Playoff Push: Who Will Make the Cut?

Welcome back to Post Up, sorry for the late posting of our article, but we have both been extremely busy with life and stuff.  However, we are here now to give you all the articles you deserve.  With today’s article I have decided that we shall stray away from the draft and off-season talk we have been looking at the past few weeks and dive into the playoffs.  The playoffs will be put into stone later this week and the first games will be starting early next week.  However, with that being said, not all of the spots are locked up.  In fact, the last spot in the West is still up for grabs between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns.  Who do we believe will come out on top?  Well, let’s take a look.


Memphis Grizzlies 


The Memphis Grizzlies hold the fate of their playoff run in the palm of their hand.  Right now they have the 8th seed in the West and have a one game lead over the Phoenix Suns.  The Grizzlies have also been playing very good as of late, winning the past 5 out of 7 games.  Their big win in that run is over the Miami Heat and their only loss is to that of the red-hot San Antonio Spurs.

They have also been seeing very good numbers from their key starters and bench players.  Mike Conley is giving them 17 points and 7 assists, Zach Randolph is giving them 15 points and 9 rebounds and Marc Gasol is back to his usual self leading the way with 20 points and 13 rebounds.  Tony Allen is still playing the good defense he is supposed to be and Mike Miller is coming off the bench and lighting it up with 2 3pt shoots made a game and 10 points on average.

Overall, the Grizzlies are playing very good basketball right now, and it does not look like anything will be slowing them down now that we are about to enter into the playoffs.  They are not seeing any major injuries, or injuries at all, to any of their players and this will help them greatly coming into the playoffs.  Right now the Grizzlies are sitting with two games left including one on Monday, April 14th against the Phoenix Suns, and then on the final day of the season against the Dallas Mavericks.  I will ignore the Phoenix match up for now because that will get looked at later in the article.  As for the Mavericks, I believe that no matter what happens, we will be seeing the Mavericks rest their key players against the Grizzlies and therefore, the Grizzlies should be looking at a win.


Phoenix Suns


The Phoenix Suns are the biggest surprise this year in the 2014 NBA season.  I have personally gushed and raved over the Suns in a few articles in the past, so if you want to see that love fest, I recommend you go and check those out.  The Suns as of recent are not sitting very pretty, unlike the Grizzlies.  They are 3-4 in their last 7 games and have two big wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  On the other hand, they have lost 3 of their games to playoff teams: LA Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Mavericks.  Their other lose was to the bottom feeder LA Lakers, which could come back to haunt them this week.

The Suns players have also been playing very well as of late.  Eric Bledsoe is averaging 25, 7, 7 over the last 7 games and has looked very good since his return from injury.  Gerald Green has been averaging 3 3pt field goals made a game and 19 points over this span.  Goran Dragic has also been playing very well with 17 points and 7 assists over the time frame.  Markieff Morris has still been playing to the Sixth Man of the Year caliber that he has all year and Channing Frye has come on these past few games and done very well.

The Suns have had some good wins and a tough schedule over this final stretch and have looked very good at the end of the day.  Unlike the Grizzlies though, the injury of Goran Dragic may play to be a big factor in the remaining two games on their schedule.  While I still fully expect him to play, I fear that he may tweak his ankle that has caused issues throughout the year and prove the Achilles heel to the Suns attack.  The Suns obviously face the Grizzlies on Monday and then they will finish the season playing the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.  The Kings will not be looking to rest any of their starters because they are not playoff bound.  Gay has had back issues as of recent and may not play the rest of the year.  Isiah Thomas played the other night for the first time in weeks and therefore, he is up in the air.  DeMarcus Cousins has already been ruled out of the final game due to suspension.  With all these factors into play the Suns should win their last game, therefore making Monday’s game the deciding factor.


Verdict: Memphis Grizzlies


The Phoenix Suns have played the Memphis Grizzlies three times this year and have lost every single time.  Goran Dragic has played, and played well in every match up, and Bledsoe has only played once.  Bledsoe may be the X-Factor for the Suns if they do somehow pull off a win on Monday, which seems unlikely.  Ultimately, we believe that this will be a close game, but the Grizzlies will pull it out in the end.  The Grizzlies front court is going to prove to be too much for an inexperienced Suns front court and the Grizzlies will be looking to pound it in the paint all night.  The Grizzlies will suffocate either Dragic or Bledsoe all night and ultimately, the inexperience of the Suns and lack of one player being able to take over and carry them will be their demise.  Post Up believes that the final score will be 101-92 in favor of the Grizzlies and they will punch their plane ticket to the playoffs on Monday night.



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