The Memphis Grizzlies have been in the driver's seat for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture for most of the season. Yet the young Grizzlies still feel disrespected around the league.
The odds listed on their projected win total tell you everything you need to know.
Memphis Grizzlies Seeding Round Team Total Wins - 3.5
Over 3.5 (+110) Under 3.5 (-143)
Opponents: Portland, San Antonio, New Orleans, Utah, Oklahoma City, Toronto, Boston, Milwaukee
Record vs Seeding Round Opponents: 5-8
Coming into the 2020 season, most NBA fans and pundits had the Memphis Grizzlies locked in as a team that would finish the season in the lottery. Instead, the Grizzlies are in the driver's seat for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
The drafting of Ja Morant with the second pick of last year's draft has been a franchise changer. Morant is a near lock to win Rookie of the Year, even with the Pelicans' superstar Zion Williamson at his heels.
This is not your big brother's grit and grind Grizzlies. This is a high flying, no-look passing, fun bunch of players lead by head coach Tyler Jenkins.
The Grizzlies are set up nicely to win at least four games in the seeding round, so I will be taking the over with no reservations, Memphis lost Justise Winslow for the season earlier this week. In fairness, he never ended up playing for them after being acquired in a trade during the season.
Memphis Grizzlies contributor Liaudwin Seaberry Jr. reminds us that this Grizzlies team is deep, and they also have a key piece in Dillion Brooks fully healthy for the seeding round.
"The ultimate secret weapon of the Grizzlies may be Dillion Brooks, the squad’s starting shooting guard. Brooks, coming off an injury-riddled season, gives the Grizzlies solid scoring, and at an efficient clip. He’s averaged 15 points a contest while shooting 37 percent from the 3-point line and 40 percent overall".
The Grizzlies first four games of the seeding round are Portland, San Antonio, Utah, and New Orleans, I think they can at least go 2-2 in this stretch but I can see them going 3-1 as well. Their final four games of the seeding round come against Oklahoma City, Boston, Toronto, and Milwaukee, which may look tough on paper but Boston, Toronto, and Milwaukee are already locked into their seeds and have nothing to play for in the seeding round. Those teams just want to make it to the playoffs healthy.
Ultimately, Memphis will get to at least four wins and join the rest of the Western Conference in the postseason.