NBA Playoff Odds: Will the Grizzlies Make the Postseason?
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Memphis Grizzlies NBA Playoff Odds
|Current Place||No. 8|
|Data as of Tuesday, odds via DraftKings|
After the Dallas Mavericks suffered a 113-95 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this month, Luka Doncic was critical of the NBA’s play-in tournament concept.
“I don’t understand the idea of a play-in,” Doncic told reporters. “You play 72 games to get into the playoffs, then maybe you lose two in a row and you’re out of the playoffs. So, I don’t see the point of that.”
I’ll reserve judgement on his feelings, but if there’s any team that has the right to the complain, it’s the Memphis Grizzlies. They were the first victims of the the play-in game that was established last season in bubble. Many felt it was created primarily for the purpose giving Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans every opportunity to make the playoffs.
Although the Pelicans didn’t make the playoffs, the Grizzlies were eliminated in the play-in game by the Trail Blazers. One season later, Memphis finds itself in the exact same position. Entering Tuesday, they are sitting eighth in the West and would face the Blazers in the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchup if the standings hold.
Will last season’s play-in game experience help the Grizz? I’m not so sure.
The Grizzlies rank 16th in Offensive Rating (112.4) and 10th in Defensive Rating (111.5) in their non-garbage-time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass.
Ja Morant hasn’t skipped a beat after his stellar rookie campaign despite dealing with injuries to start the season. Grayson Allen is in the midst of the best season of his young career as well.
Jonas Valanciunas has been unleashed in ways the Toronto Raptors never dreamt of, while De’Anthony Melton might be one of the most underrated players in the league and is coming off their bench. The Grizzlies also welcomed the return of Jaren Jackson Jr. last week.
All in all, they feel like a playoff team, but based on their meltdowns, I don’t know how confident I am that they can actually win a play-in game. Entering Tuesday, they sit 2.5 games behind the Mavericks for the No. 6 spot in the West.
The Grizzlies have the fifth-easiest remaining strength of schedule in the league and while their odds to make the playoffs moved from +110 a few days ago to -121, betting “Yes” on their playoff prop may be a bargain if you have the stomach for it.