If the playoffs were to start today, the Denver Nuggets would match up against the Memphis Grizzlies. This match-up would be something to watch, and I don’t know too many people that can predict the outcome of this series easily.
Coming into this season, Memphis seemed to be contenders. Now, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Losing Rudy Gay in a trade has to hurt, especially with the Grizzlies having Tayshaun Prince as a replacement.
Of course, Prince is a good player, but he is not Rudy Gay. He is not the player to go out every night and get you 20 points or more, and goes toe-to-toe with the opposition’s best wingman. Austin Daye, who they also received, is still finding his way. This leads the Grizzlies to hopefully beat the Nuggets through post play and good defense.
The Nuggets will have the better wingman play in this outing. Danilo Gallinari could have a field day in this match up. With his height and versatility on the offensive end, you can look for him to maybe average about 18-20 points a game. The Grizzlies will have to throw different defenders at him, but Prince and Daye, who will probably have the job of defending him, may not be enough. The wingman rotation will be too much some nights for Memphis, as the Nuggets have three wingmen capable of exploding offensively.
The low post match-ups may be a problem for Denver. Zach Randolph, who was once proclaimed “the best power forward in the league” by Lebron James, might cause match-up problems. This could be Kenneth Faried‘s breakout moment.
Although the Grizzlies have excellent low post play and good defenders, without Rudy Gay, it may not be enough to get them to the second round if they play the Nuggets. The Nuggets will run, shoot the ball, spread the floor, allow isolation, and their bigs will run the floor. Since I don’t see a player outside of Randolph exploding offensively, I just don’t see how they can get past Denver.
I’m predicting Denver to win 4-2, and for Danilo Gallinari to be the MVP of the series.