If you are smart, you will NOT underestimate what Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies can do inside Bubble City.
Do you want to make some predictions on the NBA bubble seeding games? Download PropMe from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to guess how many times Zion will be mentioned as Ja’s ROY competition in the first half of the Grizz/Pels game on July 30th and so much more. You can find the contest in the PropMe app under “NBA Bubble Contest”. The winner will receive $50, merch from the Belly Up Store, and be invited to be a guest on the Hardcourt Hunnies podcast!
Are you a sheep, or are you a wolf- or, more apropos, a Memphis Grizzly?
You can be a sheep, and bet the Pelicans for the 8th seed. Of course, you could also go ahead a flush your money right down the toilet (or, better yet, Venmo your boy!).
Or, you can take the smart money play and bet on the team that I’ve been telling you for months is one of the next in line to take the NBA by storm.
We at BellyUp Sports are legally obligated to start any Grizzlies conversation by reminding you that Ja Morant is a BOSS (not really, but there should be pending litigation)!
Ja should win Rookie of the Year and has the opportunity to cement that status with a solid Bubble City performance. At nearly 18 PPG and 7 APG, Mr. Morant has been the catalyst for the Grizz improvement this season, leading the team to 32 wins in 65 games before COVID-19 brought the world to a halt. That total nearly matches the Grizz win number from a complete 2018-2019 season.
But before you trick yourself into thinking the Grizzlies are a one-man-band (you can find plenty of those on the streets of Memphis), remember that Taylor Jenkins and his squad have a full-on, Grammy-nominated ensemble!
On the drums, you have Jaren Jackson Jr., giving you nearly 17 PPG and 5 boards to balance out the rhythms. On lead guitar, Dillon Brooks strums to the tune of nearly 16 PPG. Bass guitar is manned by Brandon Clarke, and he rocks crowds for 12 PPG and nearly 6 RPG. On the keys is Jonas Valanciunas, tickling the ivories for 15 PPG and 11 RPG. That backup harmony is the dulcet tone of Josh Jackson, who smoothly sings to you about his 10 PPG.
Most importantly, the whole band looks like they will be together, with no confirmed or rumored Grizzlies sitting out.
Ja may be the lead singer, but he’s got a ton of help when it comes time to sing all their hits and rock the rest of Memphis’ Bubble City competition right on out of Orlando!
Can your boy stick with a metaphor, or what?
The good news is that Memphis gets a couple of games versus teams that are their direct competition for the 8th seed. Portland is their opener and they get a shot at both the Spurs and New Orleans.
And it doesn’t hurt to wrap with a Milwaukee team that should have everything locked up by the end of the Bubble City regular season. That could be a load management situation for the Bucks, which will benefit the Grizz.
The bad news is that the stretch of games from August 5th- August 11th looks to be chocked full of tough teams that will be going hard after their seeds, with Utah, Oklahoma City, Toronto, and Boston forming a formidable foursome focused on finishing forcefully (I DARE you to say that five times fast out loud).
Memphis Grizzlies Prediction
The Grizzlies have what everyone at the bottom of the Western Conference wants; they are in the Bubble City Play-In tournament if it started today.
A 4-4 showing should cinch up a spot in said tourney. Heck, even 3-5 will be more than enough, barring something unforeseen.
Where the Grizzlies will separate themselves is in the Play-In games. They are too deep to be denied the spot versus the Lakers in Round 1 of the playoffs. The Ja vs. LeBron First Round matchup literally has me salivating all over my MacBook keys as I type this sentence (strong flex, right there).
Everyone at the bottom of the Western Conference has to chase Ja Morant for a spot in this year’s playoffs.
Good luck catching him!