What the Numbers Say about the Grizzlies
So, here we are just slightly over mid-way through the season with 43 games played with a 25-18 record. If you know me, you know I’m a numbers gal. Numbers is what I do. What sparked my desire to put this little piece together is that a co-worker who knows how incredibly fanatical I am about this team asked me what I thought about the Memphis Grizzlies playing to the level of competition.
I deeply sighed and hung my head because it’s something that I often think as well. However, I honestly hadn’t taken enough time to look at it to see if that’s truly a legit statement. Of the 43 games played this season, I’ve missed seeing only 2 in their entirety, and we won both of those (there were about 5 partial games seen). So, I felt I could somewhat intelligently answer the question. Then, I looked at the numbers.
Grizzlies vs. Teams Below 0.500
Of the 43 games played, 21 of those games have been against teams that are below 0.500. So, that’s right at half. There are currently 14 teams below 0.500. Eight of those teams are in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies’ record against teams that are below 0.500 is 14-7. They’ve won twice as many games as they’ve lost to teams below 0.500. Arguably, should they have won most, if not all, of those seven? Yes, they should have. But arguably, some of the games they’ve won they should have lost so it kinda balances. That’s an argument for another day though.
Below 0.500 Teams: Pistons (1-0); Knicks (0-1); Trailblazers (1-1); Magic (1-1); Kings (1-1); Nuggets (1-0); Pelicans (2-0); Timberwolves (2-1); Lakers (1-1); Mavericks (1-0); Suns (0-0); 76ers (2-0); Heat (1-1); Nets (0-0)
Grizzlies vs. Teams at 0.500 and Above
The Grizzlies have played 22 games against teams that are currently at or above 0.500. There are 16 teams including the Grizzlies at or above 0.500. The Grizzlies’ record against the teams that are at or above 0.500 is 11-11. So, they’re 0.500 against teams that are at or above 0.500. The Grizzlies are 10th in the league right now. That’s middle of the road status. They’re not great, but they’re good with great potential. So, a middle of the road team being at 0.500 against teams at or above .500 isn’t terrible. It’s actually about where you’d expect them to be if you’re rational and realistic…which sometimes, Grizzlies’ fans (present company included) aren’t.
At or Above 0.500 Teams: Warriors (2-0); Spurs (0-0); Cavaliers (1-1); Rockets (2-0); Raptors (0-1); Clippers (1-2); Celtics (0-2); Jazz (2-1); Thunder (1-1); Hawks (0-0); Wizards (1-0); Bucks (0-1); Pacers (0-0); Bulls (0-1); Hornets (1-1)
Grizzlies vs. The Top Ten, The Middle Ten, and The Bottom Ten
So, to look at this further, I divided the 30 teams up into the top ten, the middle ten, and the bottom ten. Keep in mind the Grizzlies close out the top ten at the 10th spot currently, after the Thunder’s loss to the Clippers last night. So, they’re kind of middle of the road. They’re good with great potential.
**Note: I’ve changed this paragraph three times in less than 24 hours as games were being played.**
The Top Ten
The Grizzlies are 9-8 against the top ten teams in the league. So, against the cream of the crop, they have a winning average. I heard someone in the back say, “barely”, and you’re right. But I already told you that numbers were my thing, and 9 is bigger than 8. Incidentally, they are 5-2 against the top five.
**Note to the naysayers and dream snatchers: Yes, I am aware they haven’t played the Spurs yet.**
Top Ten Teams: Warriors (2-0); Spurs (0-0); Cavaliers (1-1); Rockets (2-0); Raptors (0-1); Clippers (1-2); Celtics (0-2); Jazz (2-1); Hawks (0-0); Grizzlies
The Middle Ten
The Grizzlies are 5-6 against the middle of the pack. So, they have a losing record against the teams that are in the same category as them: average. Here’s where the “playing to the level of competition” question can get kind of staggering. The Grizzlies appear to struggle against the teams at their level. That’s odd, to me at least, since they lead this brigade.
Middle Ten Teams: Thunder (1-1); Wizards (1-0); Bucks (0-1); Pacers (0-0); Bulls (0-1); Hornets (1-1); Pistons (1-0); Knicks (0-1); Trailblazers (1-1); Magic (1-1)
The Bottom Ten
The Grizzlies are 11-4 against the bottom ten teams in the league. They’ve won almost three times as many times games as they’ve lost against the teams in the bottom third of the league. This is good news. Would you like for this number to be 15-0? Of course you would. Yet in a league of professionals, this will sometimes happen, and it’s quite okay. Ideally, you want to know they’ve won more times than not against the bottom third of the league, and they have.
Bottom Ten Teams: Kings (1-1); Nuggets (1-0); Pelicans (2-0); Timberwolves (2-1); Lakers (1-1); Mavericks (1-0); Suns (0-0); 76ers (2-0); Heat (1-1); Nets (0-0)
Grizzlies vs. The Eastern Conference Teams
The Grizzlies have played 18 games against Eastern Conference teams, so they’re over halfway through with their Eastern Conference games. However, there are a few teams the Grizzlies haven’t even seen yet this season. The Eastern Conference has given the Grizzlies problems this year as they are 8-10 against these teams.
They haven’t seen the Hawks, the Pacers or the Nets; so that’s a total of six games to be played. The other six are one each against the Raptors (H), Wizards (A), Bucks (H), Bulls (A), Pistons (H), and Knicks (H). Of the 12 games left against the Eastern Conference, seven will be home games. Hopefully, they’ll fair better in the last twelve than they did in the first eighteen.
Grizzlies vs. The Western Conference Teams
The Grizzlies have played 25 games against Western Conference teams, so they’ve got another 27 games left against Western Conference opponents. Ironically, there are also some Western Conference teams that the Grizzlies haven’t seen yet. The Grizzlies are 17-8 thus far against Western Conference teams.
They haven’t seen the Spurs or the Suns yet. Of the 27 games left against the Western Conference, only 12 of them will be home games. Here’s how the 27 games shake out: Warriors (2), Spurs (4), Rockets (2), Clippers (1), Jazz (1), Thunder (2), Trailblazers (1), Kings (2), Nuggets (2), Pelicans (2), Timberwolves (1), Lakers (1), Mavericks (1), and Suns (3).
There are still 39 games left. That’s enough games for this team to make some noise. That’s enough time for this team to start clicking on all cylinders TOGETHER, CONSISTENTLY. There are 4 games between the 7th spot and the 4th spot in the Western Conference. Those four teams (Clippers, Jazz, Grizzlies, Thunder) can and will easily be interchanging spots through the rest of the season. I sincerely believe these spots won’t be solidified until the end of the season. The Trailblazers are a full 7 games behind the Grizzlies & Thunder in the 8th spot. So, the Grizzlies don’t likely fall out of the playoff standings. Take it one hurdle at a time.
We gon be alright Grizz Nation. Stay connected. Keep believing. Support the home team. Go Grizz!!
**Sources used nba.com**
- Grizzlies dominate Hawks again in 118-101 victory - March 8, 2020
- Grizzlies rally too late, fall to Pelicans 126-116 - January 21, 2020
- Grizzlies win fifth straight, defeat Warriors 122-102 - January 13, 2020
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