Community Shootaround: Will The Grizzlies Make The Playoffs?

Led by stellar seasons from Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ja Morant and second-year big man Jaren Jackson Jr., the 28-26 Grizzlies have a solid lead in the race for the West’s No. 8 seed in the 2020 playoffs.

Burly veteran center Jonas Valančiūnas has proved to be a perfect frontcourt complement to Jackson. Young players like rookie power forward Brandon Clarke, third-year wing Dillon Brooks and second-year point guard De’Anthony Melton have all shown promise too.

Unfortunately, the Grizzlies will also be up against the NBA’s toughest post-All Star break schedule, per Tankathon, as they wrap up what has to this point been an exciting season. Schedule strength is determined by combining the winning percentage for all of a team’s upcoming opponents.

Among Memphis’ most intimidating future combatants down the home stretch are the 46-8 Bucks, the 41-12 Lakers (twice), the 40-15 Raptors (twice), and the 38-16 Celtics.

The No. 11-seeded Pelicans, with a 23-32 record, have the easiest schedule remaining in the league. The No. 9-seeded Trail Blazers (25-31) have the sixth-hardest road ahead. The No. 10-seeded Spurs (23-31) boast the 11th-easiest schedule. Memphis is currently in the No. 8 seed, but maybe these more favorable schedules (and the health of a certain rookie in New Orleans) will give one of the teams breathing down the Grizzlies’ necks an opportunity to snatch the seed.

We want to hear what you think. Can the new-look Grizzlies continue their recent string of success and hold off the Blazers, Spurs and Pelicans to secure a 2020 playoff berth? Or will one of these other teams make a playoff push of their own?

Weigh in with your thoughts below!

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22 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Will The Grizzlies Make The Playoffs?

  1. All American Johnsonville Dogs

    Yes. They’ll keep the 8th seed.

    They added justice Winslow and Dieng to an already strong team.

    They have the talent to make the playoffs.

  2. x%sure

    The FO bought in, so they had better! Winslow on-court would help.
    Fast dividends from a great draft. No need to tank for drafting.

    • x%sure

      Meaning, Memphis had capspace for next year but the FO basically used it to acquire Winslow & Dieng this year, who they apparently thought would be better than any FA they could attract next summer. Valid choice but they will probably back up. The Memphis starter from 3pt range features 42, 40, 39, 38 & 36 percent shooters, the latter Morant. Brandon Clarke is not a passer but how do they keep him off the floor: 22PER as a rookie is more than promising.

  3. Blazers will catch them.
    They are only 3/4 games behind them and Nurkic is expected to return soon. Lillard McCollum Ariza Melo Simons and Whiteside have all been able to rest this all star weekend which will be vital for the end of season push

    They also have two games against the grizzlies if they can win those 2 then it’s only a game or two behind.

    Lakers Blazers would be a great first round match up. Nurkic and Whiteside against AD, LeBron vs Lillard, McCollum vs Green and Simons vs Kuzma. I would be surprised to see it go 7 games or there even be an upset

    • Also Blazers have a open roster spot which they could use in the buy out market but that looks rather slim right now so maybe they just look at FA. Because they are over the tax they will want to pay as little as possible.

      Maybe they look at Imam Shumpert, Jonathan Simmons, Kennith Faried or Greg Monroe.

      • The Pelicans are 5/6 games back from the Grizzlies. Ingram has had a long season he may start to tire plus he’s had anckle issues lately. Williamson could get injured any second, and I’m not sure how reliable Lonzo Ball and those young dudes are.

        All Blazers players will be well rested after this all star break. They have experienced players like Dame CJ Melo Ariza and Whiteside that know how to win tight games and make the right plays. Hopefully Nurkic can come back from injury now feeling fresh and give them more energy. Plus I’d like them to make a FA signing just for depth

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          The have players with experience, at losing. Portland was swept in the WCF by a totally depleted Warriors team.

          • A totally depleted Warriors team where Curry averaged 36.5 points and 8 rebounds and Green averaged 12 rebounds for the series. Pelicans haven’t even won a division title in the last decade. They have never made the WCF and only been to the Semis twice …

    • If they wave Caleb Swanigans 2mil a stretch that over 3 years, he would only be on the books for 700k and that would open up two roster spots. They could get a Kennith Faried and Imam Shumpert

      1. Lillard. Simons
      2. McCollum. Shumpert. Trent Jr
      3. Ariza. Hezonja. Little. Hood (injured)
      4. Melo. Faried. Collins (injured)
      5. Nurkic. Whiteside. Gabriel

      • El Don

        Can’t stretch anyone at this time of the season.
        Nurkic won’t help much this season, needs months to get in game shape, hopefully will be good for next season, this year not at all.
        Portland has a very hard schedule, Pels have the easiest schedule of the league & Zion has been absolutely unstoppable in his first 10 games, at a level that any rookie hasn’t played in 27 years… since Shaq.
        So I do think Nola has a much better chance than Portland & San Antonio has no chance at all.

        • Nurkic has been doing trainings since mid jan but getting use to playing on that leg with take some time. I think just having some quality big man depth will be a huge bonus for now And just looked into stretching and waiving and your correct.
          But I think having had most their players rested will be great for the next 15 games for a string push.

          The pelicans in their first 12 games back have the Blazers, Lakers twice, Mavs, Clippers, Jazz, Heat and the new TWolves twice. That’ll be 9 tough games.

          The Blazers in their first 12 have the Hawks, Suns twice, Wizards, Magic, Grizz, pistons and Pelicans. That could be 8 wins.

          Grizzlies also have a tough schedule coming up, Lakers twice, Mavs, Clippers, Rockets, Nets and Blazers. 7 tough games.

          If the pelicans fall to 10 games behind I think mentally that’ll be hard for a bunch of young guys.

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