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The Memphis Grizzlies expected to seriously compete for the championship this season. Instead, they were knocked out after only six playoff games. You could attribute that defeat to any number of things. Memphis clearly missed De'Anthony Melton and Kyle Anderson, veterans they offloaded in the offseason for financial reasons. Injuries took their toll as well, as Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke missed the entire series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Ja Morant dealt with a hand injury he suffered in Game 1 and Luke Kennard missed Game 6 due to a shoulder injury. Head coach Taylor Jenkins was slow to adjust, and Dillon Brooks famously poked the bear.

But in the grand scheme of things, all of those problems pale in comparison to the off-court issues Ja Morant dealt with this season. Morant missed nine games in March after sharing an Instagram Live video of himself with a gun in a nightclub. He has dealt with a number of other legal problems over the past year or so, including an incident in which he allegedly punched a teenager during a pickup game at his home. After losing Game 6 on Friday, Morant acknowledged that "off-the-court issues affected us as an organization" and that the Grizzlies "need more discipline" moving forward. It was a philosophy he felt the team needed both on the court and off of it.

"I feel like mine is more off the court and on the court -- just being disciplined both sides," Morant said. "Off the court, making better decisions. On the court, being locked in even more. Being a leader of this team, it pretty much starts with me. So however I attack any situation, I know my guys will follow. I've just got to be better in that area."

The Grizzlies are still one of the NBA's younger teams. They have a long runway ahead of them. They'll learn not only from their loss to the more experienced Lakers but from the earlier mistakes that hampered them as well.

But this will still be a critical offseason for Memphis. Brooks, who started the trash-talking war with the Lakers that dominated the narrative surrounding that series, will be a free agent and may not return. Memphis explored deals for upgrades at his position at the trade deadline, and whether or not they find one, they'll also have to address the injuries they dealt with in their front court.

Building a championship team is rarely easy, on the court or off it. Memphis hasn't found the right formula yet. But the first step in fixing any problem is addressing it. Morant acknowledged what went wrong on Friday, and now it's up to him and the rest of the team to right the ship this summer.