The battle for the eighth spot in the Western Conference has been lackluster. The Pelicans and the Grizzlies were the two of the top favorite teams to fight for the last spot. Unfortunately, they haven’t even won a game in their two matches in the bubble. If they’re not careful, it’s the veteran Spurs team that could snatch their hopes away.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Grizzlies in a tightly contested game where Ja Morant almost posted a triple-double. Unfortunately, they fell short and made the Spurs just two games behind them for the last spot in the West.
The Grizzlies are a young team. No one expected them to make it deep into the season with such a good record. They fight hard under the leadership of the veteran Jonas Valanciunas. However, their youth may be catching on to them, given the two games they’ve squandered in the bubble.
Each game is a must-win for the Grizz to avoid the play-in system that the NBA setup. The rule states that the eighth and ninth positions in the West have to play for the last slot in the Playoffs. That is if the ninth place is within four games behind the eighth-placed team.
As it stands, the Spurs are just two games behind the Grizzlies, and they wouldn’t want to face the Spurs in that situation. The team led by DeRozan and Aldridge have their pedigree on the line if they fail to make the Playoffs this year. They wouldn’t want to waste two decades of consecutively making it in the Playoffs. As such, the Grizz are in for a fight.
“Honestly, I don’t think so. But we can’t control that. Only thing we can control is how we go out and attack each of these games before that decision is made.”
If the Grizzlies want to avoid this situation, they have to win all their remaining six games. If not, they still have two more games to show what they’re made of. The play-in system guarantees them a twice-to-beat advantage against the ninth seed. The Grizz only has to win one game to advance to the Playoffs.
Image from MLG Highlights/ YouTube thumbnail
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