Poll: Will Grizzlies Hang Onto No. 8 Seed In West?

When the NBA season was suspended in March, the Grizzlies held a 3.5-game lead over the top challengers for the No. 8 seed, but were entering one of the toughest stretches of their 2019/20 schedule. At 32-33, Memphis had 17 games left. Of those 17 games, 11 were against playoff teams and five were against immediate threats to the Grizzlies’ playoff spot (Portland, New Orleans, and San Antonio).

Now that the league has settled on playing just eight more games this summer, the Grizzlies’ path to a postseason spot is simpler in some ways, but more complicated in others. Any team hoping to pass the Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed will have to make up four games in an eight-game stretch, which will be a tall order.

Even if the Grizzlies play sub-.500 ball and go 3-5 when play resumes, the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, or Spurs will have to go 7-1 to surpass or match them. The Suns, who are six games back, wouldn’t even be able to catch Memphis if the Grizz win more than two games.

However, the NBA’s new rules for Orlando also ensure that the Grizzlies will be subject to a play-in tournament if at least one team finishes within four games of them. In other words, unless Memphis increases or maintains its lead over all five teams behind them in the Western Conference standings during those eight seeding games, a play-in tournament is happening.

The Grizzlies would still have a leg up in that play-in tournament, which would pit them against the No. 9 team. Memphis would only have to win one game, while the challenger would have to win twice. But the club wouldn’t have much room for error — losing the first game in the play-in tournament would result in a winner-take-all second game.

Assuming the summer schedule is made up primarily of the next games on the team’s initial schedule, as expected, the Grizzlies will still have a challenging path, but it won’t be too grueling. Memphis wouldn’t be a major underdog against Portland, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, or New Orleans (twice). And while the Grizzlies would likely have to face the Bucks and possibly the Celtics, none of the West’s top three teams would be on their upcoming slate.

What do you think? When play resumes this summer, will the Grizzlies hang onto the No. 8 seed, clinching it outright or in a play-in tournament? Or will another team make a run and claim the conference’s final postseason berth?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

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11 thoughts on “Poll: Will Grizzlies Hang Onto No. 8 Seed In West?

  1. Sillivan

    I pick Blazers
    3 reasons Blazers will make playoffs
    1. Jusuf Nurkic was ready in March and Zach Collins was ready in May.
    2.
    Before March 11, Blazers rebounds ranked 27th and defensive rating also 27th.
    Now Ariza provides the 3-and-D services, Nurkic and Whiteside become Twin Tower and Collins is quality defender.
    3. Let’s say both Grizzlies and Blazers have the same record 4-4. Blazers can defeat Grizzlies 2-0

    Here is what I think the odd.
    Blazers 50%
    Grizziles 30%
    Pelicans 20%

  2. Think it will be the Pelicans or Grizzlies. Wish they would’ve kept the seeding how they were before everything got postponed. Then to get the teams ready for playoffs have each team from the west play each team from the east one game each then dive into playoffs.

  3. x%sure

    Cynics would say the the league wants Zion in so will find a way. But I like the Griz, their rooks, and their commitment to the color of light blue… and voted essentially against the play-in concept.

    • Simple Fan

      I agree with you in full substantiability. None of the Grizz players kan ever leave the floor. This means that this year is their time to make the playoffs, add tons of substantiability to their team. Grizz show this year has a power and some kind of strength that I blame nothing on.

      Of course nobody wants to call out the new Louisiana Sitty crybabies: the Pels. Yet somethings telling me that Memphis defeats them this season.

      • x%sure

        Memphis is so young (and unburdened for resumption), and yet, they can go right at it as a team also… they may Not have any roster moves necessary coming up, just re-signings.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Grizz are in. Big deal too. Considering they blew up team. Not too long ago. Morant is a great talent. Looking forward to seeing him in playoffs. Trailblazer is Dillard is motivated. Can be a tough play In gm, series. Like poster said. They are healthy now. Grizz would be wise not to have a play in gm or series. If they go 5-3 or better.

  5. wagner13

    As a Memphis fan, I hope they hold on but I’m still worried about Portland and New Orleans. We got curb-stomped in both matchups against the Pelicans and Lillard is always a threat to watch out for. Hopefully they can employ that grit and grind energy to will their way to the postseason. I think Morant, Clarke, and Brooks deserve to be rewarded for their effort toward improvement

  6. Scott bever

    Ok. Lets get real. Perhaps everyone has forgotten who went to the western conference finals last year, (with out their third best player). Nerk is back, rested and healthy. Along with their starting PF zach collins. This team is healthy for the first time in over a year, experienced, hungry, and rested. Its Dame time!
    Griz, really….

    • x%sure

      Blazers have a different mix than last year though, and it has not gelled yet. Next season will be a better shot.

      • Scott bever

        Dame cj zach nerk have all played together multiple seasons, adding ariza (a current 40% 3pt% and defensive wing) has already fit like a glove. Bringing a vet in melo that has already well integrated with the team playing off the bench with whiteside who is a leading shot blocker and rebounder another vet who is up for a new contract is not a bad combo. Not to mention gary trent (a 3 & D) guy at 2 guard with simons a pure shooter, both budding stars coming off the bench. Mind you all these guys have played together, and have been priming them selves over this break.

        There is one team LA DOESNT want to see at 8th seed its Dame time, and his healthy squad.
        Bron would lick his chomps to play the griz.

        • x%sure

          That last is true, though I would like to see Brandon Clarke versus Lebron! Clarke is more of a 4 than a 1/2/3/4(Lebron). Next year they will have Winslow for that job too.

          Could be Lebron versus Melo!

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