Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said, “I said simple. I’ve told people that we have one game left, we’ve found a way to play our best game by this time.” “We want to keep it on the line. Everything that has been in the past is in the past.”
The situation is simple for Memphis. If they win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, they are in the play-in series. If they lost? They would need a scoreboard watch, losing to Phoenix and San Antonio.
One of the surprises of the season, the young Grizzlies looked in solid positions for the postseason before closing in March. And even in Bubble, it was inconceivable that they could not even make a play-in series. But with a 1-6 record, in part due to an injury to Jaren Jackson Jr., it has slipped.
“For us we should be motivated by the fact that we haven’t played how well we can play,” Jenkins said. “We have our moments, we had close games to win. Today is a clear day we didn’t play our best. We work hard, we see what we want. We just have to play better.
“What inspires us is a 1-6 record, which is not enough for us,” he continued. “We’ve got a chance against the best team in the league on Thursday and whatever we can throw at them, we’ve thrown him over the line and see what happens after that.”
The Grizzlies came to Orlando Restart as West’s 8-seed – holding that spot since Jan. 24 – with a 3.5 game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers who were ninth. But after the Mavs were beaten by the Blazers on Tuesday, the Grizzlies crashed out of the eighth.
“I think we’re like every game we played as an underdog,” guard Jaa Morant said. “We were suppose to be 27th this year, and here we are. So we are attacking every game, so I think our next game will be no different.”
Morant was lightning against Celtic, finishing with 26 points (7-of-13 shooting) and 13 assists, but with inconsistent shooting around him and the Celtics’ firepower (Jason Tatum had 29 in 10-of-13 shooting). , Was too much for the Grizzlies to overcome. He scored to take the lead, trailing the double figures for most of the game, but was never able to make the final push.
If the Blazers win their final game on Thursday (against the Brooklyn Nets), they secure an 8-seed, meaning the 9-seed needs to qualify for the playoffs and win a series against the Los Angeles Lakers Will be. If the Grizzlies defeated the Bucks and the Blazers lost, they would take an 8-seed and have the upper hand for the play-in.
The Bucks have been shut down as the former top seed and key players can be rested for the conclusion of the game. On Tuesday for their game, Khris Middleton sat down, but played Giannis Entetoconampo.
For the Grizzlies, however, who plays and who doesn’t, it is not their concern. They are trying to focus on themselves and win the game that is in front of them.
“One game left. Attack that game as any other game,” Morant said. “Don’t put any pressure on yourself and go out and try to do every game, try to win.”