost a lot of games, Sacramento, kept executing and putting out the effort against a Clippers team that on paper should be the better squad. But the Clippers have quit.

With young teams, it’s a good sign when they haven’t quit. With Memphis, who is playing to finish the season above .500 it is the opposite.