This is the first season since the 2006-2007 season in which a playoff berth is probable for the Grizzlies. The roster has never been so talented and never shown as much promise as it does this season. If the Grizzlies make the playoffs, and chances are they will, there are a few matchups that Memphis should be vary of. With these matchups come opportunities that the Grizzlies should be prepared to seize.
Should the Grizzlies finish eighth in the west; a San Antonio team loaded with playoff experience will be Memphis‘ likely opponent. The odds are stacked up against any team that has to play San Antonio in a best of seven game series. The playoffs bring forth a whole new level of competition and Memphis needs to be able to rise up to the challenge. The best case scenario for the Grizzliesin this matchup is for them to playa competitive series so that Memphis can gain experience for next season and pick up some fans in the process. The Grizzlies have had some success over San Antonio this season and have either won or lost a tight game. This matchup has the potential to be competitive but as of right now, I cant see Memphis winning the series.
Then there is the possibility that the Grizzlies finish seventh and play the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are infamous for blowing teams out and ending matchups early. Memphis needs to play Los Angeles tough like they did in the season and make the series as competitive as possible. Memphis has beaten the Lakers earlier this season but the Grizzlies had Rudy Gay leading their offense. Still I feel that the Grizzlies can compete with the Lakers. A 4-2 or 4-3 defeat is nothing to be ashamed of.
If the Grizzlies finish sixth in the west, which is very possible as they are only 1.5 games out, a golden opportunity presents itself. The Grizzlies have beaten Dallas this season and the Mavs have played subpar basketball in past postseasons. This is Memphis’ chance to pull off an upset. The Grizzlies need to start off the series strong and take full advantage of the Mavs’ tendency to ease their way into the playoffs. This is a great opportunity if Memphis can capitalize and a good way for the Grizzlies to increase their popularity for a potential breakout season next year.
As a lower seeded team in the western conference, opportunities for Memphis to make it past the first round are scarce. However upsets have taken place in the past and this squad has the talent and depth in their roster to pull one off. It is critical that the Grizzlies end the season strong and grab that sought after sixth seed in order to increase their chances of making it past the first round.