The Grizzlies already have gone 9-3 since trading away top scorer Rudy Gay to Toronto on Jan. 30, a move criticized as a payroll dump weakening the team's chances for playoff success.
Now Memphis hits the road having won three straight on the road since the All-Star break, and the Grizzlies are coming off a 90-84 win over Dallas on Wednesday night where they overcame a 25-point first-half deficit and matched the largest comeback in franchise history in the process.
"This right here, set the tone," forward Zach Randolph said.
The Grizzlies' success has come through defense as usual under Hollins. They have held opponents to 86.6 points per game during the past eight games, and Randolph ranks second in the NBA with 11.7 rebounds per game. Guard Mike Conley is second with 2.26 steals per game, while the Grizzlies rank third in the league averaging 8.89 steals each game.
For a team that relishes playing the underdog role like the Grizzlies, they sound ready to embrace the upcoming month as just another challenge.
"We're enjoying the ride," Conley said. "We just come to play for tough games and when people think we can't win."