Five reasons why the Memphis Grizzlies can upset the Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2016 NBA playoffs.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ 2015-16 season can be summed up with a single word: Injuries. Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Matt Barnes, among others, have all missed time this season due to various ailments. Gasol and Conley, widely considered the team’s top two players, are both done for the season.
Yet here the Grizzlies stand, making their sixth consecutive postseason appearance, this time as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. Of course, Memphis literally and figuratively limped to the finish line, closing out the regular season with 10 losses in its final 11 games to drop two spots from the No. 5 seed.
The losses of Gasol in February and Conley in March to foot injuries derailed any chances Memphis had of breaking into the top four of the West. The injuries to Randolph, Allen, Barnes, Vince Carter, Brandan Wright and the since-waived Mario Chalmers further sapped the team’s potential.
Memphis finished 42-40 overall and draws a first-round matchup with the 67-win San Antonio Spurs. At first glance, this certainly appears to be one of the more lopsided matchups in the first round. The Spurs appear primed for another deep postseason run. But there are a few aspects the injury-riddled Grizzlies can hang their hats on. These are the five reasons the Grizzlies can upset the Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Next: No. 5: Experience