MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Grizzlies haven't had much luck with trips to Portland.
In March, they were there for the start of a global Pandemic, and a four-and-a-half-month NBA shutdown.
Then last week, the Grizz were in Oregon again: This time as their season was halted due to contact tracing.
"I'm starting to think Portland don't like us, man," Ja Morant said with a laugh.
"It might be a curse or something," De'Anthony Melton suggested.
After a week away from practice, and 10 days--and counting--between games, the Grizzlies were finally able to return to practice late Wednesday night.
We do not know when the Grizz will make up their five postponed games, but right now the team is just grateful to be back together, and back on the court.
"All we can control is every time that we have an opportunity to work, we make the most of it," head coach Taylor Jenkins said. "Obviously the last week has put us in a test, but I think our guys rose to the occasion, the staff rose to the occasion especially."
"I'm just glad we got back so everybody is able to play against each other and get a feel for each other," Melton said. This week has been about staying ready and staying active."
The layoff was especially hard for Ja Morant, who after sitting out three weeks with an ankle sprain, got just two games in before the team went on pause.
"Just trying to get back in shape, get back in rhythm, and had to sit out another week. That was tough for me," Morant said. "But I took this time to allow my ankle to heal, continue to get it stronger to be back to the Ja who is jumping around and stuff.:
The only Grizzlies player known to have entered enter the league's Health and Safety Protocol is Jonas Valanciunas. Jenkins said the team is "excited to get him back soon."
The Grizzlies are scheduled to finally return to action Saturday in San Antonio.