The Memphis Grizzlies Schedule Could Be A Blessing In Disguise For This Young And Hungry Team

Liaudwin Seaberry Jr.

With the NBA starting back up action in a little over a month, the schedules for the 22 playoff hopefuls were released Friday.  Many within the fanbase think the Grizzlies schedule may be tough to overcome, but here is why I see it as a reason to be optimistic.

Below are the eight teams Memphis will face as the NBA regular season winds down, and the dates for each contest:

Portland Trialblazers (7/31)

San Antonio Spurs (8/2)

New Orleans Pelicans (8/3)

Utah Jazz (8/5)

Oklahoma City Thunder (8/7)

Toronto Raptors (8/9)

Boston Celtics (8/11)

Milwaukee Bucks (8/13)

Here are 3 takeaways from the remaining games left for the Grizzlies, who currently occupy the 8th seed in the Western Conference:

Three Statement Games Out The Gate

The Grizzlies will kickoff play against the Portland Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs, and the New Orleans Pelicans. All three teams want the spot that the Grizzlies currently possess. With each team trailing Memphis by at least three and a half games, victories for the Grizz in all three contests could go a long way in wrapping up a playoff spot. The Grizz must finish more than 4 games ahead of the 9th seed in the West, a spot Portland holds. These contests serve as the perfect opportunity for the young team to finish off what many consider to be a magical season.

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© Max Gersh / The Commercial Appeal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Grizz Avoid Facing Top Tier Teams In Western Conference

Fortunately for Memphis, the squad won't have to face the top two teams in the conference, the Lakers and the Clippers. Both teams are the favorites to come out of the Western Conference, and while Memphis solidly defeated both teams this season, facing the pair this late into the season may not have bid the young squad well. 

The Grizzlies face the Jazz and Thunder, two solid Western Conference teams, but squads located a tier or two beneath the LA clubs. The schedule makers dealt Memphis a decent hand, lining up winnable games and providing the Grizzlies a big opportunity to secure their first playoff appearance since 2017.

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© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Conference Opponents Already Secured Spots

The last three contests of the season come against arguably the Eastern Conference's three best teams: Milwaukee, Toronto, and Boston. However, each team knows their respective spots are secured, so they won't be playing with the same urgency as the Grizzlies. 

Ja Morant and company must find a way to get the job done against the second units of these teams', as the Bucks, Raptors, and Celtics will certainly rest their stars for the playoff run.

It's all laid out for the Grizzlies. If they sustain their first-half pace, they're playoff-bound. Plain and simple. 

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