Grizzlies gear up for stretch run

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - More than halfway through the 82-game season, the Memphis Grizzlies are preparing for a stretch run after a short break to heal up and refocus.

"You mentally just get worn down," said coach Dave Joerger. "Just to get away from it for a bit, take 2 or 3 days to not think about it, then it creeps back up on you. It's what you love and you get back to it."

"It's always good cause everyone gets a break," added Grizzlies guard Courtney Lee. "You get all those nagging injuries they get taken care of and everyone comes back fresh."

What they're coming back to is a brutal schedule. February ends with five games in seven days, followed up by March, with 17 games, including six back to backs.

Joerger said, "We're gonna practice, we're gonna worry about ourselves for 3/4 days and be as good as we can be knowing we don't have a lot of practice time coming out of this little break here so. You know we gotta go with what we got."

Grizzlies Guard Mike Conley added, :I think just mentally refocusing and understanding that this is a sprint now. A time of year now were not gonna get too many practices. It's just gonna be game after game. Each game is gonna matter more than the next."

Currently the number two team in the West, the Grizzlies enter the last part of the regular season with eyes on only one thing...experiencing the view from the top.

"It'd be great to come out of the West after the regular season to be the number one seed," said Conley. 'That's a goal of ours as well. So for us to come out these first couple games and try to really make a statement and really show that we belong up there and were on a mission.'

According to Tony Allen, "We haven't accomplished nothing yet. I think our focus should continue to be focusing in playing in June and that's when we can get pats on the back. For right now there's still a lot of work to be done."

The second half starts Sunday at Portland.

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