It’s been awhile since the Memphis Grizzlies have had a lost season.

Since Taylor Jenkins’ 34-39 debut season in 2019-2020, the Grizzlies have made three consecutive postseason trips thanks in part to the arrival and emergence of the likes of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. In fact, Memphis was two wins away from reaching the 2022 Western Conference Finals and could very well have had a shot at making the NBA Finals.

But then, things went south from there for the Grizzlies.

Memphis made it to the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, but they couldn’t overcome Ja Morant’s affinity for guns and injuries to the likes of Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke.

This season, the Grizzlies continued their descent, with injuries continuing to gut their roster. Morant is out for the season after having surgery on his right shoulder, while Adams and Clarke continue their long paths to recovery. Bane and Marcus Smart are out with ankle and finger injuries, respectively, while Jackson Jr.’s shaky injury history has been rearing its ugly head again.

As a result, Memphis has stumbled to a 21-41 record with a revolving cast of players who have filled in valiantly for the Grizzlies’ main men. The organization continues to compete in some capacity and for their efforts, there have been some laudable wins such as that against the Brooklyn Nets.

Of course, the Nets are not championship contenders, but they are clearly above Memphis in the pecking order for this season. Brooklyn had won three of their last four contests prior to their game against the Grizzlies, but Memphis was relentless on the boards and in moving the ball around.

Luke Kennard, who himself has missed more games than he has played in this season, knocked down six 3-pointers to lead all scorers with 25 points. The seven assists were a product of the ball movement that saw seven other Grizzlies players score at least seven points.

For players like Kennard, opportunities like this are meant to show Memphis that they can contribute when given more reps. However, other players such as Matt Hurt and Trey Jemison III, who are currently with the Grizzlies’ G-League affiliate Memphis Hustle, are looking for more permanent places in the NBA. As much as they are playing for themselves, they’ve nonetheless stuck to Memphis’ system because doing so would benefit them individually in the end.

There’s no reason to think of a postseason outlook this year for the Grizzlies, but Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins, who earned his 200th win with the victory over the Nets, can continue to develop the habits with this current crop of players, some of whom could remain on the Grizzlies’ roster. Jenkins is currently in his fifth season, which seems like a long time already in the NBA, and his staying power has been his ability to develop habits within Memphis, who to be fair, have risen up the standings and are viewed as contenders when healthy. That being said, the work doesn’t stop for Jenkins, who understands that coaching through the hard times will only make the good times much sweeter.

The Memphis Grizzlies have done the most important thing in what has become a lost season for them: Show up. From the players looking to make a name for themselves in the NBA to Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins, who will be judged by this season as he has in the last few, there’s nothing to lose when you have the chance to develop habits that could bear fruit when the new season begins in a few months.