Mike Conley’s game-winning layup against the San Antonio Spurs Monday night is just one example of the many things that are going right for the Memphis Grizzlies. The win accounted for their 50th of the season, and brought them to a tie for the third seed in the west with the Denver Nuggets. With only eight games left in the regular season, the Grizzlies are looking to make their mark in the playoffs.
After the Grizzlies traded away Rudy Gay, it seemed like all hopes for a playoff run were gone. After all, Gay was the teams leading point scorer and valuable asset as a team leader. Rather than feeling sorry for themselves, the Grizzlies answered by winning games– letting the league know they are a viable threat in the playoffs.
Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph have been outstanding this season for the Grizzlies, all averaging near 15 points per game. Randolph is averaging a double-double this season with 15.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Gasol was an absolute monster in the month of March before his abdominal injury. He averaged 17.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.87 blocks per game. His play will be huge once he comes back from his injury, which should not take long. He is currently listed as “day to day.”
The Grizzlies look like they will fall somewhere around the three or four spot in the west standings, meaning they will likely have a team like the Los Angeles Clippers or Golden State Warriors in the first round. Neither of these teams would be a cake walk, but they are definitely teams that the Grizzlies can handle. The key for the Grizzlies is to get Gasol back on the court at full strength. The type of play he showed in the month of March needs to be carried over into the playoffs. If the Grizzlies can maintain the consistent scoring from players like Gasol, Randolph and Conley, then they will have a good shot at making a deep playoff run.