The NBA has finalized a 22-team field that is set to continue playing this season after the COVID-19 pandemic brought the season to a halt, and the Memphis Grizzlies could find themselves on the outside looking in come playoff time now that there are only eight regular-season games remaining.
The Grizzlies have exceeded expectations this year and are ranked eighth in the uber competitive Western Conference with a 32-33 record. Even if they keep hold of that spot, there could be a play-in series between them and the Portland Trail Blazers or New Orleans Pelicans should either team end the regular season less than four games back. A clean bill of health might not be enough to lift Memphis past the competition looking to rise into title contention.
Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke haven’t played since February, as both suffered injuries before the season has postponed. Jackson was dealing with a knee injury while Clarke suffered a quad injury, but both are expected to be ready to go when the season resumes on July 31. The Grizzlies should also get a boost from utility man Justise Winslow, who was acquired via trade in February to bring in more young talent and dump Andre Iguodala’s salary. Although the Winslow has only played in 11 games this year because of a back injury, he expected to be be on the hardwood from the get-go as well.
Although Memphis has a Rookie of the Year frontrunner in Ja Morant running point and an abundance of young talent, its title odds are have grown less favorable over the course of the last month. Both New Orleans and the Trail Blazers are 3 1⁄2 games back and have also benefited from an extended rest period.
Memphis Grizzlies Championship odds
Memphis’s title odds were at +20000 on DraftKings SportsBook on May 13, but that mark has dropped to +25000. Its odds to make the playoffs are at -150 while its odds to miss out are +112.
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