If the NBA decides to play off-season this year, Memphis Grizzly will be the eighth seed in the Western Conference. This is due to the tremendous growth of his young core, including the young stallion Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Joren Jackson Jr. and veteran center Jonas Valanciunas.
But what happens if the NBA decides to continue with the regular season? The Grizzlies took the lead with 32:33 in three and a half games over the Portland Trail Blazers, the New Orleans Pelican and the Sacramento Kings. It was an exciting play-off race before the championship break. Can one of these three teams escape and make the playoffs when the season resumes? Who has the best chance?
Here are the arguments for and against catching grizzly bears by the three teams and the verdict.
The case of the Portland Path Blazers.
In the middle of an extremely disappointing season, the Trail Blazers are still one of the most talented teams in the NBA, with Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum at the top. You also got solid glasses from Carmelo Anthony.
The group of head coach Terry Stotts has a lot of continuity. They passed the first round of the playoffs more than once and found a way to get to the spring dances. Basically, they were on the defensive. Even with numerous injuries from controlled switches, they managed to stay in the offensive.
Can they get the ship in the defensive line for four weeks? They’ve done it before. Why wouldn’t they do it again?
The Portland Path Blazers case…
In the regular season there are 16 games left, and you are what you are: The Trail Blazers are an unhappy team that seems to have missed its championship window. Why would that suddenly change if the list was blocked for the whole season?
They fought a powerful defensive battle, and Portland is ranked 26th in the NBA in points (115.2). At the end of the tunnel there were few or no lights, with or without Damian Lillard on the ground. Their naked players are established players with no room for growth. From time to time the team has a few days off and the Trail Blazers have a busy season.
They were a team all year round.
The case of the New Orleans pelican.
Zion Williamson just needed his NBA debut to chase the pelicans away. More than 20 Williamson games appeared in Pelican was a different team than the one in which timely sales were considered a reasonable way.
Williamson took their attack into another dimension with his aggressive and interchangeable game inside and out, relieving Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram of some of their pressure. Meanwhile, they have set up a respectable defense and have won 11 of the last 20 games, which could lead them to Memphis in the last week of the season.
They’re hot, they go forward and they play with nothing to lose, just like you thought a few months ago when you thought they were dead. This could make them a dangerous team at the Western Conference.
The New Orleans Pelican case
The optimism is high, the future is bright, but it is not clear that the pelicans are postponing the play-offs. To start with, some of their actors are involved in the exchange of newcomers with long rotation moments. It will not be easy to collect victories at higher speeds, as this requires a significant increase in production.
It is also possible that Head Coach Alvin Gentry is reasonable with Williamson’s protocols, as he has experienced traumatic anxieties over the past year. If they do something to get into the playoffs that wasn’t expected of them, they could see one of their teenagers injured during the games, some of them might argue no matter what.
Following the play-offs can be an exciting race for Pelikan. It can also remind them that they have the means, and that they can be ashamed of the trainer/manager’s wishes.
Sacramental kings do.
The Kings slept their way through qualifying this season thanks to their young star core: Buddy Hild, De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley and Bogdan Bogdanovich. And it is not a good start because they have lost the first five games of the season and have been inconsistent in every aspect of the game. But there’s another part of the story.
Before the league break, the Kings had won 13 of the last 20 games and slowly came to the Western conference table. In this period they won several impressive victories, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzly, which they chased twice in a row, and the Miami Heat. Kings finish the game with an ice-cold appearance and play according to expectations.
Maybe they found out.
The case against the Kings of Sacramento…
The Kings are in the same place as last year, but this time you can bet they were supposed to be a play-off team; no one who can’t even smell the grizzlies would be better than the Kings. Part of the problem may be related to training.
Luke Walton was hired as the bridge that led the Kings to the play-offs, and this season the overall growth of the team has been minimal. After a long absence in the field, the momentum of Sacramento can be stopped and they can return to their old path.
This season they had a hard time making the collective shift and were inconsistent at both ends of the floor.
In summary: Trail Blazers have the best chance of stealing the eighth seedling.
The Scouts have been there before and they know what they’re capable of. In terms of talent, they are the best of the three teams competing for a play-off spot in the West, and are likely to take eighth place on the grid of young Grizzly.
Kings were an unstable group, and pelicans could be stopped by internal forces; Trail Blazers could play head coaches. If they miss the playoffs after their last performance and the State Golden Warriors go into the cave for a year, they can be sent back instead.
Will Portland Memphis be caught at the Western Convention? It is difficult to say yes objectively. Grizzly is a young, confident company that is not surprised by the competition for the championship, and will only get better. But if there’s one team she wants to tackle, it’s the Trail Blazers, who have a list you can make with anyone.