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NBA Restart 2020: Why This Leaves Memphis In A Precarious Position

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By Intern Reed Davis

LEXINGTON, Ky.- It’s official, the NBA will be returning to the hardwood this summer to complete the 2020 season. On July 4, league officials announced the NBA was taking the unprecedented step of completing the season with the 22 teams still in playoff contention.

Players will live and play in what the NBA calls a “bubble” at Walt Disney World. There will be no fans and limited media personnel in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The first game is set to tip on July 31 with each team completing eight more regular season games. Total win percentage will determine seeding instead of win total.

Around the league, there were winners and losers from the NBA’s restart plan. Some eliminated teams are among those considered winners, including the injury plagued Golden State Warriors who are allowed extra time to recover for the following season.

In terms of losers from this format, several stand out and one of those is the Memphis Grizzlies.

The youthful and talented, yet streaky, Grizzlies currently hold the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Led by former Murray State standout Ja Morant, the Grizzlies have played well down the stretch, but are hindered by their inconsistency.page1image44357632page1image38117712

Memphis cruised to a 7-game win streak in January, followed by a 5-game losing streak in February ended by a win against the top team in the West, the Los Angeles Lakers.
If the Grizzlies show up to Orlando playing the way they did in January, they have a real chance to make some noise in the playoffs. But will they even make it to the postseason? Here is why Memphis is in an extremely precarious position and could miss the playoffs.

If the playoffs began today, the Grizzlies would be in. That is not the situation the NBA is in, therefore Memphis will have to perform well in order to protect its No. 8 seed position. With arguably the most difficult schedule for seeding games, and Portland and New Orleans on their heels, it is not unlikely we could see Memphis on the outside looking in come mid-August.

This schedule includes opening against Portland, who are only three games back, as well as playing a healthy and well-rested Pelicans team back-to-back. The question will be which Grizzlies team will show up?

The one who won seven straight or the one who lost 5 straight while struggling to put up points? These questions and more will be answered when the NBA convenes in Orlando on July 31..

Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett is a life long Kentucky fan that, after 25 years in the medical device industry, is now the host of Just the Cats– a UK sports talk radio show. The sporting events that he has covered have been the fulfillment of a dream of his for many years. Covering UK as a media member while getting an inside look at our beloved Wildcats is nothing short of amazing. If you would like to connect with Michael follow him on Twitter @justthecatradio.

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