On Friday night we saw the final game take place in this years NBA Play-in Tournament, as the Golden State Warriors hosted the Memphis Grizzlies, with the 8th seed in the Western Conference up for grabs. The Warriors lost their first Play-in game to the Los Angeles Lakers a few days ago, after LeBron James hit a deep 3 inside the final minute of the game. The Memphis Grizzlies on the other hand, secured a huge win over the San Antonio Spurs, which gave them one last chance at securing the final Playoff spot in the Western Conference. The winner of this game would face Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
Grizzlies defeat Warriors in overtime thriller to clinch final Playoff spot in the West – Grizzlies 117-112 Warriors
After losing out on a Playoff spot in 2020, the Memphis Grizzlies officially bounced back this year and clinched the 8th seed in the West, after they defeated Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in overtime. It was a great team effort from Memphis, with 6 players scoring double digit points including a phenomenal performance from their starting point guard and face of the franchise, Ja Morant. The 2019, 2nd overall pick put up 35 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals in the win, whilst also shooting 48.3% from the field and 50% from 3 point range. Morant was without doubt the difference in this game for the Grizzlies and it looks like he has a very bright future ahead of him. Kyle Anderson and Jonas Valanciunas showed up big in the interior, as they pulled down 10 and 12 rebounds respectively. The Grizzlies will now face the number 1 seed, Utah Jazz in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, matching up against Donovan Mitchell and Defensive Player Of The Year candidate, Rudy Gobert. Memphis will be the under dogs in this series, but this is a young, fearless team that is scared of no-one, so an upset could definitely be on the cards.
For the Golden State Warriors however, their season is now officially over after losing two straight games in the Play-in Tournament. The Warriors put up a valiant effort, but in the end they just could not get over the line. Golden State have now missed the Playoffs the last 2 seasons. Despite the loss, the Warriors main man, Steph Curry, did not disappoint. Curry scored 39 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, as he kept the Warriors in the game right down to the final seconds. Draymond Green also showed up as he dropped a triple double, with 11 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, despite missing the potential game winning shot. Andrew Wiggins scored a double double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and Jordan Poole also showed up, in what has been a good season for him, with 19 points on 54.5% shooting, including 60% from 3 point range. The Warriors didn’t go down without a fight, but with yet another season with no Playoff appearance, is it possible that we could see Steph Curry move on to a new team after 12 years in Golden State?
With the conclusion of the NBA Play-in Tournament, it now means that the Playoffs are finally here. Fans will be back in arenas for the first time since March 2020, and the real Playoff atmosphere that we all know and love, will finally be back. The Playoffs start Saturday night, with the first game taking place in Milwaukee as the Bucks host the Heat, in what is a rematch from the 2020 Playoffs, where the Heat ended up winning the series, on route to an NBA Finals appearance.