Things aren’t looking good for the Memphis Grizzlies, who have now lost Mike Conley for the rest of this season, leaving them in the middle of a losing streak, falling quickly and if things keep going this badly, might end up finding themselves out of the playoffs.
Conley is out with an ailing achilles, which has already caused him to miss a month of basketball. He joined Marc Gasol and Mario Chalmers who won’t play against for Memphis this season. The news isn’t surprising to the Grizzlies considering they’ve been dealing with a lot of injuries over the last two months and still hanging on to fifth in the West, but considering their six-game losing streak, the timing could have been better.
Looking at the standings without analyzing too much, it looks like Memphis are worried about Portland catching up with them and moving down from fifth to sixth. But taking a slightly broader looks paints a worrying picture. The Grizzlies have lost 10 of their last 12 games. From feeling completely secure about their playoff spot, they’re now looking down at the Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks, hoping their inconsistencies continue.
Memphis only have a two game lead over both Dallas and Utah, who have the same record (39-38) while the Rockets are 9th in the West, 2.5 games behind the Grizzlies. While it is unlikely Houston, who struggle to generate consecutive wins and avoid ridiculous losses, will be able to close that kind of gap, Memphis can’t feel comfortable heading into the final five games of the season, which sadly for them includes two games against the record-hungy Golden State Warriors.
Also on their list of remaining games are the Chicago Bulls, also with something to play for (although slowly running out of time to catch up with the playoff race in the East), a huge game on the road against the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers on the road. The Clippers are a better team, but might not have anything to play for and could be resting players, already clinching the postseason spot but unable to go above or under 4th.