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It’s been a great run, Grizzlies fans. But even the most optimistic among you have to admit it’s gone a little too well thus far.
Because of a possible talent-induced regression to the mean and the NBA’s toughest remaining schedule, the Grizzlies are primed to fall out of the eighth seed. But fear not.
The Portland Trail Blazers, who trail Memphis by just 2.5 games, are another team that’s just as exciting and ready to take the Grizzlies’ place.
Thanks to a historic hot streak by Damian Lillard, the Blazers have been on a roll, winning six of their last eight games, including against high-level opponents in the Pacers, Lakers, Jazz, Heat and Houston Rockets. Portland seemingly does this every year, starting a little slow and picking up steam around the All-Star break, but this season has featured the team’s lowest low in several years, so the recent surge has been that much more exciting.
Add in the sixth-easiest schedule from here on out, and it makes perfect sense that last season’s Western Conference silver medalists will return to the postseason.