We knew it when the schedule came out.
We’ve talked about it for over 4 months.
Now we are face to face with the beastliest part of a beastly schedule. 11 games in 16 days and against 10 teams either in or fighting to get into the playoffs.
It doesn’t look any better up close than it did back in November when it was announced. Tonight’s game in Houston is about as big a game as you can have while still weeks away from the end of the season. A loss bring the Grizzlies just a half game away from 7th place in the conference. A win pulls the Grizzlies ahead of Dallas for 5th place.
Tomorrow night the Grizzlies are in Milwaukee. The Bucks are in 9th place in the Eastern Conference and trying to move into the top 8. With recently acquired Shooting Guard Monta Ellis joining Brandon Jennings in the back-court it will be an uptempo game and those are tough on the 2nd night of back to back games.
Monday the Grizzlies are in Oklahoma City playing the Thunder who have already defeated the Grizzlies three times this season. No one wants to lose to a team four times in one season. The Thunder just beat the Lakers in LA so they are playing very good ball right now.
Tuesday the Grizzlies pay the Golden State Warriors who have apparently packed it in this season after getting blown out at home to New Orleans. However the Warriors always give the Grizzlies a tough fight and this will be the Grizzlies 4th game in 5 nights.
Wednesday the Grizzlies are back on the road to tackle the Dallas Mavericks. This is the Grizzlies 5th game in 6 nights and 3rd game in 3 nights and all five games have been played in different cities.
The Grizzlies get a night off on Thursday before heading to Miami to play the Heat. The Heat are one of the best teams in the league and have lost only twice at home.
Saturday the Grizzlies come home to play the Mavericks for a second time in a week. The Grizzlies were tied with Dallas heading into this stretch of games so it will be interesting to see where they stand after this game. Dallas played Miami on Thursday night and lost.
Monday the Grizzlies host the Clippers who have already won the season series with two wins in Los Angeles. The Clippers could be a first round opponent of the Grizzlies so they need to win now to prove they can beat them.
Wednesday the Phoenix Suns come to town. Phoenix has been hanging around all season just out of the playoff picture and after losing to the Clippers on Wednesday night may finally be truly out of the race but any team within three games is still alive and that is where Phoenix is right now.
Thursday the Grizzlies head to San Antonio, another team Memphis hasn’t beaten this year despite upsetting the Spurs in the playoffs last season. The Grizzlies haven’t been at full strength once and it could be argued that the Grizzlies won’t be at full strength in this game either but the team has to beat the Spurs at some point.
Saturday the Grizzlies host Utah who has defeated the Grizzlies twice by 10 and 11 points. Neither game had Z-Bo so there is hope but Z-B0 has to be in great shape to face the Jazz who are currently in 7th place in the West.
Fans will know a lot more about this team and their playoff potential after this stretch of games.