State of the Grizz Union

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The regular season is coming to a close, and the post season is on the horizon. We have some issues on the table that need discussion, a state of the Union if you will. It’s been the fall of achievement, and the winter of Grizz discontent. What will spring yield? For everything there is a season.

Let’s begin by deciphering the Chinese checkers of play-off placement. After losing, and regaining the number two seed earlier in the week, a Houston win last night has once again dropped the Grizzlies to the number three seed in the Western Conference. The Rockets are currents a half game ahead of the Grizzlies. Tonight the Grizz face off against Westbrook and company, minus Kevin Durant. The match-up earlier in the season resulted in a win. A win tonight would put the Grizz back in the number 2 seed. The Grizz win the Rocket tie-breaker with Houston. The champion Spurs are chasing the Grizz, only 2.5 games behind.

There has been much discussion as to play-off match-ups. Who we prefer, and who to avoid. The conspiracy theories abound. Who’s deliberately tanking for ranking? And who is chasing greater? Pull out your cardboard and let’s break dance it down. Seeds are determined by regular season records. The top records in each division bring home a banner for that division. For each conference the regular season record determines seeding; however in the case of a record tie, several factors determine separation. Factors such as better winning percentage against teams in own division, and conference won-lost percentage. This is where the Grizz have a current advantage in a tie-breaker against the Houston Rockets.

In the play-offs the team having the higher winning percentage at the close of regular season play retains the home court advantage. If by chance the two conference champions finish with matching records,the team owning the higher winning percentage against the other team at the end of regular season play is awarded home court advantage. If necessary regarding a tie, home court advantage is retained by higher winning percentage against teams in in the opposite conference. Failing those tie-breaking criteria, home court advantage will be determined by random drawing out of the rabbit hat.

As it stands right now this minute, the Grizzlies are seeded at number 3. If the play-offs were to commence tomorrow, the Grizzlies would face the number 6 seeded San-Antonio Spurs at home. The Spurs and Grizz regular season match-up is tied at two apiece. One of the best games this season was the triple overtime win against the Spurs, and one of the hardest was the recent 14 point loss. Both games were played without defensive specialist Tony Allen. We’re all aware of the Tony Allen effect. In regards to preference, Memphis would rather avoid the Spurs in the first round.

There is basketball yet to be played, so nothing is set in stone. There is mobility and momentum to be lost and gained. Tonight at the FedEx Forum seven o’clock be prepared to set it off. We are All Heart in Hoop City.

Jennifer Conroy
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