Unfortunately for all NBA fans, the NBA was suspended due to the coronavirus in mid-March. There is no sign of when, or if the league will resume play. If play resumes, the Los Angeles Lakers will likely take on the Memphis Grizzlies in the playoffs.
Memphis is currently the eighth seed with a 32-33 record. They hold a 3.5 game lead over Portland, New Orleans, and Sacramento. Assuming they don’t blow this lead with a month to play they will have a difficult task against the Lakers.
The Lakers are the league’s second-best team as they hold a 49-14 record. While the Lakers have the edge in nearly every area against the Grizzlies, the team does have some talent on their roster.
Rookie Ja Morant is their best player and is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Morant is averaging 17.6 points and 6.9 assists. Center Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 14.9 points and 11.2 rebounds, and Dillon Brooks is averaging a career-high 15.7 points.
The crazy thing about this hiatus is that it will benefit the Grizzlies. The reason being that they get their key second-year player in Jaren Jackson Jr. back.
Jackson injured his left knee in late February and was expected to miss a few weeks. Jackson had missed nine straight games with Memphis going 4-5 in the stretch. On the season he is averaging 16.9 points and 4.7 rebounds.
The return of Jackson can be the difference in Memphis holding on to the eighth spot. Regardless I believe that they will be an easy task for a dominant Lakers team.