If you’ve regularly checked the standings all season long, the Grizzlies have been the second-best team in the West somewhat consistently.
But when considering the way they’ve been playing since the All-Star break, a first round loss in the playoffs wouldn’t really come as that much of a surprise.
Memphis is just 9-9 in its last 18 games, and the last two — tests against two of the league’s best — have been ugly home losses.
The Grizzlies were taken apart by the Cavaliers on Wednesday, in a game they dropped by 22 points. Against the Warriors on Friday, the final margin was even worse, after Stephen Curry scored 38 points (17 in the third quarter alone) to lead his team to a 23-point win in a game that was essentially over once the third quarter was finished.
Memphis may not actually lose in the first round of the playoffs, mainly because it’s looking more and more like they’ll face the Mavericks, who have been just as inconsistent themselves, and may be without their leading scorer for a period of time. But I would take any of the other five teams ahead of Dallas in the standings to beat the Grizzlies in a seven-game series.
The Warriors, meanwhile, just keep rolling.