Jenkins believes his team will gain more maturity as it has more experience in the postseason.
Speaking about your team like this during a series is Immature, But what do I know. Lol I am @ home relaxing with my family.
— Chief Hélà 🤞🏾 (@KyrieIrving) April 25, 2023
“We’re far from where we need to be from a maturity standpoint,” Jenkins said. “This is all experience that you can only gain from. So, nothing’s gonna change overnight, but when we wear it, and we understand the struggles we’re going through individually, collectively, on, off the court and all that stuff, and we sit down and we honestly talk about it, and we face it, you’re hopefully gonna turn the corner for sure.”
Irving, whose Dallas team fell short of the league’s play-in tournament this season, clearly feels that Jenkins didn’t need to make those comments about his team in the middle of a playoff series.
The Grizzlies, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, currently trail the Los Angeles Lakers three games to one in the first round of the playoffs. Memphis won Game 2 at home, but it lost back-to-back games in Los Angeles.
To Jenkins’ point, the Lakers have much more playoff experience on their team, especially between stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who won a title together in the 2019-20 season.
James has been to the NBA Finals 10 times in his storied career, and there’s no way that the Grizzlies can make up for that experience overnight.
However, the team has also made some foolish decisions in this series.
Defensive specialist Dillon Brooks was ejected from the team’s Game 3 loss for hitting James in the groin area. With guard Ja Morant (hand) already hurt and playing at less than 100 percent, losing Brooks certainly made things tougher on the Grizzlies in that game.
Brooks also called out James after the Grizzlies won Game 2, calling the four-time NBA champion “old.” He also said he doesn’t respect players until they score 40 points on him.
That move was foolish with the series tied at one game apiece, as James and the Lakers went on to win both Games 3 and 4 at home to take a commanding lead in the series.
Irving may want Jenkins to keep comments like that in house with his team, but the Grizzlies head coach may also be trying to light a fire under his players so they respond in Game 5.
The Lakers and Grizzlies face off at 4:30 p.m. PST on Wednesday night in Game 5 of their series.