When the 2019-20 NBA regular season restarts on July 31st, the Memphis Grizzlies will be in eighth place in the Western Conference standings with a record of 32-33. Leading up to the suspension of the regular season the Grizzlies had lost six of their last 10. Memphis was 18-15 at home and 14-18 on the road through its first 65 games of the regular season. Memphis currently holds a 3 ½-game lead over the ninth place Portland Trail Blazers but are seven games behind the seventh-place Dallas Mavericks and are likely not to move up over the final eight games of the regular season.
Ja Morant is the leading scorer and leader in assists for Memphis with averages of 17.6 points and 6.9 assists per game. Jonas Valanciunas is the leading rebounder for the Grizzlies with an average of 11.2 per game. Jaren Jackson Jr. is the second leading scorer for the Grizzlies with an average of 16.9 points per game and is one of 6 players for Memphis averaging double figures in scoring.
This season was expected to be a rebuilding season for the Grizzlies. Memphis is loaded with young, raw talent including star guard Ja Morant who is likely to be the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year. Morant is the first rookie in the history of the Memphis Grizzlies to score 1000 or more points and hand out 400 or more assists for the season. Josh Jackson started the season in the G League, but averaged over 16 points per game in March for Memphis and is a big contributor. The Grizzlies also acquired Justise Winslow from the Miami Heat and that adds to their already talented lineup. With Jackson, Morant, Winslow, Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies have a very capable starting five.
The young talent on Grizzlies is what is most positive about the club but the inexperience will also bring about mistakes and mental errors. Memphis has little to no playoff experience in its lineup and that will be a big problem for the Grizzlies following the final eight games of the regular season. In addition, Memphis is known for its offense with a balanced scoring lineup and defense is what takes hold during the postseason and part of Memphis’ game does not hold up against the elite opponents of the Western Conference.
Depending upon how the NBA conducts its postseason, Memphis is likely to either finish eighth and play the No. 1 seed in the West or finish eighth play against the No. 9 seed in a play-in series. Regardless of how the playoffs begin, Memphis is likely to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round and will be swept in that series by the Lakers.