The NBA regular season has concluded, and the Playoffs officially begin this Saturday as the play-in tournament has started.
The Grizzlies walk into the postseason as the #2 seed in the Western Conference, which means they waited to see the winner of Timberwolves vs Lakers. The Lakers clawed to the victory and claim the 7th seed and now face the Grizzlies in a first-round matchup.
If you were to be around Dillon Brooks, he is happy somewhere as he is eager for the chance to knock Lebron James and the Lakers out of the playoffs.
The Lakers won the season series versus Memphis, winning two of the three games. Memphis
This matchup is a matchup that many fans have wanted since the Grizzlies-Lakers game on January 20th where the Grizzlies and Shannon Sharpe were involved in a heated scuffle.
The matchup also marks the first time that Lebron James faces the Grizzlies in his respected 20-year career.
Vegas Sportsbook and prominent media figures have the Lakers pulling off the upset against the Grizzlies despite the 2/7 matchup.
The Lakers have been arguably one of the best teams since the trade deadline going from a 2-10 start to finishing as the 7th seed.
The Grizzlies will go into their playoff run with no Steven Adams or Brandon Clarke for depth in the frontcourt. Memphis did sign Kenneth Lofton Jr. to a deal that puts him on the main roster.
Despite that, the Grizzlies have a top-10 offense and defense that propelled them to the league’s best home record.
The key matchup in the series will be DPOY candidate Jaren Jackson Jr. versus Anthony Davis.
Davis has been on a tear lately and it is no doubt that Los Angeles will look for him to score whether Lebron has a good game or not. Jackson Jr. will be seeing an increase in touches as he will be a major catalyst for the Grizzlies to take the series.
Ja Morant versus Lebron James will be the new school vs old school matchup of the playoffs as both are the leaders of their respective teams.
Both players’ explosiveness and playmaking will be utilized to expose the perimeter defense of each team as shooting will play a major factor.
The key to Memphis moving onto the second round will be the play of Jaren Jackson Jr. The DPOY candidate must stay out of foul trouble as he is the best player on the Grizzlies to guard the paint and Anthony Davis.
Dillon Brooks must stay out of foul trouble as well as he is the person that has been able to contain Lebron in matchups. Without Brooks, the dynamic duo of James and Davis will feast in a fast-paced offense.
Another key will be the rebounding battle. Memphis must control the boards to prevent second-chance points, which is the Lakers' specialty. Anthony Davis feeds off crashing the offensive glass for putbacks and extended possessions in the post.
Lastly, Memphis must limit the turnovers. The Grizzlies have lost easy games, such as games versus the Lakers, due to late-game turnovers and turnovers throughout the game.
With that said, I think the Grizzlies can defeat the Lakers in at least six games to move on. Do not be surprised if this series gets to seven games or seems close the entire way.
If Memphis can pull off the series win, it will be good for their morale as they prove they can win the toughest battles.
The Daily Helmsman will provide recaps of each Grizzlies game in the playoffs starting with game 1.
Game 1 will take place this Sunday at the FedExForum around 2 P.M. CT. The game will be nationally televised on ABC.
The time and date for Game 2 have yet to be announced.